Experts from eight countries share experiences at a conference on digital transformation in tourism in Sofia

25 October 2022

A single digital guidebook will welcome foreign tourists to Bulgaria

An international conference on digital transformation in tourism is held in Sofia under the patronage of President Rumen Radev. Participants from eight countries share their experiences on best practices in the digitalization of the sector and the future tourism product in the Balkans and the countries of the Danube region.

“Digitisation of tourism is an irreversible process of modernisation of the sector. We have the vision, the ideas, the specialists and the innovations for which the representatives of the scientific community inspire us. These ideas will be successfully implemented by the tourism business, in the service of consumers,” Minister of Tourism Ilin Dimitrov addressed the participants in the forum. According to the minister, digitisation can find an excellent manifestation in the countries of the Danube region and the Balkans.

Minister Dimitrov pointed out among the priority tasks in the field of innovations in tourism, which will make our country a year-round attractive tourist destination, the development of a single digital guidebook to welcome every tourist visiting Bulgaria.

This virtual map of Bulgaria will bring together different elements of the tourism service and product – such as cultural and wine routes and festivals; farmers’ markets, developing local communities; significant natural sites and landmarks of our cultural and historical heritage that are of interest to every visitor to the destination.

The tourism industry, which is extremely important for the economy of Europe and the world, is undergoing dynamic transformation and change. These have been accelerated by several major crises, the Minister added. “They have been felt by all who work in tourism and I hope that with joint efforts we will overcome them successfully. There are many negative effects of the current challenges facing us, but let us not forget something else – a crisis can also mean a path for development,” Minister Dimitrov said.

In an address by President Rumen Radev, read during the forum, the Head of State expressed his firm belief that the digital transformation in all sectors should be accelerated, while at the same time strengthening the sustainability of our economy. According to him, our country should take advantage of digitisation to improve its operational efficiency and competitiveness. Digital technologies will contribute to positioning Bulgaria as a competitive destination, he further said.

Travellers’ confidence is increasing in the wake of the COVID pandemic. According to one of the major online travel booking platforms participating in the forum, there is increased interest in destination Bulgaria. It has reported a 140 per cent increase in the number of searches for destinations in our country compared to last year. Over 50% of travellers from Europe want to visit little-known places, which is a great chance for countries like Bulgaria to attract more tourists.

The international conference is implemented within the EU Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR), Priority Area 3 “Culture and Tourism”, coordinated jointly by Bulgaria and Romania.

The event is a platform for high-ranking representatives of the partner countries of the Republic of Bulgaria in the field of tourism. The focus of the conference programme is on the digital transformation in the tourism sector in the context of innovation development, new trends in marketing and best practices in Europe and the Danube region.

Partner of the event is Burgas University “Prof. Dr. Asen Zlatarov”. A team of the university presented robots that in the future can and are expected to increasingly support the work in the tourism business.

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