FITUR, Madrid: Looking to Asia — Deepening Cooperation with Azerbaijan and Georgia

21 January 2023

Within the framework of the international exhibition in Spain, Deputy Minister Irena Georgieva held a number of bilateral meetings. A look to the East and a deepening cooperation within Asia — this was part of the focus of the meetings held. 

The Bulgarian Deputy Minister discussed with Fuad Nagiyev, Chairman of the State Agency for Tourism of Azerbaijan, the possibility of opening a direct air route between Bulgaria and Azerbaijan. In the conversation the two noted the traditionally good relations between Bulgaria and the Asian Caucasian country. They discussed the development of tourism after the pandemic of COVID-19, the changed structure of the flow of tourists visiting Bulgaria and the opportunities for increasing bilateral tourism, part of which could happen with the resumption of direct flights.

Deputy Minister Georgieva also pointed out that Bulgaria will be a partner country at the Azerbaijan International Tourism Exhibition in Baku in 2023. For his part, Fuad Nagiyev announced that he will participate in the 68 Session of the Europe Regional Commission of the UNWTO.

Another country with which there is potential for the development of bilateral tourism is Georgia. In the framework of the International Tourism Exhibition FITUR in the Spanish capital, Deputy Minister Irena Georgieva met with Maya Omiadze, Chairman of the Georgian National Tourism Administration and Tamat Koriauli, First Deputy Chairman. 

During the talks, they discussed the state of the tourism sector in the two countries, what are the problems and challenges after the global pandemic and the share of tourism in GDP in each country. Information was exchanged and commented on target markets and priorities for the tourism sector in both countries. Irena Georgieva and the representatives of the Georgian Ministry of Tourism shared their views and ideas on easing the visa issuance process and agreed that the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria and Georgia should be informed about the issues raised for follow-up. 

The readiness to develop bilateral cooperation in the field of tourism, including within the framework of the Intergovernmental Joint Commission on Economic Cooperation, was noted in the talks.

Omiadze and Koriauli expressed their readiness for further contacts at the highest level with the Bulgarian Ministry of Tourism during the Berlin ITB and in May 2023 at the 68 Meeting of the Regional Commission Europe of the UNWTO in Sofia.

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