Minister Angelkova in Varna: The project for SPA destinations is a way of using the Black Sea resort during the four seasons

27 July 2018

The project of the Ministry of Tourism to create 7 Balneo- and SPA destinations in the country, including the Black Sea, is part of the strategy for establishing Bulgaria as a year-round destination. The initiative is implemented jointly with the branch and the local government and is extremely important for the Black Sea region because it will help the hotel base here to be used during the four seasons. This was announced by the Minister of Tourism Nikolina Angelkova in Varna at the third meeting of the series of discussions about the Balneo- and SPA destinations.

She thanked the inter-departmental working group engaged for the project, which analyzed the related proposals received from the municipalities also for the support rendered to the Bulgarian Union of Balneology and SPA Tourism. The aim was to create a basis for discussions with the business to upgrade the existing and provide a comprehensive quality product, the Minister Angelkova said.

The SPA destinations will be advertised at all major forums with the participation of the ministry and on the iLove Bulgaria Internet Platform. The ministry is also working on a project that examines the current attitudes in the demand for tourism products. For example, German tourists associate Bulgaria predominately with the beaches and seaside holidays, while the Balneo- and SPA services are ranked 5th in their preferences. That means we have to develop this type of tourism and strengthen its demand, Minister Angelkova said. And noted the information received by the tour operator Thomas Cook, that Bulgaria is increasingly preferred as a destination and its tourists growth is close to 30% compared to the last year.

Minister Angelkova also drew attention to the link between the destination project and the health tourism. We cooperate with the Ministry of Health that works on the transposition of the Cross-Border Patient Care Directive. I hope that after we focused on the health tourism and these issues at the first international conference, held in Sofia last year, we will now discuss them again at its second edition in October, the Minister said. She recalled that Bulgaria is extremely rich in mineral springs and occupies the second place after Iceland by its reserves. Through the SPA destinations, the ministry supports the efforts of the municipalities and tour operators. The purpose is what has already been created as a product to be more intensively advertised in order to attract the attention of tourists, including the great potential of the Black Sea region.

In order to expand the wings of the active seasons and make Bulgaria a year-round tourist destination, we chose three concepts, the Minister added. One project is related to the 8th operative cultural and historical destinations that have greatly increased the number of tourists. The other project with which the SPA destinations can be combined covers the 12th wine-culinary destinations.

The meeting for the SPA destinations in Varna was attended by the regional Governors of Varna - Stoyan Pasev and of Dobrich - Krasimir Kirilov, the regional Deputy Governor of Burgas - Vladimir Krumov, Mayors from all Black Sea municipalities, entrepreneurs, tourist organizations and others. Minister Angelkova thanked the Varna Mayor - Ivan Portnih for his commitment to developing high quality tourism products and pointed out that the city and the region completely meet the concept of a 4-season destination.

In response to the media questions, Minister Angelkova said that the inspections at the sea region are very intense. By two beaches, as average, are inspected for observance of the free / paid area ratio and are surveyed by surveyors. On receipt of a signal that the free zone does not meet the requirements, an additional inspection is carried out. The inspection of the Golden Sands showed that the free zone was 52%, i.e., more than the regulated one. The “Nesebar-yug” beach area has also been monitored and the requirements are met there. We will do another monitoring, said the Minister Angelkova and assured that they continue to inspect the hotels in order to establish how the requirements of the Tourism Act are complied with for the correspondence between their category and the quality and volume of the services offered.

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