Bulgaria has won the hosting of the 68th Session of the Regional Commitee for Europe of the World Tourism Organisation in 2023.

02 June 2022

Bulgaria has won the hosting of the 68th meeting of the UN World Tourism Organisation, which is planned for 2023. Our country received the prestigious vocation during the session of the European section of the WTO, which takes place in Yerevan, Armenia, between 2 and 3 June 2022. The Bulgarian hosting will be an excellent opportunity to showcase our country’s advantages as a year-round tourist destination. At the event in Yerevan, Bulgaria was represented by prof. Mariela Modeva, Deputy Minister of Tourism.

During the program she had the opportunity to hold meetings with Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General of the WTO, Sisian Boghossian, Chairperson of the Committee for Tourism of Armenia, Mehak Apresyan, Chairperson of the Tourism Federation of Armenia, Sofia Zaharaki, Deputy Minister of Tourism of Greece and partners in the sector.

During the meeting with the Secretary-General of WTO Zurab Pololikashvili Deputy Minister Modeva stressed that Bulgaria remains a proactive member of the WTO, with the ambition to develop extensive cooperation with the organization in numerous tourism initiatives and projects. Hosting the 68th meeting of the Regional Committee for Europe is a great recognition and responsibility for our country, Professor Modeva stressed. On his part, Pololikashvili expressed his appreciation for our country and the efforts made by the Ministry of Tourism to support the tourism sector. He added that he expects the meeting of the Regional Committee for Europe in Bulgaria to lead to fruitful ideas and decisions that will benefit tourism on a European scale.

Professor Modeva extended her consideration to the Chairperson of the Armenian Committee for Tourism Sisian Boghossian for the excellent organization of the event in Yerevan and said that she expects Bulgaria and Armenia to actively interact in the field of tourism. This could include marketing initiatives, joint participation in events, common tourism products, updating the legal framework in the sector. Boghossian welcomed the proposals and said that Bulgaria is an important partner of Armenia in organisations such as WTO and BSEC. Together with Mehak Apresyan, Chairperson of the Tourism Federation of Armenia, Deputy Minister Modeva discussed the opportunities for cooperation between the private tourism sector of Bulgaria and Armenia, where there is a serious untapped potential.

With the Deputy Minister of Tourism of Greece Sofia Zaharaki the planning of a new Joint Action Programme for Tourism between Bulgaria and Greece, with a horizon from 2022 to 2024 was discussed. The two countries have extremely close cultural, religious and social similarities, Professor Modeva stressed. She stated that it is important to develop successful cross-border projects with Greece within the new programming period 2021-2027. Bulgaria is not only important for Northern Greece, it is our main market, Zaharaki said. Both countries should be an active generator of tourism policies in the EU, the Greek deputy minister added, and Professor Modeva fully shared this position. Within the framework of the working visit to Yerevan, Deputy Minister Modeva held a meeting with H. E. Kalin Anastasov, Ambassador of Bulgaria to Yerevan. Bilateral relations between Bulgaria and Armenia in political and economic terms were discussed. The meeting was also attended by Armenian tour operators who stated that they are more actively including Bulgaria in their programs.

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