Minister Angelkova met in London with Mehmet Ersoy, Minister of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Turkey

05 November 2018

Minister of Tourism Angelkova met in London with Mehmet Ersoy, Minister of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Turkey. They discussed the prospects of the tourism industry at the World Travel Market (WTM), the world's largest international professional tourism fair.

Turkey is in the top 5 of inbound tourism markets for Bulgaria, Minister Angelkova emphasized. She added that over the period January-September of this year, more than 492 thousand Turkish citizens have visited the country, accounting for almost 2% growth compared to the same period in 2017. Last year, tourist visits from Turkey were more than 636 thousand and there has been an increase of 12.5%.

Minister Angelkova explained that other than from a summer holiday, many Turkish citizens also come to Bulgaria in the winter. For the period December 2017 – March 2018, 213,477 Turkish guests came to Bulgaria, with the reported increase compared to December 2016 – March 2017 amounting to 14.4% Minister Ersoy confirmed that the interest of the Turkish citizens in our winter resorts is growing every year.

The Ministers discussed the forthcoming working meeting between the two countries on November 14, where decisions to increase the tourist flow between Bulgaria and Turkey will be discussed. They agreed to hold a meeting in Turkey with the largest organization of tour operators.

In turn, Minister Ersoy said he would rely on the two neighboring countries to continue their fruitful cooperation in tourism. He also added that he would support and assist in organizing any initiatives that would contribute to the successful development of the sector in the region.

Regarding the development of a Balkan Route, the Ministers have agreed that this product will be of great benefit in attracting tourists from distant destinations to both countries. In their view, it is crucial to offer a good and quality product that will meet the needs of visitors from remote countries such as Japan and China. Minister Angelkova reminded that the establishment of a Balkan Route has been initiated and supported at the EU Tourism Ministers' High-level Ministerial Meeting on Tourism and Economic Growth organized within the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU.

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