Minister Angelkova: Priority is given to cultural and historical, wine-culinary and SPA tourism, so more visitors will be attracted to the interior of the country

05 April 2018

We envisage to waive 19 types of documents related to the services that the Ministry of Tourism provides to the business. They will be supplied through official channels aimed at easing the work of the branch. These measures are in line with the government priorities to reduce administrative burdens. We are also preparing a change in the regulation on the categorization and re-categorization of the accommodation places, with which we will disburden the industry from unnecessary requirements. At the same time, we are looking for a way together with the business to identify mechanisms for motivating the tourism staff. This was announced by Tourism Minister Nikolina Angelkova at a discussion entitled "Prospects for the Development of Cultural and Historical Tourism in the Kardzhali and Eastern Rhodopes Region". She explained that the waiving of the 19 types of documents will be made with amendments to the Tourism Act, which are to be discussed at second reading. By changing the categorization regulation, the 4- and 5-star hotels will be relieved from requirements that do not affect the quality of the service. We adhere to the international requirements for accommodation places, but we will keep on the quality of the product, definitely stated Minister Angelkova.

We plan together with the Ministry of Education and Science since 2019 to create a training and retraining center for tourism staff to the Ministry of Tourism which will be fully focused on the practice. It is foreseen to invite internationally recognized lectures in the sector, the Minister also specified. The center will be able to train staff regardless of their age as long as they meet the terms for graduation.

The Ministry of Tourism has created 8 cultural-historical destinations. Online maps and brochures were created in 6 languages for them. As a result, a 90% increase in the number of tourists was registered to the sites included in the destinations, said Minister Angelkova. She pointed out that the cultural-historical, wine-culinary and spa tourism play an important role in expanding the wings of the season and attracting more visitors to the interior of the country. These are top priorities in the work and policy of the ministry.

In 2017, the total overnights spent in categorized accommodation sites with 10 or more beds across the country were more than 26 million, an increase of 3.4% compared to a year earlier. The district of Kardzhali has also enjoyed a successful year in the sector. Over the last year, over 76,000 overnight stays in the categorized accommodation places with at least 10 beds were realized and their revenues amounted to nearly BGN 2,7 million, which is a 3.2% increase compared to 2016, said Minister Angelkova. She explained that the cultural and historical tourism in the region is the main contributor to this interest.

According to latest data provided by the Regional Museum of History in Kardzhali, a 48% increase was registered in visitors to the Perperikon Archaeological Complex. In 2016, they were 43,651 while in 2017 they reached 64,586. The Minister congratulated the local community for actively promoting this heritage. The discussion was also attended by the district governor of Kardzhali - Nikola Chanev, the chairman of the Bulgarian Hotel and Restaurant Association - Atanas Dimitrov, Dr.Fahri Idris - Chairman of the AT Perperikon Management Board and representatives of the Confederation of Employers and Industrialists - Kardzhali.

The interest in Perperikon is not only for Bulgarians, but also for guests from France, Japan and Russia. The sacred site also gathers foreign archaeologists from Spain, Israel, the United States, Germany, and Greece.

The region was also involved in the new initiative for the establishment of 12 wine-culinary destinations, developed by the Ministry together with the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry. Kardzhali participates in the Rhodopes destination together with Haskovo and Ivaylovgrad. The project, which is currently being discussed in a series of roundtables in the country, together with the business and the local authority, includes traditional wine and typical local food, specified Minister Angelkova.

Before the community in Kardzhali, Minister Angelkova announced that a second stage of the investment map will be launched, which the ministry has developed based on the proposals from the municipalities. After the realization of its first stage, 32 sites were included. The investment card was presented by the Ministry of Tourism and representatives of the Qatar Investment Fund.

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