Minister Angelkova takes part in the opening of Eighth Black Sea Tourism Forum in Varna

06 November 2015

Bulgaria ranks 21st in the world in competitiveness of cultural resources, according to the international charts. This is what Minister of Tourism Nikolina Angelkova said in Varna at the opening of the Eighth Black Sea Tourism Forum-Exhibition, held this year under the motto “Regional cultural-historical products of Bulgaria - united in diversity”. The event coincides with the 50th anniversary of “Economics and Organization of Tourism” Department of the University of Economics - Varna.

We are third in Europe by number of archaeological sites and artefacts, totaling over 40 thousand. Building on this premise we can definitely improve our ranking as a year-round tourist destination, said Nikolina Angelkova. She also added that the country has a plentiful material and spiritual heritage dating from 7 different epochs with 11 sites inscribed on the UNESCO lists. Cultural tourism in Bulgaria accounts for 11% of all tourist products. Surveys have shown that 80% of all travelers to the country tend to visit our cultural attractions. Over 6 million people visit annually our museums, more than half being foreign nationals, Minister Angelkova said.

She stressed that cultural and historical tourism is quite rightly a leading focus in the marketing and promotion policy of the country, both for the current and next year. Similar are the international trends: according to World Tourism Organization forecasts, by 2020 cultural tourism will be the sole leading form of tourism worldwide. Nearly 60% of foreign tourists indicate cultural heritage as a reason to travel, Europe being a key destination for them.

Further Minister Angelkova highlighted the importance of Black Sea region for the sustainable tourism development in Bulgaria and its firm establishment as a recognizable four-season tourist destination. According to her, this year’s summer season has been all but easy, yet the gloomiest preliminary estimates have not been confirmed. “Having drawn the bottom-line, we have immediately launched active work for the summer of 2016 in parallel to preparation for the approaching winter vacation. We strongly rely on the Bulgarian Black Sea region for development of competitive tourism that combines summer recreation and opportunities to explore country’s cultural and historical wealth”,  the Minister went on to say.

The opening of the forum was also attended by the reelected Mayor of Varna Ivan Portnih, the Acting Mayor Peycho Peychev, the Chairman of Varna Tourism Chamber Zhelyu Dushev, by Prof. Dr. Plamen Iliev, Rector of the University of Economics - Varna, Prof. Dr. Tanya Filipova, Head of “Economics and Organization of Tourism” Department at UEV, etc. 

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