Minister Angelkova before a conference on Eurostandarts in tourism: We work with the biggest tour operators, our priority is product quality

28 June 2018

Bulgaria achieved nearly 8.9 mil. Visits of international tourists last year, Germany being among the three leading markets for inbound tourism in our country. This is motivating us to work ever harder to offer a high-grade, competitive product. This is the principle we have set up in our partnership with leading global tour operators, including the biggest ones from Germany.

This was stated by the Minister of Tourism, Nikolina Angelkova, in Varna, before the participants in the European Standards for Tourism in Bulgaria conference, which was organized by the Ministry of Tourism and the Conrad Adenauer foundation. The official guests of the forum include Klaus Schlie, Landtag Chair of Schleswig-Holstein, and Thorsten Geissler, head of Conrad Adenauer foundation for Bulgaria.

Minister Angelkova thanked the guests for the exceptionally high grade, which our country received for its presidency of the EU Council. We proved that with Prime Minister Borisov in the lead we are a strong team, which can be relied upon and is a good mediator in problem resolution. We can successfully tackle challenges and be a loyal partner, she said further.

The minister emphasized that the Bulgarian tourism product is a very diverse one. Our country has huge potential not only in terms of sea- and winter tourism, but also for spa and medical spa services, and cultural-historical routes. We developed various theme-based destinations, which stimulate the operations of tour operators and expand the active seasons. During the first five months of 2018 an over 11% growth in international tourists was achieved, with growth of the German ones being 18.5% compared to the same period of 2017, announced Minister Angelkova.

She commented further that the Ministry has undertaken, jointly with the industry and with the government’s support, a number of legislative initiatives to reduce the administrative burden, develop the infrastructure, better train the tourism staff, etc. The sector was upgraded to a national priority, last year alone, the number of employees in tourism and its related economic operations stood at nearly 336 000. The Ministry is also preparing the establishment of a Training and Retraining Centre under its aegis, in order to enhance the tourism product’s quality, Minister Angelkova said further, pointing out Bulgaria’s role in the cooperation within the Danube Strategy framework, with an annual forum in Sofia upcoming under that initiative.

Klaus Schlie, a first-time visitor in our country, shared his exceptionally positive impressions from Bulgaria, congratulating it on its professionalism in its conduct of the EU Council presidency. She stated that cooperation with Bulgaria will continue and deepen, with many new opportunities for convergence to the Eurostandards in tourism to be discussed during the forum in Varna. We all see how positive are the signals coming from your country as regards the common European future, he said categorically.

Thorsten Geissler also congratulated Bulgaria on the successful EU Council presidency and emphasized that the country has a European spirit and a great potential to elaborate concepts for the long-term, sustainable development of Europe. In this regard, tourism in Bulgaria provides some very good examples with double-figure growth values and a positive image not only as a sea destination. One can stay in your country at any time of the year. There are few countries in Europe, which have as many open doors to the Germans, which I thank you for. They feel comfortable and keep returning here, summarized the head of Conrad Adenauer foundation for Bulgaria.

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