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Diplomacy in Action – welcoming the Hungarian Ambassador

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Published: 21 June 2024

Hungarian Ambasaador 2024

In early June, we were honoured and privileged to host a visit by His Excellency, Mr Ferenc Kumin, Ambassador of Hungary to the Court of St. James’s. Accompanied by embassy colleagues, the Ambassador outlined to students and staff how crucial hospitality and events are to the Embassy’s diplomatic mission in the UK, before a lunch showcasing Hungarian cuisine. 

The Ambassador opened a set of personable and engaging presentations from the visiting delegation - entitled Diplomacy in Action - by outlining the work of the diplomatic mission, how it promotes Hungary in the UK, and the value of hospitality in supporting soft diplomacy. 

Given the UK is Hungary’s second biggest inbound tourist market, the work of the Embassy here is especially important.  

Creating memorable food and drink at events 

Hungarian Ambasaador 2024

Following on from the Ambassador, Gabor Takacs-Carvalho, First Secretary Science and Technology Attaché, explained how with events “The food and drink is often what’s remembered.” and so attention to detail and knowing your local audience are vital. 

This has included the creation of new dishes, such as Egri Beef Stew Pie, combining Hungarian goulash with the British pie to make it a suitable buffet food item, and ensuring all events are accompanied with the best selection of Hungarian wine. 

Proving valuable insight for staff and Tourism and Hospitality students, Enikő Magyar, First Secretary Agricultural and Environmental Attaché, explained how vital it was when working abroad to “get acquainted with the culture and environment first” to ensure business success.  

Moreover, how it was important to focus on the outcome of events rather than purely the number of attendees. 

An “informative and inspiring” visit

Hungarian Ambasaador 2024

Following a question-and-answer session, where students proposed questions covering the life of an ambassador and Hungary’s engagement with Africa and the Middle East, the visiting delegation, staff, and students moved over the Harbour Exchange building for a buffet lunch showcasing Hungarian food and drink - where Blerton Hyseni, Programme Manager (Tourism & Hospitality), proposed a toast to thank the Ambassador and his embassy colleagues. 

“The visit was informative and inspiring. I was able to relate the topics discussed directly to my studies and the personal insight from the delegation was invaluable. As a Hungarian, I felt proud to see Hungary so passionately promoted.”, explained Eszter Toth, Tourism and Hospitality student. 

Hungarian Ambasaador

Erika Pall, Associate Lecturer, who organised the visit, said - “On behalf of the University, I would like to thank the Ambassador and his diplomatic colleagues for visiting us and for their engaging presentations, highlighting how vital soft diplomacy is in the tourism, hospitality, and events industry. I was also very proud of the highly positive impression our students made and their level of engagement.  

She added, “Blerton and I are also very much looking forward to developing our collaboration with the Hungarian Embassy in London.”.