Bulgaria – Russia New Opportunities and New Directions in tourism

Bulgaria – Russia New Opportunities and New Directions in tourism

Within the international travel fair Intourmarket, held recently in Moscow, the Ministry of Economy and Energy organized a press conference, during which the Deputy minister Branimir Botev presented the achievements and the upcoming plans of Bulgaria in terms of travel and tourism. Several major areas have been highlighted: 1. Increase of the number of tourists coming from the Russian Federation by working on advertising and presentation of Bulgaria as a year-round destination. Over the past six months the Ministry is actively working on the promotion of our country among potential Russian tourists,  presenting the variety of opportunities Bulgaria offers as a tourist destination, not only for winter and summer tourism, but also for spa, wellness, wine, historical, religious and gourmet tourism.

In the past year, compared to 2012, the number of Russian tourists increased by 4.1%. Also, only for January there was a registered growth with 15%. Increasingly, the Russian tourists appreciate the variety of options offered by our Black Sea coast, mountains and inland. They have been familiar with the Black Sea Coast for a long time, but in recent years the winter resorts have grown into brands on the European winter tourism landscape. Especially given the fact that in the recent years these resorts have hosted 16 European Cup competitions. 2 . The second aspect on which Minister Botev focused his attention were the transport issues. In order to foster the increase of the tourist flow to Bulgaria it is essential that charter flights be launched not only to Burgas and Varna, but also to cities in the interior of the country such as Plovdiv, Sofia, where it is easier to get to the sites associated with winter, spa, wellness and cultural tourism. Unfortunately the problem is on the Bulgarian side, Russian airlines have long demanded expansion of their charter networks. 3. The third positive direction is the increase of consular offices, issuing tourist visas to Russian citizens living within the Russian Federation. The steps in this direction will be reopening of our consulate in Yekaterinburg and opening of three new consular offices, the consulate in Novosibirsk being a priority. 4 . Three new tourist products have been also highlighted, the interest in which has been increasing with each passing year: wine and gourmet tours, golf courses, rehabilitation and preventive treatment with mineral water. Last year our golf resort “Thracian Cliffs” received the award “European Golf Resort of 2014” . Bulgaria is the second country in Europe, after Iceland, in terms of richness and variety of mineral sources, which makes it extremely attractive for treatment and prophylaxis of many diseases. Also, more and more SPA and medical centers, offering qualified healthcare, open doors.

Within the international travel fair Intourmarket were also held meetings between the Deputy Minister in charge of tourism with various representatives and area governors, during which have been discussed the opportunities for mutually beneficial cooperation and joint projects in the field of tourism. Our country was represented with its own stand, where the tour operator company KITT had its own desk. The forum event was honored by the Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization Taleb Rifai. Together with Mr. Botev they discussed his official visit to Bulgaria, which will take place in May and will last five days, comprising incredibly wide range of meetings and visits. This is certainly a great tribute to Bulgaria as a tourist destination and an opportunity for exchanging experience and good practices with the most developed countries in the field of travel and tourism.

Bulgaria hotels, KITT

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My greatest pleasure in life is to travel. Undoubtedly there are a lot of amazing places around the world worth visiting at least once in life. However, Bulgaria is such a place where you will wish to come back again and again. In every season and every region of this small country, you can find unique wonders. So share my travels.