The Hungarian National Foundation for Recreation (HNFR) is the main body responsible for social tourism in Hungary. HNFR was established as a non-profit organization by the government of Hungary and 6 trade union confederations with the purpose to encourage the participation of active employees and pensioners in tourism. From 2012 the mission and the target groups of HNFR have been altered significantly. Social inclusion – facing the challenge of integration – and the support of “right to have a break” – making tourist leisure accessible to socially disadvantaged groups – have become the key principles behind HNFR’s objectives.
The current social tourism initiative called Erzsébet Program - introduced in 2012 -has become the largest national social tourism program, involving each year over 1% of the country’s population in domestic tourism through social tourism grants. HNFR, in the spirit of supporting social cohesion and anti-discrimination, and promoting personal and social rights (right to have a break, equal opportunities, etc.) provides possibility of recreation to such groups of society a) that could otherwise not afford to go on holiday due to financial reasons, b) who face other difficulties and need special attention, as disabled people, or c) who deserve particular attention, as children and large families. All tasks related to the implementation of the Erzsébet Program fall within the scope of HNFR. The Foundation identifies the target groups, designs the grants, consults with the civic organizations representing the given target groups, negotiates with the accommodations, publishes the calls for application, filters the applications according to the eligibility criteria (normative support), grants the support, monitors the use of support (direct support).