Minister Angelkova: The control authorities have been completely mobilized for the winter season in Borovets

04 December 2014
first of the scheduled meetings for the readiness of our winter resorts, which was held in Samokov

The control authorities have been completely mobilized for the opening of 2014/2015 winter season, the Minister of Tourism Nikolina Angelkova   announced at the first of the scheduled meetings for the readiness of our winter resorts, which was held in Samokov with the participation of all inspection authorities concerned and the representatives of industry. Proper organization required for the ordinary course of the season has been made, as well as coordination between the relevant institutions, which will carry out scheduled inspections in the next three months  to protect the rights of Bulgarian and foreign tourists in Bulgarian ski resorts.

The Commission for Consumer Protection acting as a supervisory authority in the sector carried out 3300 inspections in Borovets, Bansko and Pamporovo last year, where only 56 orders for sites closures were issued. There are minor violations in relation to the lack of sites categorization or permissions for tour operator activities, which means that the business operates in compliance with the rules, said the Minister.  Angelkova added that 26 employees of the Security Police will work in three shifts during the winter season in Borovets to ensure public order and security of tourists. The respective organization required for maintenance of the road infrastructure and snow removal has been made, as well as fire safety has been ensured. The Health Inspectorate and Bulgarian Food Safety Agency have already received consumers’ signals on the hotlines announced on their websites. The  Ministry of Tourism will provide a  special spot and on its website, where the information will be summarized in such a  manner that any tourist will be able to quickly and easily get in touch with the relevant supervisory authority and to alert, as well as to obtain  the required information.

The conversations held with the industry showed that most of the problems in the sector have resulted from the need for legislative changes that should be made both in the Tourism Act and the regulations thereto, stressed Angelkova. The amendments to the ordinance on safety and information security of ski slopes and the operation of  ski patrols , as well as in the regulation of the capacity of the ski teachers are being drafted, which  is done  in a dialogue with business and other ministries in order to  enable documents to be in force calculated form next season. The Minister also stressed that the ordinance for categorization of accommodation and catering is now outdated, and one of its problems is that puts  the  business in unequal circumstances, because the small family sites as well as the  large hotels are categorized under the same requirements.

One of the important tasks of the new ministry is to make so as to eliminate the formal separation of the seasons in order to turn our resorts into year-round ones, which is related to a higher quality and variety of services, it became clear from the words of Angelkova. She welcomed the idea that the tourist sites will offer more products of their own production to stimulate Bulgarian and native companies. This and other problems in the tourism are associated with many sectoral policies, which requires joint efforts not only among ministries, but also with the industry, said Angelkova. She pointed as an example the outstanding legal status of national resorts, which impedes attracting more investors and tourists in the country - a subject, which has been already worked on actively; as well as establishing a fund for tourism infrastructure to finance the necessary infrastructure to resorts or tourist sites, such as transport, environmental and etc.

The meeting regarding the readiness of Borovets for  2014-2015 winter season was attended  by the  District Governor of Sofia Rositsa Todorova, representatives of the NRA, the National Construction Control Directorate (NCCD), the Automobile Administration, the  Border, Security and Criminal Police;  The National Customs Agency, Fire Safety, Road Infrastructure, the Bulgarian Food Safety Agency, the Commission for Consumer Protection,  Regional Health Inspectorate, tourism associations and others. Such meetings will be held in Pamporovo and Bansko.

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