European quartet hit the right notes

The Czech Republic has several<br> historical cities

ALLURING spa retreats, intriguing Unesco World Cultural Heritage sites and the beauty of Europe’s breathtaking natural landscapes were brought under the spotlight during the Arabian Travel Market (ATM).

The ‘European Quartet One Melody’ which comprises the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, was created to promote tourism to the four Central European states.

Also known as the Visegrad Four (V4), the The European Quartet showcased their scenic attractions to gain interest and attention from this region’s travel industry. “We are working together to feel the same melody and show the world an interesting journey,” said Gabor Maraczi, Hungary’s strategic and marketing director of planning.

The four countries share both historical roots and cultural traditions but have their own unique identity in architecture, art, religion, folklore and traditions and landscape.

Poland is a haven for tourists seeking a wellness and relaxing holiday at its many spa resorts including Hévíz – one of Central Europe’s biggest thermal lakes famous for its healing properties and for promoting general well-being. Poland also offers many architectural gems, artistic masterpieces, hundreds of museums, various international cultural and musical festivals as well as 13 Unesco sites.

Hungary used the ATM platform to launch a focused marketing drive for its unique health products in the Middle East, as well as meeting and event packages to Budapest and the area surrounding the famed Lake Balaton.

Its numerous festivals include the three-month-long Budapest Summer Festival from June to August, the Formula 1 Hungarian Grand Prix on July 28, St Stephen’s Day on August 20, Sweet Days Chocolate Festival in September and the Budapest Christmas and New Year Fair from November 16 to December 31.

Slovakia with its rich culture and dynamic folklore is set to welcome guests to an attractive multi-genre programme made up of concerts, workshops, lectures, performances, screenings and exhibitions.

Interesting attractions include the old mining town of Banska Stiavnica – a Unesco world heritage site, wooden churches of the Slovak part of Carpathian Mountain Area, the 14th century gothic city Bardejov, Vlkolinec village and Spis Castle – Central Europe’s largest castle complex. The country also boasts natural wonders in abundance with its nine national parks, 14 protected landscape areas and 12 underground caves as well as more than 1,200 mineral and thermal springs many with healing properties and 30 spa resorts.

The Czech Republic not only boasts an array of historical cities, more than 200 castles and 12 Unesco monuments, but also adventurous treats such as an active holiday on horseback in one of the agro-farms. The county is also well-known for its wellness offerings and for those seeking a holiday of pampering, wellness and relaxation can opt from a list of spa resorts and properties including Karlovy Vary and Mariánské Lázně.

By Shilpa Santhosh