Istvan Csanalosi, Managing Director, Wizz Tours

  • 3 Dec 2016 11:00 AM
Istvan Csanalosi, Managing Director, Wizz Tours
Istvan Csanalosi is the managing director of the online tour operator, Wizz Tours. Originally from Eger, Hungary, Istvan moved to the United Kingdom after finishing college to pursue his career in the travel industry. He lived in the UK for almost a decade, gaining experience with companies like TUI, EasyJet Holidays and Groupon. He moved back to Budapest at the beginning of 2014 to lead the worldwide operations and purchasing teams of US deluxe riverboat operator, Vantage Deluxe World Travel. Istvan is happily married and enjoys living in Hungary again very much.

1. Where did you grow up?

In Eger, about 130 km NE of Budapest. I consider myself very lucky that I could grow up there, as it’s a beautiful town and an ideal place to grow up in. Once I finished college I moved to the US for 2 years and then settled down in the UK for almost 8 years. I moved back to Hungary in the beginning of 2014, to Budapest, which both my wife and I consider the best move so far, we love living back in Hungary, love the city, the dining scene, the nightlife, the cultural venues and the whole mentality have improved so much while we were away, it was and still is a pleasant surprise, hopefully they will continue to improve.

2. If you could be an expat anywhere in the world, where would you choose?
As I mentioned I really enjoy living in Budapest, but if I needed to choose another place, it would probably be Florida, I really enjoyed living there.

3. What would you miss most if you moved away from Hungary?
Working with Hungarians, I found pretty much all of them very effective and straightforward. I have only experienced this in an office environment though, so it may not be true for everyone of course. I would also miss the amazing flavours of all the vegetables and fruits in the summer.

4. Friends are in Budapest for a weekend - what must they absolutely see and do?
Depends on the season. In the summer, rooftop bars like 360 and other outdoor venues like Raqpart. In the winter, baths, of course: Rudas is my favourite.

5. What is your favourite food?
Even though I love Hungarian cuisine, my favourite food is actually Buffalo Wings and I love the traditional barbecue food from the Southern US states. Unfortunately you cannot really get a great choice of this type of food in this region, so I try to make them myself, as authentically as possible.

6. What is your favourite sport / form of exercise?
Bicycling and swimming. We often go to longer cycle tours with my wife and sometimes friends.

7. What is your favourite place in Hungary?
Eger, a beautiful town, surrounded by vineyards, forests and thermal spas

8. What career other than yours would you love to pursue?
I knew from a young age that I want to work in the tourism industry, so I’m very happy with my career, I wouldn’t want to pursue any others.

9. What’s a job you would definitely never want?
Finance or legal

10. Where did you spend your last vacation?

11. Where do you hope to spend your next one?
We are planning to visit Iceland, an amazing place we wanted to visit for a while now.

12. What was your favourite band, film, or hobby as a teen?
I didn’t have a favourite band, I always liked electronic music, where you don’t really have ‘bands’ as such.
Favourite movie as a teen: Macskafogó (Cat City); it still is probably, I can watch it unlimited times, I will never get bored with it.
Hobby: as a teen I had a busy social life, which didn’t leave much time to have a hobby, nowadays it’s mastering the barbecue techniques from around the world

13. Apart of temptation what can’t you resist?
Gourmet food

14. Red wine or white?
Red. My father makes very good wine, they have their own cellar, it is not his profession, but he does it for decades now. If not my dad’s wine, then Egri Kékfrankos Gőzmalmos 2006 from Bence Dula or a red from Montepulciano region

15. Book or movie?

16. Morning person or night person?
Morning person now, but I very much used to be a night person

17. Which social issue do you feel most strongly about?
I’d like to live in a country, where it a virtue to add value to the society and people feel proud of their common achievements. There is a lot to improve on this in Hungary still.

18. Buda or Pest side?
Buda side

19. Which achievement in your life are you most pleased about?
That I managed to make my parents be proud of me in general. They are very decent people and their approval means I’m going the right way.

20. What would you say is your personal motto?
Find people who share your values, and you'll conquer the world together.

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