Minister Angelkova: 125 million tourists visit the Danube region every year

18 October 2018

EU Commissioner Corina Creţu: The region can become a motor of tourism, I would like to thank Minister Angelkova for the organization of the event

Tourist visits to the Danube Region amount to 125 million each year, and a total of 600 million tourists visit Europe. This was announced by the Minister of Tourism Nikolina Angelkova after the meeting of Ministers of Tourism participating in the EU Strategy for the Danube Region. The discussion took place within the 7th Annual Forum of the European Union Strategy for the Danube Region. The event was held in Sofia during the Bulgarian Presidency of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region, which was taken over in October 2017.

Led by the understanding that the countries of the Danube Region should make full use of their potential, the Bulgarian Presidency aims to increase the visibility of the Danube Region and set among its top priorities “A Sustainable and Integrated Approach for the Danube Region,” Minister Angelkova said. She added that each country in the region has its own characteristics that determine their development, and one of the ways to overcome them is strengthening the importance of tourism and closer cooperation within the Danube Strategy among all stakeholders.

One of the reasons for the growing importance of tourism on the Danube River is the general diversification of the tourist offer, which includes, among other forms of tourism, river cruise tourism as one of the most important forms of tourism activities in the region. We believe that joint initiatives to promote river cruise tourism will support the sustainable development of the sector, Minister Angelkova said. She explained that taking into account the importance of this product in the overall progress of the sector, an international seminar was also organized to discuss the possibilities of creating an integrated approach to the development of cruise tourism along the Danube.

If we want to make full use of the opportunities offered by the Danube and at the same time we want to ensure greater socio-economic cohesion in the Danube Basin, we must act together and work in close partnership to deal with the challenges that exist in the area, whether transport, environment, economy or culture, the Minister stated. She specified that we cannot consider the Danube Strategy without confirming our support and our interest in further developing interregional and transnational cooperation in key areas such as tourism.

“Minister Nikolina Angelkova is the driving force of the meeting here today where we can discuss the Danube Strategy. I want to thank her for placing the focus on a topic I feel so close to me”, said Corina Creţu, EU Commissioner for Regional Policy. She added that the Danube Region is one of the greatest and can become a motor of tourism.

Investments in tourism will be more sustainable if they are a part of an common plan for a region, Creţu pointed out. In her words, the development plan for the Danube Region can be included as a leading one in the EC’s local economic development goals as well. The Danube and its tributaries have great development potential and are an example of how coordination and cooperation have a strong positive impact on progress, the EU Commissioner said.

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