Minister Angelkova speaks to students in Blagoevgrad: The tourism sector needs young and trained people like you

08 November 2016

For the first eight months of 2016 we have registered an over BGN 620 mil. Growth in tourism revenues. These are tangible results from the establishment of a standalone Ministry of Tourism and the efforts of everyone employed in the sector, the Minister of Tourism, Nikolina Angelkova, announced to students and professors from the Neofit Rilski South-Western University in Blagoevgrad. Daniela Saveklieva, Deputy Chair of the Parliamentary Committee on Economic Policy and Tourism was a guest of honour of the public discourse.

„It is a very positive trend that the revenue growth exceeds that of the number of international tourists. This indicates that we have achieved tangible results in our efforts to attract more solvent customers and guests“, Nikolina Angelkova emphasized. She pointed out that the huge growth in the sector accentuates the need for more trained staff. „Tourism is among the sectors with palpable demand for staff, and if we have stability and keep up the pace, our upward development will continue“, the Minister of Tourism added. For the first 9 months of 2016 Bulgaria has welcomed some 7 mil., while the number was 7,1 mil. for the entire 2015. „If we keep building up positive results at this rate until the end of 2016, we will have an unprecedented year in terms of stats, which obliges us all to work together with adequate mobilization for the sustainable development of the sector, Minister Angelkova summarized.

Responding to a question of what such results are attributable to, she announced that large scale overseas tour operators are interested in several key factors before they decide to work with a given destination. These include political stability and security in the country, availability of good infrastructure, facilities, and trained staff. „We are presently able to offer all of that and thus register huge growths, while our direct competitors experience decline“, Nikolina Angelkova said. She identified the shortage of staff in the sector as a major priority and presented the long-term and short-term measures implemented by the Ministry to resolve the issue.

The potential of Blagoevgrad region to attract more tourists was also referenced during the discussion. Stats indicate that the region is increasingly better positioned on the tourism map. During the period of January-August 2016, a total of over 371 000 were registered in accommodation locations of 10+ beds, which is an over 10% growth compared to the same months of last year. The night-stays achieved total 966 000, with revenues therefrom exceeding BGN 44 mil., a 14% increase. „Significant for these results is the region’s better transport connectivity, with a steady growth in the tourist flow being registered since the completion of Struma Highway in the Sofia-Blagoevgrad section“, Minister Angelkova added.

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