Minister Angelkova opens the International Tourism Fair Holiday & Spa Expo

11 February 2016

For the first time in the history of tourism we have surpassed the psychological barrier with revenues from overnight stays for 2015 reaching over 1 billion BGN. This is what Minister of Tourism Nikolina Angelkova stated at the official opening ceremony of the 33rd International Tourism Fair Holiday & Spa Expo in Sofia.

“The past year was indeed difficult for Bulgarian tourism, yet the country welcomed over 7 million foreign nationals and reported over 21 million overnight stays”, said Minister Angelkova. The Minister went on to stress that more than 8 million of the reported overnights are on the account of Bulgarian citizens. “It is not by accident that according to Eurostat Bulgaria ranks 10th in the European Union in terms of growth of overnight stays from domestic tourism”, added Nikolina Angelkova. In her words, the Ministry of Tourism works with no stint to promote domestic tourism and the interest to its billboard campaign, launched just a month ago with some Bulgarian municipalities, is indeed enormous. “During all my visits around the country I kept receiving a growing number of requests from mayors who want their municipalities to join the campaign. It is very important that with this particular initiative we have demonstrated that when there is a will, advertising can be implemented with minimal resources”, the Minister of Tourism said.

In her remarks the Minister also noted that preliminary estimates indicate growth of Bulgarian tourism in 2016. A number of major markets, including UK, Poland and Germany are sending positive signals. Optimistic news are coming from Russia breeding hope for some 20-30% of growth in Summer2016. Good preliminary data for the upcoming summer season is also fed by the big tour operators. TUI has already announced a 40% increase in bookings for market Bulgaria, while Thomas Cook reports a 50% increase. The two large tour operators indicate the country as one of the most desirable destinations for their clients. “It is too early to talk with exact figures, but if these predictions come true we will indeed see a very good summer season”, added Nikolina Angelkova.

The 33rd edition of the International Tourist Fair Holiday & Spa Expo brings to the same place all stakeholders involved in the sector and many important foreign partners of Bulgaria. With exhibitors growing every year, this year’s edition has attracted nearly 400 participants from 18 countries. Ministry of Tourism is closely involved with the national stand which occupies an area of 150 square meters and will feature 25 interbranch tourist organizations and municipalities. The forum is held from 11 to 13 February in Sofia Inter Expo Center at 147, “Tsarigradsko Chaussee” Blvd.

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