Minister Angelkova held a working meeting in London with Ahmad Al-Khateeb, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage

05 November 2019

The Bulgarian Minister discussed new initiatives with the President of the Polish Tourist Organization Robert Andrzejczyk

Tourism Minister Nikolina Angelkova held a working meeting in London with Ahmad Al-Khateeb, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage, at the 40th World Travel Market (WTM) Tourism Exhibition in the British capital.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is an extremely important partner for Bulgaria and we strive to develop good relations in areas of strategic importance for our countries, explained Minister Angelkova. She thanked for the warm welcome during her visit to the capital Riyadh last year and added that Bulgaria offers both very good conditions for tourism and for investment.

It is important to continue to implement the commitments made in the framework of the Memorandum of Understanding for Cooperation in Tourism between the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Ministry of Tourism, said Minister Angelkova. In this regard, she invited Mr Al-Khateeb to participate in the second international investment forum, which will be organized in 2020 in our country, and a proposal for holding a bilateral business forum was discussed. Minister Angelkova said that improving the air links between Bulgaria and Saudi Arabia would contribute to increasing the flow of tourists, which is extremely important for both countries.

During the world's largest tourist trade fair for professionals, Minister Angelkova also spoke with the President of the Polish Tourist Organization, Robert Andrzejczyk. Poland is an important and desirable partner for Bulgaria and we need to strengthen our bilateral relations in order for more Polish citizens to recognize Bulgaria as a year-round destination, said Minister Angelkova. She added that our country is a place not only for sea and winter tourism, but also for cultural, historical, balneo and SPA and that it is important for visitors from Poland to get to know our natural and cultural wealth.

Last year our country welcomed over 425 thousand Polish tourists, which is an increase of 7.9% compared to 2017, and the Bulgarian citizens who have visited Poland are almost 74 thousand - an increase of 10.5%. In 2019 from January to September the number of tourist visits from Poland amounted to over 391 thousand.

The Bulgarian minister told Mr Andrzejczyk that she is planning an official visit to Poland early next year to discuss concrete proposals for deepening cooperation between the two countries and national tourist associations.

Minister Angelkova also participated in a high-level meeting organized by the World Tourism Organization at the United Nations 'Rural Development Technology' as part of the World Travel Market (WTM) program in London. The focus of the forum was on tourism and agriculture policies that enable communities to develop through innovation.

Tourism, as an engine of the regions, supports their development not only through direct revenues, but also through new, modern investment projects that lead to the sustainability of local production, is the position of Minister Angelkova. Using its tourism potential and establishing the country as a year-round destination, the conditions for economic growth of local communities are created. We have seen concrete results from these initiatives. Today we are proud to say that regions such as the Valley of the Thracian Kings, the Rose Valley, Old Nessebar - a UNESCO site - are very well-known brands internationally.

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