Zalaegerszeg is one of the most dynamically developing cities in Western Hungary. The settlement of 60,000 inhabitants is not only the centre of Zala County but thanks to the proximity of Lake Balaton, Slovenia, Austria and Croatia, as well as to its unique thermal heritage it is a significant touristic centre. The management of the city takes great care of increasing the tourist attractiveness of the town by improving the existing tourist destinations (by modernizing and expanding Göcsei Village Museum, creating the complexity of Gébárti Lake, revitalizing the backwater of Zala river) and by creating new tourist attractions (Adventure Park of Alsóerdő, construction of the Pilgrimage Centre of József Mindszenty).
An important part of the tourist palette is active tourism, in which sport tourism has top priority. The sport life of the city is very active, it has 64 registered sports clubs, which play an important role in recreational sports, in training of the new generations, and in the field of professional sports. The city is committed to meet the needs of the sport-loving population both by providing sport aids and by maintaining and extending sports facilities (non-exhaustive list: construction of sport parks; doubling the length of existing bike trails and organizing them in a network, linking them to the national and international network; building football pitches made up of artificial grass and clay, developing school gyms). It is an important goal that the city become able to host regularly an international sport competition, for this purpose, the city has started to develop several sports facilities: expansion of the Sports Centre’s athletic field; construction of a new Indoor Swimming Pool (with a 50-meter race pool and a tan pool); renovation of the City Stadium; energy modernization and transforming to multi-function of the City Sport Hall, development of the City Shooting Range, expansion of the Tennis Centre, establishment of the Judo Centre.
As a new mean of promoting sports and enhancing tourism attractiveness, the city would like to broaden its available rich festival life by organizing the country’s largest sport festival, the ReStart Festival. As part of the above-mentioned ambitions, the SportOverBorders project can be the beginning of a long-term cooperation between the participant settlements.