A financial mechanism for encouraging investments in tourism is to be developed

07 April 2015

A special financial mechanism for encouraging investments in tourism will be developed after research of existing good practices has carried out. This announcement was made by the Minister of Tourism Nikolina Angelkova during a meeting of the Council for Regional Development and National Infrastructure under the Head of Sate held in the town of Smolyan.  The topic of the meeting was “State policy for stimulating economic activities in the underdeveloped and less privileged regions in Bulgaria. Alternatives to traditional production”. The event was hosted by the President of the Republic of Bulgaria Rosen Plevneliev and was attended by the Deputy Prime Minister for EU Funds and Economic Policies Tomislav Donchev, the Minister of Regional Development and Public Works Lilyana Pavlova, the Minister of Economy Bozhidar Lukarski, MPs, representatives of the local authorities, of the employers’ organizations, the academic circles, non-government and branch organizations, etc.

“No doubt tourism is one of the most perspective alternatives to traditional production which can transform entire regions”, said Minister Angelkova. She made note of the renovated Tsari Mali Grad fortress in the village of Belchin which attracts approximately half a million tourists a year. “17 construction permits have been issued since the restored fortress has been opened to the public and 145 new accommodation places have been created”, added Nikolina Angelkova.. One other similar example, according to the Minister, are the Palaentological field and the Tsepina fortress nearby the village of Dorkovo which have been visited by 40 000 tourists in about a year and generated revenues of 121 000 leva. “The renovated ancient Armira villa nearby the town of Ivailovgrad has also established itself as a preferred tourist destination and has been visited by 10 000 tourists in about a year”, said Minister Angelkova.

“In the municipality of Smolyan alone 22 million leva from tourism have been generated while those working in the sector in the Southern central region are more than 22 000.  Mountain tourism has the biggest potential for the region and we support its development”, noted the Minister of Tourism. She explained that focus should be placed on stimulating winter sports as well as the alternative forms of mountain tourism – hiking, recreational and adventure tourism and eco tourism.

The Ministry of Tourism is currently drafting amendments to the Law on Tourism which should increase the control over the quality of the tourist product, secure enough workforce in sector and diminish the administrative burden for the business. “We have also developed the cultural and historical routes which should place the focus on interior tourism and foster the partnership between the separate regions as well as the regions’ individual perforamace”, explained Minister Angelkova. She noted that Bulgaria’s image to the world is one major thing. “We are all ‘brand Bulgaria’ and the impression we make abroad depends on all of us”, added Nikolina Angelkova.  She announced that a series of discussions on that topic in Bulgaria and abroad will be launched which would hopefully attract more people who want to help their country.  

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