Giovanni Sacchi: Bulgaria is Undiscovered for Tourists

Novinite Insider » INTERVIEW | October 11, 2004, Monday // 00:00
Giovanni Sacchi: Bulgaria is Undiscovered for Tourists Giovanni Sacchi, Director of the Bureau in Sofia of the Italian Institute for Foreign Trade. Photo by Yuliana Nikolova (Sofia News Agency)

A day ahead of the opening of a major two-day business seminar at the Borovets resort organised by the Italian Foreign Trade Institute, the head of its Sofia's Bureau Mr Giovanni Sacchi talks to Editor-in-Chief Milena Hristova.

Q: What are the opportunities for Italian investments in Bulgaria's tourism?

A: With the Black Sea coastline, the marked hiking paths in the Balkan and Rhodope mountain ranges, exceptionally diverse summer and winter resorts, mineral baths and spas, and historically ruins dating back to Greek and Roman times, Bulgaria is an undiscovered tourist destination in Europe. Bulgaria seeks to develop a broader tourist industry based on its culture and scenic beauty.

The opportunities refer to the overall tourism sector, from the building of new hotels to works over design, furniture, equipment and catering - fields of Italy's leading expertise worldwide.

Q: In which tourism-related areas does Italian business seek Bulgarian partnership?

A: In Bulgaria there is a particular need for investment in the luxury and five-star hotel range, which accounts for less than five percent of hotels and restaurants. Across the board in beach, ski, and spa resorts, investment is needed to refurbish existing properties.

Q: What offer for winter tourism services will the Italian businessmen bring to Bulgaria during the first Bulgarian -Italian seminar in Borovets?

A: The owner of LEITNER, one of European construction leaders, comes to participate in the seminar. The company is specialized in production and fixture of ropeways, production of track-stamping machinery, as well as in the field of civil and industrial construction.

Besides LEITNER, the seminar will be joined by companies from the sector of hotelier and restaurant equipment and furniture, companies specialized in the building of infrastructure in tourist sites. It is seen as a sign of interest from Italian companies toward different economic sectors.

Q: Which is the strongest side of Bulgaria's tourism product? What needs to be further improved?

A: Bulgaria offers a wide range of archaeological, historic, scenic and recreational attractions. Now the market is concentrated at the Black Sea resorts in the summer and at the mountain ski resorts in the winter.

However, Bulgaria seeks to develop a broader tourist industry based on its culture.

You need to develop a hotel management, amusement games and attractions, sports and leisure facilities, environmental control and major infrastructure facilities that tourism depends on.

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