Nikolina Angelkova: The Balkans has enormous potential to offer joint tourist products

26 November 2014

The Minister of Tourism opened the first tourist forum Go2Balkans

I support the idea of tourist business to actively work for the establishment of joint tourism products of the Balkan countries to attract a significant attention of tour operators from all over the world towards the region. We have common roots and customs with neighboring countries, which comes to serve as a basis for joint cooperation to attract more tourists and to become a competitive year-round destination. That was stated by the Minister of Tourism Nikolina Angelkova at the opening of the first Tourism Forum Go2Balkans. More than 100 firms from 10 countries take part in b2b exhibition under the motto "The Balkans - nature, history and culture" and it is held under the patronage of the Ministry of Tourism at the initiative of the Association of Bulgarian Tour Operators and Travel Agents.

Minister Angelkova said further that the joint efforts of the tourist industry will turn the region into an attractive tourism market and will increase the opportunities to be successfully promoted to the distant destinations such as China, India and Japan. Angelkova announced that she has already held several meetings with diplomats, who have reaffirmed this interest in Bulgaria and the Balkans.

"We are all aware that tourism is not only one of the most dynamic forms of economic development but something more. The tourism has always been something more than an economy, as it develops communication between people at many levels – intercultural, personal, explores the customs and  traditions, memory of historic events and the common roots".  Thus, communications in tourism take a basic role in the future, and their perspective is only one – to be extended even further, the Minister added. The potential to facilitate the tourist visa regime has been discussed in order to intensify the tourist flows. Meetings with ministries in charge of Interior and Foreign Affairs will be also held to consider the conditions in details, as the  compliance with the requirements of the Bulgarian and European legislation, in view that Bulgaria is the EU external border, is highly essential,  Minister Angelkova pointed out.

Angelkova outlined the optimistic data for the upcoming winter season - about 4-5% growth of tourists, especially from neighboring countries.

9% of the global GDP is generated by tourism that stands at some 15% in Bulgaria.  The World Tourism Organization envisages an average growth of world tourism of between 3.2% to 3.4% per year in the near future, while the prognoses for our country point to a growth of between 4.5% and 5%", Angelkova commented. According to the Minister, the creation of joint tourist products is essential to attract tourists from distant countries and to enter on new markets. We have a huge potential in the Balkans for offering such joint services, especially for regions such as along the Danube and the Mediterranean.

You should understand, analyze and manage the tourism as an industry that generates income and is a major factor for employment, social development and quality of life. Meanwhile, the development of the sector is based on a good balance between environmental, economic and social interests that the Ministry of Tourism will seek to achieve in line with European policy, Nikolina Angelkova summarized.

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