Message of Hon. Nikolina Angelkova, Minister of Tourism of the Republic of Bulgaria

In recent years Bulgarian tourism has been developing very successfully. 2018 is one of the best years in our history, as for the first time we crossed the line of 9 million foreign tourists. Since the establishment of the independent Ministry of Tourism, record results have been achieved as compared to 2015 – 31% increase in foreign tourist visits and 34% increase in revenues from international tourism. This year will be extremely dynamic due to the great competition for tourists in the region.

The Government of the Republic of Bulgaria is also working hard to attract investments. That is why we organize an International Conference for Sustainable Investment in Tourism, which will be held on 30-31st of May in our sea resort Sunny Beach. The aim of the forum is to raise awareness of the investment potential in the country and the region of Southeastern Europe and also to discuss a common vision for tackling challenges in this area. We expect more than 300 guests and a special guest will be Dr. Taleb Rifai, former Secretary-General of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (2009-2017).

One of the main priorities of the country is the reduction of the administrative burden for the business, which we are doing in the Ministry of Tourism. Qualified workers and favorable taxation are also one of the important factors. We are striving to implement such policies that will contribute to the good investment climate in our country and good financial stability. For this reason, the focus for me and my team this year is on tourism investment. We will assist investors in the rapid realization of the projects as we are already working on organizing investment tours. In this way, foreign companies with interest in tourism investments will be informed in detail both on future projects and on finished sites.

Regarding Southeastern Europe`s tourism potential, it is growing every year. Under Bulgarian and neighboring countries initiative, we are working on the creation of Balkan routes that will make the region attractive for the tourists from the distant markets. The idea is for destinations to start with UNESCO sites in the territories of the countries and in the future to be expanded.