Minister Angelkova: Pamporovo meets the requirements of ski runs safety and information security regulation

14 January 2016

The ski runs in Pamporovo meet the requirements of the Ordinance on safety and information security of ski runs in Bulgaria, which has been put into implementation for the first time this season. In terms of degree of complexity, 2 of the ski runs in the resort have been categorized as green, 2 – as blue, 4 – as red and 2 – as black. Another 5 ski runs remain to be checked at a later stage when more snow is expected. These factual results were announced by the Minister of Tourism Nikolina Angelkova who also informed that over the coming weeks inspections will be extended to Bansko and Borovets as well as to smaller ski resorts. The event was attended by the Chairman of the Consumer Protection Commission (CPC), Mr. Dimitar Margaritov. The ski areas examining commission is comprised of inspectors from the Ministry of Tourism and the CPC, as well as external experts from the Bulgarian Ski Federation, the Bulgarian Ski School etc.

 “Our main goal is to ensure the safety of tourists, but I want to call on everyone practicing winter sports to be responsible for their own health and that of others”, said Minister Angelkova. She went on to inform that winter resorts as a whole qualify, however they have not been scored so far as no uniform safety standards were in place. Ever since the 1980s the industry has been insisting on the introduction of a state regulation in the field of winter tourism and recreational exercise of snow sports. After nearly 40 years of waiting, the first step has finally been taken by adopting a ski ordinance with factual checks having already been launched under its provisions. Yet another regulation is underway, the Ordinance on ski instructors’ activity, which is currently under public discussion. “Our goal is to introduce common standards and in cooperation with the industry to map out efficient and effective measures”, said Nikolina Angelkova.

Later on the same day inspection was carried out in one of the resort’s hotels to verify its compliance with the requirements of the Tourism Act. Inspectors checked whether the hotel has a certificate of site classification and a tag with category symbols; they also demanded for scrutiny the hotel’s price list for accommodation and other additional services offered, as well as the register of accommodated tourists. The check, which was jointly held by the Ministry of Tourism and the Consumer Protection Commission, established no violations. Minister Angelkova recalled that one of the most important regulatory documents in the sector, the new Ordinance on classification and re-classification of accommodation and catering facilities, will enter into force at the end of February. “Currently the procedures carried out under this regulation allow only to issue precepts without imposing any sanctions. About 600 sites have undergone the procedure so far, the results proving the industry being ready to meet the requirements”, she said.

Another news that came from the visit to the region is that the towns of Smolyan and Chepelare will join the billboard campaign of the Ministry of Tourism to promote domestic tourism. Until now the campaign has covered over 10 municipalities, the initial results and interest displayed in it being more than good. “I extend my gratitude to the mayors for their cooperation. Together we have demonstrated that such campaigns can be conducted with minimum funds, if approached with professionalism and coordination”, Nikolina Angelkova said. She held a meeting with the mayors from the region to discuss measures to promote regional tourism and investment opportunities in the sector.

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