Nikolina Angelkova: We are creating the first ever register of the tourist sites and attractions in Bulgaria

16 February 2015

The most important thing is that in the past 100 days we managed to set the structure for the Ministry of Tourism and to get the administration working at a pace that meets the needs of both the government and the business sector.  We managed to resolve issues that have been pending for years. This is what the Minister of Tourism Nikolina Angelkova announced during the press conference on the 100 days of the Ministry’s governance. She also introduced her two deputies, Deputy Minister Irena Georgieva and Deputy Minister Nadya Marinova.  

“We are working on creating a unified register for the tourist sites and attractions and its integration into ESTI (Unified System of Tourist Information)”,  said Nikolina Angelkova.  She added that the basis for this has already been secured as 165 municipalities out of an overall number of 264 have submitted information on the sites, their ownership and existing infrastructure. “I would like to urge the remaining mayors and municipalities to submit their information so that we could complete the register”, said Minister Angelkova. She explained that the ownership of these sites is being currently identified. According to the Ministry of Tourism an entrance fee for the tourist sites and attractions will be gradually introduced so that their conditions and accessibility can be improved. The initial list will be sent to the branch industry so that more comprehensive information is gathered. 

„Two regulations for the tourism sector have already been drafted and adopted and the amendments to the Law on Tourism are about to be concluded”, noted Nikolina Angelkova. A regulation for the unification of the rules for the functioning of the ski zones and a Regulation on the work of ESTI have already been adopted. The Minister noted that a number of regulatory acts have been delayed which has hindered the work dynamics in the sector. “ESTI is to be updated so that information about the number of actual overnight stays of foreign and Bulgaria tourists can be submitted in real time ”, said Angelkova. The goal is for ESTI to start functioning as a Unified Platform for Information transmitted via secure channels between the participants in the tourist register, the local authorities, the authorities of the Ministry of Interior and others. The changes are expected to expose the grey sector and increase revenues from tourism. 

“Within a few days the Concept for the country’s regional division will be approved”, added Nikolina Angelkova. Organizations for their management will also be established so that the presentation of specific forms of tourism within certain regions could be improved and these regions could apply to various EU Programmes in the future. „An interdepartamental work group has also been created which should resolve one of the biggest issues for the sector – regulating the legal status and the management of our national resorts”, Nikolina Angelkova. The Ministry has held a number of meetings with representatives of the Ministry of Finance in an attempt to find the legal and financial possibilities for the establishment of a fund or some other financial mechanism for investments in the tourist infrastructure and sites.  

Minister Angelkova outlined the measures for counteracting the drop in the early bookings of Russian and Ukrainian tourists. She informed that as a result of the Ministry’s cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs the visa-issuing procedures for citizens of Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia and Georgia have been facilitated.   At the same time a massive campaign for the promotion of Bulgaria on the Pan-European TV channels  (Eurosport, Euronews, Discovery, National Geographic) will also be launched and a contract will be signed with BBC for the promotion of the country. The goal is to attract an additional tourist flow from Europe which will compensate for the drop in the number of Russian and Ukrainian tourists.

The countries where Bulgaria will have its tourist attachés have also been defined. These are Spain, Germany, Russia, Turkey and Romania. According to Minister Angelkova Bulgaria should actively cooperate with the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). Hence, the country will have a permanent representative in Spain as the headquarters of the organization are located there.  Plans are also made for Bulgaria to have its tourist attaché in the Scandinavian countries and a representative that will be responsible for the Visegrad Group. Yet, their exact location remains to be defined. 


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