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Conception for development of congress tourism in Bulgaria
Date: 12-12-2005

Dear Mr. Mayor Borissov
Dear Deputy Minister Hadjinikolov
Dear Paul Flackett
Dear Ladies and Gentleman
Dear Friends,

Having being elected as new Chairman of the Bulgarian Convention and Visitors Bureau, I want to cease the opportunity to thank the former Chairman Friedrich Niemann, the Managing Director Polly Karastoyanova and all founding members for their dedication to create such an institution back in 2004.

I am happy, honored and looking forward to this additional challenge and opportunity, besides my bread-earning position as the General Manager of Radisson SAS Grand Hotel Sofia.

It is a privilege for me to work for the future of Tourism of this beautiful country and my home town of Sofia.

What and who is BCVB in Bulgaria?

B = Bulgaria
C = Convention
V = Visitors
B = Bureau

Bulgaria stands for the entire country from the Sea to the mountain, from the villages to the cities from spas to...

Convention Visitor

  • high end, high yield Travel Business
  • We are not a Tour operator, bringing whole plane load of sun, fun seeking tourists to the coast or ski resorts
  • We cater for the incentive, Meetings and Exhibition market

A Delegate spends 10 times more per day than a tourist. We are talking ? 2000 per Meeting (2- 3 day) for a delegate, exclusive of airfare.

Bureau

  • No misleading, we are not sitting in our offices and trying to write papers on tourism
  • We as BCVB are out in the market
  • We are a lean organization with only 2 paid full time equivalents (1 + 2*1/2)
  • No costly Office

We are a team, comprising of the best available in the Travel industry in Bulgaria. The experience, the ideas, the innovation and achievement drive of the entire Board of Directors and of more than 70 Member Companies from all walks of the Travel industry are at the disposal of Bulgaria.

All of us are working for free for the benefit of the achievement of the Travel industry in Bulgaria. We bring in the Knowhow and experience from our "money-making" jobs. The members of BCVB are as diverse as the beauty of Bulgaria.

  • GMs of the leading hotels in Bulgaria
  • GMs of many air carriers, flying into Bulgaria, including the National Carrier
  • Travel Agencies, Tour Operators
  • Restaurants and Catering
  • Convention Centers (NDK)
  • Support Companies (Congress Technique)
  • Local organizations in cities and the countryside
  • PCOs (Professional Congress Organizations) from Vienna, Istanbul, London and more

We understand ourselves as a bridging function and as a tool between State/Government Organizations and the International Business Community, that is related to the high end, high yield and quality travel industry.

We bring in many contacts, expertise and experience from abroad and from Bulgaria.

What are we planning to do at BCVB for 2006?

  • Contacts, Cooperation
  • Fairs, Shows, Exhibitions
  • Strategies for 12% GDP
  • New Markets
  • Put Bulgaria on the Map
  • Finance
  1. We will offer, seek and establish high level contacts, support and cooperation with the new "State Agency for Tourism" and other subject related government organizations such as Tourism Authority of Sofia and other cities
  2. We will continue and expand the presence and representation of Bulgaria and of the Members of BCVB around the world at the industry leading Exhibitions and Shows: ITB, WTM, ATM, IMEX, EIBBTM, ITME, etc. We will be the professional contact point and counterpart for all Travel Trade that is constantly looking for new destinations, venues and ideas.
  3. We will develop, together with the Government Authorities, the cities, the regions and the various partners in the Travel Trade in Bulgaria Strategies, Programs and Ideas for the development of the industry into the future.

After all 12 % of the GDP is coming from this sector, much more than from many other sectors that are much better represented and positioned and publicly recognized.

4. We will actively promote Bulgaria in new upcoming markets:

  • Far East
  • China
  • Gulf
  • The Americas

And certainly not forget the old markets:

  • Europe, including UK
  • USA
  • Neighboring countries
  • CIS

5. We will help to develop and implement together with reclaimed and experienced international organizations, PR and Marketing Agencies a Master Plan to put Bulgaria on the Map, to make Bulgaria known for its beauty, its people and its opportunities.

6. All of this cannot be done with hard work and dedication of the members of BCVB only.

All this needs efforts of all related parties, Government Organizations, Associations (Bulgarian Hotel and Restaurant Association), the Industry and Trade and many others.

And last but not least it needs funding and the use of these available funds in the right direction and focused on the goal.

Right now we are relying on funding from:

  • Memberships fees
  • Participation fees for events
  • Sponsorship from the private sector
  • Free work and support from members

We want to ask the responsible people to discuss with us to make available funds accessible:

  • City bed tax
  • Budget of State Tourism Agency
  • Other creative ideas

Who will benefit from the use of these funds for more visible presence in the international market, from more high-end, high yield business, from more taxes and from more foreign currency?

  • Sofia and other cities of tourism
  • Bulgaria
  • And all of us

It is my pleasure to introduce to you our friend and a friend of Bulgaria, the founder of EIBTM and IMEX - two of the world's largest Travel Trade Shows for Congress, Meetings and Incentive Market - Mr. Paul Flackett.

Martin H. Kolb
Chairman of the Board of Directors Bulgarian Convention and Visitors Bureau


Attachment I: Number of international Conventions

Source: International Congress & Convention Association (ICCA)

Number of International Conventions 2004

Ranking

Country

Number of Conventions (2004)

1

Hungary

80

2

Czech Republic

63

3

Poland

61

4

Slovenia

32

5

Croatia

28

6

Romania

12

7

Slovak Republic

11

8

Bulgaria

10

9

Serbia

< 10


Number of International Conventions 2005 - 2016

Ranking

Country

Number of Conventions (2005 - 2016)

1

Czech Republic

103

2

Poland

88

3

Hungary

84

4

Slovenia

45

5

Croatia

36

 

Bulgaria

< 22

 

Romania

< 22

 

Serbia

< 22

 

Slovak Republic

< 22


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