Sofia Boasts 10% Annual Tourism Growth – Expert
Vitan Ivanov, Chair of the Council on Tourism in Sofia and Chair of the Sofia Tourist Cluster, has reported a 10% annual increase in tourism in Bulgaria's capital.
In a Wednesday interview cited by mass circulation daily Klasa, he explains that foreign visitors arrive in Sofia mainly for cultural tourism.
Ivanov rejects claims that the fact that Bulgaria's capital is the ninth cheapest tourist destination is a humiliation.
He notes that the top sites in Sofia are the Archaeological Museum, the National History Museum and the Hagia Sofia Church, adding that the city will become much more attractive after the opening of the archaeological site at the Largo near the buildings of the President's Office and the Council of Ministers.
"Hotel prices are good enough, as are the hotels themselves. Food in Sofia is cheaper than in other European capitals," Ivanov observes.
He adds that Bulgaria is most frequently visited by French, Italian, Spanish, Swiss and Austrian tourists.
The expert argues, however, that Bulgaria's major problem is the lack of tourism publicity on an international scale.
He emphasizes that the preparation of promotional materials and websites has just started.
Ivanov adds that a tourism branch union will be set up to prepare the marketing materials aimed at making Bulgaria more recognizable among foreign tourists.
The materials will be used at international fairs and exhibitions.
The specialist goes on to say that foreign tourists are particularly interested in treasures.
He informs that he has asked Delyan Dobrev, Minister of Economy, Energy and Tourism, to come up with a schedule showing the location of treasures month by month in 2013.
Ivanov highlights that it is very important for tourists to know which treasure they can find in which museum.
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