Minister Angelkova spoke with Michael Ellis, Minister of Arts, Heritage and Tourism of Great Britain

05 November 2018

Within the WTM International Tourism Fair in London, Minister of Tourism Nikolina Angelkova held a working meeting with Michael Ellis, Minister of Arts, Heritage and Tourism of Great Britain. They discussed opportunities for exchange of experience in digital marketing, as well as joint initiatives to stimulate the influx of tourists.

Minister Angelkova noted the steady record growth of foreign tourists and revenues from their visits to Bulgaria over the last three years, as well as the strong interest of the British in Bulgaria as a destination. For the first nine months of 2018 Bulgaria has been visited by nearly 8 million foreign tourists, which is about 6 per cent growth compared to a year earlier. Revenues from the international tourism industry in the period January-August 2018 exceed 2.8 billion euro – a growth of 7.2% compared tot he same period of the last year.

For the first nine months of this year our country has been visited by more than 347 thousand citizens of the United Kingdom, which is almost 16 per cent growth compared to the same period of last year, and so the country ranks 8th in the ranking of incoming tourism in Bulgaria. We expect the interest of British tourists to remain so high in the upcoming winter season as well, said Minister Angelkova.

She pointed out the priorities of the tourism administration policy to develop the country as a destination for year-round tourism with a focus on the summer, winter and many types of specialized tourism – thermal and SPA, cultural and historical, eco, rural, adventure, golf, gourmet, hunt tourism, etc. This diversity will be presented with an emphasis on the cultural heritage in Bulgaria at the Second International Congress of World Civilizations and the Historical Routes in Sofia organized by the Ministry and the World Tourism Organization (WTO). An important moment in our policy is also the creation of joint tourist routes with the neighboring countries, her words revealed.

Minister Angelkova introduced her interlocutor to the excellent business opportunities in Bulgaria. In order to attract strategic investments to the sector, we have created the first map of investment projects in tourism and we are already planning to build on it with a second stage, which will include specific investment opportunities in different regions of the country. Another important element in our activity is the implementation of the innovative approach through the digitalization of the tourism sector, which will speed up the work of the business and will make the image of Bulgaria more complete with the help of IT technologies, Minister Angelkova explained.

She presented the results of successfully completed marketing activities with the leading tour operators Thomas Cook and TUI Group during this and last year. In 2017, the number of tourists traveling to Bulgaria with Thomas Cook was more than 404 thousand and 18% more than in the previous year.

Minister Ellis expressed his satisfaction with the serious work of Bulgaria and the results achieved in tourism. He suggested bilateral contacts be made more often so the two countries can exchange more tourists and ideas. The British Minister of Tourism said he was fascinated by the Bulgarian nature.

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