Minister Angelkova was among the lecturers at the high-level conference on ‘Attracting Investment in Tourism’ of the European Commission

05 April 2016

Tourism is among the leading economic sectors in Europe and the continent continues being the most visited one in the world. To be able to defend this, we should undertake common actions at the level of the European Union and start perceiving ourselves more as partners than as competitors. This is what the Minister for tourism of Bulgaria, Nikolina Angelkova, said during the high-level conference of the European Commission ‘Attracting Investment in Tourism’. The forum was opened by the European Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises, Elzbieta Bienkovska, and was attended by the Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, Marianne Thyssen, the Commissioner for Regional Policy, Corina Cretu, members of the European Parliament, ministers from a number of EU member-states, representatives of the academic community, the tourist business etc.

‘The share of tourism in the GDP of Bulgaria is about 13%, which is 3% above the average for the EU. It is for this reason, namely, that the sector has been designated as a clear priority of the government and our goals are to attract more investment and achieve greater competitiveness’, Minister Angelkova noted. In her words, the sea and winter mass tourism still accounts for the main share in the country, but work is being done to popularise other specialised forms as well. Spa and eco tourism are very attractive for investors and we are eager to offer a number for administrative reliefs if strong interest has been shown’, she added.

‘More than 26 thousand companies work in the tourist sector in Bulgaria, but most of them are small or medium-sized enterprises. At the same time, there are great prospects as we welcome more than 7 million foreign tourists, which is as many as the country’s population’ Nikolina Angelkova said. She drew attention to the operational programmes and other EU sources of financing for supporting the sector. The Ministry of Tourism is a beneficiary under Operational Programme Innovation and Competitiveness; it also works actively under the COSME Programme, the INTERREG Programme, etc. The Danube Strategy, where we can deepen the partnership with countries outside the EU, is very important, too,’ the Bulgarian Minister added.

In conclusion, she drew attention to the need for greater integration of sector tourism at the level of the EU. ‘Recent events have shown how much tourism depends on security and this is another topic which needs joint coordinated action’, Minister Angelkova emphasised.


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