The National Tourism Council adopted the Annual Programme for National Tourism Advertising 2023

13 December 2022

National Tourism Advertising 2023. The Council was opened by the Minister of Tourism Ilin Dimitrov, PhD. According to him, tourism is recovering and we can judge this not only from the good numbers but also from the success of international exchanges. “Tourism is coming at a furious speed; it is coming back. It depends on our actions or inactions where we will be, whether we will be in the first or the last carriage of the train,” the minister said in his address.

“On August 2, we took office as a caretaker cabinet and our main idea was to continue the good policies of the previous cabinet. The constant interruption of the management of the ministry leads to the impossibility of implementing longer-term policies. I hope to find a formula to have a stable management at least for a few years to move tourism in the right direction,” Minister Dimitrov said.

The Minister gave a report to the members of the Council on the work done in the last five months. He said the main difficulty was accountability for the Ukrainian refugee programmes. The payment rate has doubled, almost all certified payments have been cleared, and about 5% are disputed payments. One by one, all complaints submitted by hoteliers were being checked, the minister said, adding that the ministry had obliged and proved to be a good partner to business in difficult times.

The focus of the ministry’s work was also the problem of delayed categorisations of sites. 1,226 inspections and categorisations have been carried out in the last few months of the caretaker government, and less than 70 more categorizations are expected, the minister said. In his address, Ilin Dimitrov, PhD also touched upon the issue of beach inspections, which in summer 2022 stood at 413. “Beaches are our face to the world, our big struggle has been to convince concessionaires that the international eco label Blue Flag for our beaches is important, we expect the number of Blue Flag beaches to double from 19 to 40 next year,” the minister said. Among the priority topics are international contacts and an advertising campaign to promote Bulgarian tourism, as well as preparations for the upcoming winter season.

Deputy Minister Irena Georgieva presented an analysis of the Summer 2022 season, which shows a growth of nearly 20% compared to the summer season of 2021. Bulgaria is one of the countries in Europe with the highest growth and with the greatest speed of tourism recovery compared to the pre-pandemic 2019. Over 4.3 million tourists stayed overnight in accommodation with 10 beds or more in the summer season, this figure does not include Ukrainian citizens. The overall level of tourism recovery is 93%, assuming a summer season 2019 of 100%. Last summer, the number of trips of Bulgarians in the country passed 2 million, we note an increase in domestic tourism of 7% compared to 2021. Inbound tourism is also recovering, the total number of registrations of foreign tourists is over 2 million, excluding accommodated Ukrainian citizens. The increase compared to 2021 in absolute numbers is over 500 thousand. “However, in 2025 at the earliest, we expect inbound tourism to reach the level of summer season 2019, one of the factors being the war in Ukraine,” said Deputy Minister Georgieva. For the period May-September 2022, 697 thousand Romanian tourists chose Bulgaria for their holidays and this puts them in first place, followed by Poland and Germany. The other important markets for Bulgaria are the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic, Israel, etc.

During the meeting, Deputy Minister Georgieva also presented the expectations for the 2022/2023 winter season, which at this stage are optimistic. The forecast is that again the domestic market will lead our winter resorts. Traditionally, Bulgarian tourists make around 1 million trips staying in accommodation with 10 beds or more. Inbound tourism is expected to continue to recover, with interest from the UK, Romania, Israel, North Macedonia, Serbia and Greece.

During the meeting the Deputy Minister of Tourism Mariela Modeva presented the Annual Programme for National Tourism Advertising 2023. Among the main objectives of the Ministry of Tourism’s marketing activities for 2023 are to strengthen the brand recognition of Bulgaria as a developed European tourist destination, to enforce a positive image of our country through the full mix of marketing activities, strategic partnerships and the planning and implementation of enhanced advertising campaigns targeting both domestic and priority international markets. An optimal mix of marketing tools will be applied, enhancing digitalisation and maximising the effectiveness and efficiency of all advertising activities.

The campaigns for the 2022/2023 winter season and the 2023 summer season applied a qualitatively new approach to the way advertising is bought in target markets - pre-set parameters to achieve certain goals, as well as maximising audience targeting and engagement. The focus is to scope campaigns on leading national TV media in target and prospect markets to promote the 2022 summer season. The target groups are aged between 18 and 60, taking into account the specifics of each individual market.

Campaigns have already been launched in Bulgaria, Austria, Germany, Israel, Poland, North Macedonia, the Czech Republic, and are coming to Greece and Serbia for the 2022/2023 winter season, to extend the wings of the seasons, to promote specialized types of tourism, and to prepare for the 2023 summer season.

In 2022, the Ministry of Tourism of the Republic of Bulgaria organized the presentation and participation of our country in more than 25 international tourism and specialized exhibitions and forums in major and promising markets, including a road show in Poland and a number of high-level meetings, Deputy Minister Modeva said. The Ministry of Tourism annually plans the presentation of Bulgaria at international tourism exhibitions with representative stands - nearly 30, an integral part of the Annual National Tourism Promotion Programme. In 2023, the Ministry of Tourism and Tourism will present the annual programme of the National Tourism Programme. Bulgaria will be a partner country at the AITF exhibition in Baku, Azerbaijan. In view of the dynamic situation on both the international and domestic market and the efforts made by the Ministry of Tourism to support one of the most affected sectors of the Bulgarian economy, the measure of preferential fees (50% of the regular fee) for participation at Bulgarian national and information stands will be continued in 2023.

Various topics and ideas were discussed at the meeting regarding the promotion of the country, the supply of different types of tourism products and the marketing and advertising budget. The meeting of the National Tourism Council was held amidst keen interest from institutions and businesses. Of the 48 members of the Council, confirmed by order of the Minister of Tourism, 40 were present, which has not happened before.

Facebook icon
Twitter icon
Google icon
e-mail icon