Minister Dimitrov Welcomes Participants at the 17th World Meeting of Bulgarian Media in Jerusalem

02 November 2022

The World Meetings of the Bulgarian Media are an event of great importance and publicity. These events are an excellent platform for promoting the results achieved in various areas of the Bulgarian economy, including one of the most dynamic and promising industries, such as tourism. This is what the Minister of Tourism Ilin Dimitrov said in his address to the participants in the 17th World Meeting of Bulgarian Media in Jerusalem, organized by the Bulgarian Telegraph Agency (BTA).

Tourism is one of the areas that show in practice the power and importance of the messages that are being sent. “The media is our salvation because we are currently fighting a battle for our image. We are relying heavily on you, our media partners and friends, to reinforce our country’s image as a welcoming, relaxed and safe tourist destination, a place of natural, spiritual strength, of strong connection and continuity between tradition and present, history and future,” he added.

According to him, every month in the media appear between 150 and 170 negative headlines regarding tourism. “These are clickbait headlines and they damage our tourism. Here I would urge to really rethink the way we talk about our tourism, the way we treat it,” Dimitrov said.

Despite the difficult situation in recent years, including in the tourism sector, the Bulgarian tourism industry is performing very well. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, more than 12 million foreign tourists visited Bulgaria in 2019, 9.3 million of them were registered in accommodation facilities, and tourism revenues reached 3.7 billion euros, he added. The sector’s contribution to the country’s gross domestic product is 10.8% and its share in total employment is 10.6%, Minister Dimitrov added.

In the period January – August 2022, the number of foreign tourists visiting Bulgaria is 4 222 094, an increase of 61% compared to the same period in 2021.

The Ministry of Tourism is working fruitfully with the State of Israel, the Minister added. The country is an increasingly popular destination for Bulgarian tourists, and in 2019 Bulgaria was visited by 244 thousand Israeli tourists, the minister said. After the decline during the pandemic, in just the nine months of 2022. Bulgaria was visited by more than 116 thousand Israeli tourists, an increase of 2.9 times compared to the same period in 2021. Between April and August 2022, 4,417 Bulgarians travelled to Israel for tourism, he added.

Minister Dimitrov announced that the advertising and organization of the upcoming tourist 2023 is already being prepared.

The participants of the 17th World Meeting of the Bulgarian Media were welcomed by Vice President Iliana Iotova, Chairperson of the Culture and Media Committee in the National Assembly Ivan Chenchev, Ministers of Culture and Tourism Velislav Minekov and Ilin Dimitrov, Ambassador of Bulgaria in Tel Aviv Rumyana Bachvarova and Head of the Delegation of the European Union to the State of Israel Dimitar Tsanchev and representatives of 20 Bulgarian media from 13 countries. At the beginning of the forum, the Director General of BTA Kiril Valchev addressed the participants.

The World Meeting of the Bulgarian Media started with a prayer at the Holy Sepulchre on Tuesday. The theme this year is “Media and Salvation”. The forum will continue until November 3 in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

For the first time, a prayer service in Bulgarian was celebrated on Golgotha by Metropolitan Anthony of Western and Central Europe and Protopriest Konstantin Tsankov, in communion with clergy from the Patriarchate of Jerusalem, brothers of the monastery, which is located on the Holy Sepulchre.

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