Bulgaria Working on Joint 'Balkan' Tourism Product
Tourism Minister Nikolina Angelkova has said that Bulgaria is to present a joint tourism product with "neighboring Balkan countries".
In an interview with Focus News Agency on Sunday, she has explained that Bulgaria and Romania, which have already applied with a joint project under the INTERREG (European Territorial Cooperation) instrument of the EU Commission, are considering to add Serbia to the process of promoting themselves as destinations appealing to distant markets.
Earlier, she has specifically referred to China as a country where Sofia and Bucharest are working on joint promotion. In April, authorities announced a tourist info center representing both Bulgaria and Romania would be opened in the near future.
Countries like China, India, Indonesia, Japan and Turkey are where the future of tourism lies, Angelkova has said.
Other countries with which Bulgaria is either working or in talks on certain tourism programs include the Czech Republic, Italy, and France.
The Czech Republic in particular seems to be crucial in her words, with Prague intending to launch a direct flight to Beijing - which the minister says should also bring about more flights to Prague from Sofia and Varna or Burgas (at the Black Sea) to allow Chinese tourists an easier access to the country.
The Bulgarian News Agency quotes Angelkova as saying that Sofia is also considering options to bring back Russian tourists, whose numbers dropped dramatically over the Ukraine crisis and the financial turmoil Russia has been going through since last year.
In November, Russia's Tourism Minister is coming to Bulgaria, and separately a discussion will be held with businesses, hoteliers and tour operators from Russia on how to return the tourist flow to previous levels.
Nikolina Angelkova made her comments in light of the World Tourism Day celebrated on September 27.
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