111 POLITICS – TOURISM – CONGRESS
Foreign Tourists in 2018
Up by 31% from
2015 – Tourism Minister
Sofia, November 15 (BTA) – The number of foreign tourists in 2018 has increased by 31 per cent in comparison with 2015, Bulgarian Tourism Minister Nikolina Angelkova said here Thursday at the 2nd International Congress on World Civilizations and Historic Routes, organized by the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) on November 15 and 16. In 2017, foreign tourists totalled 8,882,000, over a million more than Bulgaria’s population, Angelkova noted.
Vezhdi Rashidov, Chairperson of the parliamentary Committee on Culture, commented that Bulgaria is a little-known country, and there has been a 10-to-15-year-long policy to present it to the world as an old and multicultural place. “Any tourism presents itself through its cultural heritage, and Bulgaria has deserved its place in the world culture,” Rashidov said.
Petar Kanev, Chairperson of the parliamentary Committee on Economic Policy and Tourism, noted that tourism is one of the key sectors in the Black Sea region, which has now become a leading tourist destination.
UNWTO Deputy Secretary-General Jaime Cabal said that cultural heritage shapes identities and reflects on everyday life. “Historical routes have shaped the imagination of many generations, bringing about the creation of various artworks,” Cabal noted, adding that they are a unique instrument for increasing tourism competitiveness.
Other items on the congress agenda are joint initiatives for the development of cultural heritage tourism, measures for the preservation and popularization of mankind’s tangible and spiritual heritage from ancient to modern times, and good practices such as the UNWTO’s Western Silk Road Tourism Development Initiative. Participants will analyze opportunities for the development of tourism projects related to the sustainability of historical routes and the transnational cooperation necessary for their realization.
The Tourism Ministry has also organized a two-day tourist exhibition at the Serdika Antique Cultural and Communication Complex (“The Largo”), where traditional Bulgarian products will be displayed. RY/TH