Praid salt mine sees over half a million visitors year-to-date

More than half a million people have descended into the Praid salt mine - Harghita County, since the beginning of the year, with visitor numbers on the rise from the previous year, salt mine director Zoltán Seprődi told AGERPRES on Monday. Specifically, 523,129 visitors entered the mine between January - August this year, with monthly numbers ticking up from a year ago, except for March. The salt mine saw the highest number of tourists in August - 160,645, compared to 151,210 in 2018. August also saw the largest number of visitors who went to the underground in one day, about 7,300, yet the figure fell short of equalling the record-high 7,800 visitors in August 2016. Zoltan Seprodi expects the total number of mine tourists this year to be higher than in 2018, when a total of 656,697 visitors were registered. The rise in the number of visitors is credited both to the use of holiday vouchers and to the fact that the Praid salt mine has grown into a brand that is well-known and appreciated both in the country and abroad. Most of the visitors to the salt mine are from Romania, but also from the Republic of Moldova, Hungary and other European countries. Praid is Romania's most visited salt mine and is second in Europe by the number of visitors, after Poland's Wieliczka salt mine, which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1978. The tourists who descend into the 120-m deep Praid salt mine gallery that is open to the public are offered multiple relaxation facilities, ranging from playgrounds and creation places for children to an adventure park, free Internet access or the possibility to dine. Praid is also home to Romania's largest salt water pubic pool, which also attracted a high number of visitors this season, given the hot weather that took hold of Harghita County. According to statistical data, there have been 80,353 entries to the salt water pool managed by the National Salt Corporation, by five thousand more than in the previous year, when the summer weather was much more capricious. AGERPRES (RO - author: Gina Stefan, editor: Karina Olteanu; EN - author: Simona Klodnischi, editor: Simona Iacob)

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