Integrated Brand of Bulgaria as Tourist Destination Due in February 2013
The creation of an integrated brand of Bulgaria as a tourist destination is to be wrapped up by February 2013, according to Deputy Minister of Economy, Energy, and Tourism Ivo Marinov.
Speaking Monday at a round table in the northern city of Veliko Tarnovo, he explained that a test regional brand would be created by February 2013, which would subsequently be used for the development of all other brands in the country.
Marinov made clear that the development of the new "Bulgaria" brand was aimed at presenting Bulgaria as an attractive and affordable year-round tourist destination.
Bulgaria's Deputy Minister in charge of Tourism declared that the efforts would be focused on attracting tourist flows from four countries, including Germany, Russia, Romania, and the United Kingdom.
He made clear that the priorities had been set using data gathered from 37 Bulgarian tour operators and 300 foreign tour operators from 15 countries.
Market research measuring perceptions towards Bulgaria and the recognizability of the country as a tourist destination were presented at the round-table discussion on Monday.
Greece, Turkey, Austria, and the Czech Republic were cited as Bulgaria's biggest competitors in the sphere of tourism.
Turkey, Greece, Croatia, Italy, and Spain were mentioned as major rivals in the sphere of summer tourism, while Austria and Italy were listed as key rivals in the sphere of winter tourism.
The Czech Republic was identified as Bulgaria's main competitor in the sphere of SPA tourism.
The survey revealed that foreign tourists and tour operators labeled Bulgaria as a less recognizable tourist destination mostly associated with good opportunities for sea tourism and affordable prices.
The market surveys indicated that 80% of foreign visitors were satisfied with their stay in Bulgaria and 60% of them repeated their visit.
Marinov explained that the summer tourist season had been successful, despite the July 18 Burgas bus bombing and the crisis, adding that the first nine months of 2012 had brought an increase of 8,7% in the number of foreign visitors and tourist revenues had gone up by the same percentage.
He added that domestic tourism had also scored good results.
Bulgaria's Deputy Minister in charge of Tourism declared that early bookings for the forthcoming winter season were going well, adding that major tour operators in the UK had predicted a growth of 4-5%.
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