Bulgaria's Deputy EconMin Proposes Separate Tourism Ministry
A single Ministry of Tourism is necessary to secure the budget framework which the sector precisely needs, caretaker Deputy Economy and Energy Minister Branimir Botev believes.
Botev, who took up office during the tenure of former Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski, added on Tuesday that the sector has to be directly represented in the executive as it forms about 14 percent of the country's gross output, adding some EUR 5.5 M to the economy last year according to estimates of the International Tourism Organization.
Its budget should be about BGN 17.5 M if Sofia wishes to promote Bulgaria as a tourist destination, public broadcaster BNR quoted him as saying.
Botev has blamed insufficient budgetary funding for failure to tap on the potential of tourism in Bulgaria to attract more revenues and boost the economy.
Earlier on Tuesday it was announced that a BGN 7 M advertising campaign aimed at attracting visitors from abroad would be conducted with money secured under the EU Regional Development Program using funds from the 2007-2023 period.
At the same tourism industry representatives also support Botev's idea that the sector should be separately managed.
Last week the National Tourism Council sent a letter to GERB's leader, and also potential Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, demanding the move from the next government.
The council also insists that the ministry be in the quota of the largest political force.
Previous meetings of industry representatives and tourism businesses have also raised the proposal.
Tourism has for a long time been managed by the Ministry of Economy and Energy, which under previous governments has also been named "Ministry of Economy, Energy and Tourism."
In Botev's words, potential to develop Bulgaria's seaside is not "enormous anymore" and the country should focus on SPA, cultural and ecotourism.
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