Minister Angelkova: Bulgaria and Greece work as partners on joint projects aimed at attracting tourists from the distant markets to the Balkans

16 November 2018

The Bulgarian minister had a working meeting with George Tziallas, Secretary-General for Tourism Policy and Development of the Ministry of Tourism of Greece

The partnership between Bulgaria and Greece in the sphere of tourism is developing and the two countries are working on joint initiatives to attract more visitors to the Balkan region. This was said by the Minister of Tourism Nikolina Angelkova at a working meeting with George Tziallas, Secretary-General for Tourism Policy and Development of the Ministry of Tourism of Greece. This bilateral meeting was held during the second International congress on world civilizations and historic routes, which has been held in Sofia since yesterday and has been organized by the UN World Tourism Organization.


Minister Angelkova said that the Greek tourists are among the most numerous groups of tourists coming to our country and added that Greece is one of the most preferred destinations for Bulgarians, as the exchange of guests is almost equal. Last year, the number of tourist visits from Greece to Bulgaria exceeded 1,1 million, which marks an increase of 8,5% compared to the year 2016 and the country ranked first on the chart of inbound tourism in Bulgaria. The number of visits of Greek tourists for the first nine months of this year exceeds 852 thousand.

The initiative for establishing a Common Balkan tourist route, proposed by Bulgaria, is very promising and was supported by Greece at the meeting of 11 countries from the region held in Sofia in May 2018. The Ministry of Tourism will hold discussion meetings on this subject and will soon present the vision of the Bulgarian part of the route to the other members of the project working group, said Minister Angelkova. According to her, as two neighbouring countries on friendly terms, we will be able to popularize even more effectively the joint concept, which will make the Balkans a more attractive route.  

The pointed out that the two countries cooperate with each other in the implementation of the initiative “Along the Western Silk road”, which is aimed at attracting visitors from markets that are far away from Europe. Bulgaria and Greece are members of the programme of the World Tourism Organization “Along the Silk Road”. In 2017, they hosted two working seminars under the new initiative “The Western Silk Road” and participated in the creation of a Road map under the project by means of national analyses. They were prepared by the Aristotle University is Thessaloniki and the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. The Bulgaria proposition envisages the creation of regional products related to silk, for example, by means of consolidating the tourist potential of Greek and Bulgarian cities with traditions like those in Soufli and Ivaylovgrad.

Minister Angelkova suggested organizing a Bulgarian-Greek meeting on topical issues in the sphere of tourism before the ITB International tourism fair in Berlin, in order to discuss new possibilities for attracting more tourists from Greece to our winter resorts. This meeting is to be attended by representatives of the business and the local authorities of both countries.

Secretary-General Tziallas expressed the confidence of his country in the usefulness of the cooperation and focused on the role of the joint work of the tourist administrations to mobilize the business and the experts for the implementation of these initiatives, whose host will be Bulgaria for the second time, as well as his satisfaction with the meetings held as part of the forum.

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