The Deputy Prime Minister Mariana Nikolova talked with the Minister of Tourism of Israel Asaf Zamir

06 August 2020

The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism Mariana Nikolova had a telephone conversation with the Minister of Tourism of the State of Israel Asaf Zamir. In the conditions of the continuing pandemic, the government is making serious efforts to ensure the smooth running of the tourist season, said Minister Nikolova. She stressed that all necessary measures are being implemented to ensure the safety and health of tourists. On the Bulgarian Black Sea coast, the spread of the virus is the lowest and it can be considered a safe area, as so far there is no infected tourist, said the Deputy Prime Minister.

Israel is a priority tourist market and a strategic partner of Bulgaria, the minister said. In 2019, nearly 245 thousand visits of Israeli tourists to Bulgaria were registered. Negotiations were held for the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the governments of Bulgaria and Israel for the adoption of special measures to support civil aviation in the conditions of COVID-19. The Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Transport, Information Technology and Communications agreed on the project without any notes, and the Ministry of Health provided notes on the medical aspects, the Deputy Prime Minister informed his interlocutor.

Israel is expected to ease the travel regime from August 16, and a week earlier a meeting will be held between the ministers of health, foreign affairs, transport and tourism to discuss how to travel, Minister Zamir said. He specified that he would participate in the council, as his position would be for Bulgaria not to have restrictions that would affect tourism, and for the country not to be included in the red list of countries for travel.

The Deputy Prime Minister thanked for the conversation and stressed that Bulgaria attaches great importance to good relations with Israel in a number of key areas, including tourism. She also added that despite the ongoing pandemic, the Ministry of Tourism is working actively for the smooth running of the upcoming winter season and summer 2021 and assured that we rely on Israeli guests, who increasingly prefer Bulgaria as a destination.

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