The Bulgarian Orthodox Church and the Russian Orthodox Church, along with the Ministry of Tourism, outlined steps for activating pilgrimage tourism

21 October 2016

Pilgrimage tourism routes within Bulgaria will be elaborated and promoted among Russian tourists. This was agreed today by the Deputy Minister of Tourism, Irena Georgieva, and the Bogorod bishop Antonius, vicar of the Russian Patriarch, head of the Administration of Overseas Establishments at the Moscow Patriarchate and the Pilgrimage Centre thereto, and the Nevrokop bishop Seraphim. This is the first such meeting in this format and a clear sign of both parties to activate such contacts with each other.

„Bulgaria is a pilgrimage tourism destination that’s very interesting for Russians and we can increase the flow of tourists and their stay if we join efforts to promote these opportunities“, Deputy Minister Georgieva said. According to her, stats reveal that 71% of Russian nationals come to our country for a seaside vacation, with the Ministry’s key objective being to promote the other tourism we can offer as well. In her words, work can also be done in the longer term to create combined routes with neighbouring Balkan countries, which also welcome large numbers of Russian tourists for pilgrimage tourism, such as Greece and Serbia. It would also be of interest to combine this type of tourism with a seaside or winter vacation, it was made clear during the meeting.

Our purpose is to take specific steps towards activating pilgrimage tourism between Bulgaria and Russia, bishop Antonius stated. According to him, Bulgaria is an interesting tourism destination not just for the populace residing within the Russian Federation, but also for its expatriate nationals. We have more than 900 parishes worldwide and is important to pay attention to them as well. Bulgaria is not sufficiently known and with this meeting we are making the first step to promote the country, he added.  

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