Minister Angelkova: Over 100 thousand tourists visited Karlovo last year

08 April 2016

Last year Karlovo welcomed over 100 thousand tourists, which is nearly twice more than the population of the municipality. This became clear during the meeting of the Minister for Tourism, Nikolina Angelkova, with the Mayor of the town, Emil Kabaivanov, representatives of the tourist business and the local authorities from other populated places in the region.

’The region has all the prerequisites necessary for development of sustainable tourism. A lot of Bulgarians visit Karlovo to see Vasil Levski’s birthplace but the town can attract an ever increasing foreign interest with the roses, with its Thracian heritage and the possibilities for cultural and historical tourism’, Minister Angelkova said. She stated that the Ministry would support the greater visibility of the possibilities for tourism in the region at a national level. Karlovo will be a part of the journalist tours prepared by the Ministry and at the end of the year Bulgaria will host a major international conference on ancient civilisations, which is organised together with the UN World Tourism Organisation. It will focus on the Thracian civilisation and at the same time a programme accompanying the event is being planned for the delegates, which is to include the Valley of the Thracian Rulers, where Karlovo is located.

During the meeting it became clear that an important site with serious prospects for attracting more tourists was the excavation site near the village of Vasil Levski. A settlement from the 6th – 5th century B. C. has been discovered in the region, which is considered by scientists as one of the oldest Thracian cities known so far. The municipality of Karlovo is planning to develop a project about the Thracian city centre and the Tsar’s residence to it and seek European funding for completing the archaeological discoveries as a historical and tourist site.

Minister Angelkova also emphasised the importance of the facilities and equipment necessary for development of sustainable tourism, since the municipality does not have 4- and 5-star accommodation facilities and, according to evaluations of the municipality, they are short of 200 beds to meet the needs of the growing tourist flow. A few investor intentions have been discussed, as well as the development of Banya as a more competitive spa destination. The town, which is included in the list of national resorts, has 10 mineral springs and a peat bog. The water and the mineral mud are suitable for prevention and treatment of wide range of health problems.

The municipality is already working on the organisation of the Rose Festival and the celebration of Karlovo as a centre of rose-picking at the end of May. Thousands of tourists are expected to come for this celebration and over the recent years, countries like Japan, the Netherlands and France have been taking a growing interest in it. There were guests from the USA and China last year and many more Japanese visitors are expected this year.

Later that day, Minister Angelkova and the Mayor, Mr Kabaivanov, visited the Ancient Karlovo Complex and saw the attractions in it. The abovementioned site is the result of a project under the Operational Programme Regional Development 2007 – 2013, co-funded by the EU through the European Regional Development Fund.

Its total amount exceeds BGN 2.4 million, of which over BGN 374 thousand has been provided by the municipality of Karlovo. The project implementation has helped restore, rehabilitate and socialise immovable cultural values which are emblematic for the region. These are five houses from the National Revival period: the house of Raino Popovich and its development into an ‘Ancient Literary School’; the Owl Inn and its transformation into a Centre for Crafts and Cultural Traditions; the Patev’s Maaza and its functioning as a cultural-information and tourist centre; the Patev’s house and its new appearance as an ‘Elf House’; the House with the White Courtyard and the creation of an Art and Icon-Painting School.

The complex offers a number of tourist attractions – everybody can make paper by an old method, compose and print a text, make a herbal decoction or homemade cosmetics, learn how to carve wood, make lace, a knife, a copper pot, an engraving or an icon. The interest in the tourist attractions continues to grow and from August 2014 to the end of March 2016 it was visited by more than 16 thousand visitors.


Facebook icon
Twitter icon
Google icon
e-mail icon