By the wine-culinary destinations we promote the interior of the country and prolong the active seasons

31 July 2018

The project was discussed with the local government and the business at a roundtable in Gabrovo


By the project for 12 wine-culinary destinations, we promote the interior of the country before the tourists. It will also contribute to widening the wings of the season and attracting more visitors beyond the active months for trips. This was stated by the Deputy Minister of Tourism Irena Georgieva at a roundtable held in Gabrovo today. In April and May 2018, the foreign tourist visits to Bulgaria amounted to more than 1.24 million, an increase by 11.5% compared to the same period of the last year. Data for the season wings illustrates that the consistent policy and initiatives of the ministry, among which is the project of the wine-culinary destinations, have the effect, said the Deputy Minister Georgieva. On behalf of the Minister Nikolina Angelkova, she said that it is important for the ministry to finalize the project, together with industry and local authorities, to help them promote the tourist and agricultural products in the regions.

The District Governor of Gabrovo, Nevena Petkova, took part in the forum, which welcomed the idea of a roundtable in Gabrovo, the District Governor of Veliko Tarnovo, Prof. Dr. Lyubomira Popova, who invited the two ministries for the next forum, the Deputy Mayor of Gabrovo, Nella Rachevitch, Eng. Krassimir Koev, Executive Director of the Executive Agency for Vine and Wine, and Malin Bistrin, representative of the Ministry of Tourism. The main focus of the discussion was placed on two of the destinations - Eastern Thrace and Old Capitals. The initiative is part of the project "Share Bulgaria", which is being developed jointly by the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry.

The 12 wine-culinary destinations are spread on the territory of the whole country. They include over 50 municipalities and over 100 tourist sites. The Eastern Thrace destination covers the municipalities of Stara Zagora, Sliven, Yambol and Karnobat and 8 emblematic tourist sites in the region, including the Neolithic dwellings - Stara Zagora, Karanovka Settlement Mound, Sinite Kamani Natural Park (The Blue Stones), Halkata Rock Phenomenon, Zheravna, Kotel, Skoka Waterfall - Medven and Markeli Fortress.

The other destination on which the focus was placed today is one of the longest in the project, passing through seven municipalities. This is the Old Capitals, which includes Veliko Tarnovo, Gorna Oryahovitsa, Shumen, Targovishte, Pliska, Veliki Preslav, Gabrovo. It includes another 13 tourist sites - the historical hills of Tsarevets and Trapezitsa, Arbanassi, Hotnitsa Eco-Trail, Emenka Eco-Trail, Daskalolivnitsa - Elena, Slaveikovo School - Targovishte, Shumen Fortress, Madara Horseman, Osmarski Rock Monasteries, Hankrum Rock Monasteries, Pliska, Veliki Preslav and Nicopolis ad Istrum.

We plan the final wine-culinary destinations to be announced in the autumn this year. They will then be digitized and uploaded to the web-sites of the two ministries, explained the Deputy Minister Georgieva.

We foresee the 12 wine-culinary destinations to be recognized by the industry and the municipalities to be included in the iLoveBulgaria platform, which currently contains over 500 tourist sites and is used by more than 17 000 users. It is planned that the established business and local communities to be included in the Annual National Tourism Promotion Program next year.

The ministry forecasts that the number of tourists will increase in the summer by about 5% compared to the last year, when the foreign guests in Bulgaria were 5.3 million, said the Deputy Minister Georgieva. The results for the six months of 2018 were also extremely positive. Over 3.6 million foreign tourists have chosen the destination Bulgaria, an increase by 8.9% compared to January-June 2017.

The data shows that we are on the right track in the promotion of the country and its recognition as a four-season tourist destination. We need to look for more and more innovative products to complement the range of services offered, said the Deputy Minister Georgieva. She explained that the initiative for 12 wine-culinary destinations could also help in the development and popularization of the so-called slow tourism. Its concept is related to preserving traditions and culture, focusing on the local food and regional customs. They would help tourists to learn about typical wines and foods in the given region. In Bulgaria, this is still not widespread tourism, but in many European countries it is very widely developed.


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