Minister Angelkova opens a meeting to discuss the development of mountain tourism

11 February 2016

Ministry of Tourism supports the idea for development of mountain tourism in a balanced and consistent with EU standards fashion. This is what Minister Angelkova said earlier today (February 11) at a working meeting on the development of mountain tourism initiated by the Ministry. All sector stakeholders as well as NGOs representatives were invited to the meeting-discussion. Despite the desire for open dialogue, representatives of environmental organizations chose to make a protest demonstration and leave the room.

“We all claim that tourism is a major economic sector of huge potential, but apparently far from all want to develop this potential and instead prefer to take extreme positions”, said Minister Angelkova. She highlighted the fact that the industry and government agencies are unanimous in their understanding that Bulgaria should develop mountain tourism and that ski facilities construction is a necessity that will ensure competitiveness of our country. “All studies show that lifts are the greenest mode of transport, which provides year-round access to the mountain and not just for skiers and snowboarders, but for all willing to visit there”, she said.

“I am a lobbyist for Bulgarian children who have nowhere to go skiing. My job is to take care of the development of sport, including winter sports”, said during the discussion Minister of Sports Krasen Kralev. In his turn, Deputy Minister of Environment and Water Boyko Malinov also stressed that open dialogue is key to the realization of major investment plans and to addressing some of the pressing social issues. In his words, environmental protection does not come into conflict with economic development and the two should be considered as components of sustainable development.

“Ministry of Economy fully supports the development of all kinds of tourism in Bulgaria for a very simple reason. Bulgaria has a comparative advantage in tourism. All you have to do is follow the best international practices”, said during the meeting Vladimir Karolev, adviser to the Minister of Economy.

The five-time world champion in alpine skiing Marc Girardelli also took a stance on the topic by explaining that for the last ten years Bansko has developed at an exceptional pace. “I am here not just to promote winter sports in Bulgaria. I want to advertise Bulgaria to the world”, he said.

During the meeting, the renowned international expert in winter and mountain tourism Laurent Vanat made a presentation entitled “An overview of winter / ski tourism at global level and Bulgaria's place in it”. The manager of the world-famous Austrian ski resort Ischgl/Tyrol talked on the principles of successful winter and ski resorts management.

The workshop is organized in the framework of the largest tourism fair in Bulgaria, the HOLIDAY & SPA EXPO (February 11 to 13), which is held under the patronage of the Ministry of Tourism. Among the official guests and participants in the discussion were the Minister of Sports Krasen Kralev, the Executive Director of the Forestry Agency Tony Krastev, the Deputy Minister of Environment and Water Boyko Malinov, the Director of “Rila National Park” Miroslav Kalugerov, the Advisor to the Minister of Economy Vladimir Karolev, the Adviser on mountain tourism to the Minister of Tourism Marc Girardelli, the famous international expert in winter and mountain tourism Laurent Vanat, Andreas Steibl, Manager of the Austrian ski resort of Ischgl/Tyrol, Mayors of mountain municipalities, representatives of ski resorts, environmental and other NGOs, tourism industry, etc.


Presentation of Laurant Vanat

Presentation of Andreas Steibl

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