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Bulgaria Second Congress of Tourism Investors Held in Sofia

Date: 29.09.2008

The Bulgarian National Tourism Board and the State Tourism Agency organized Friday the second congress of investors in the tourist branch in the country.

The forum has as a primary goal to gather together representatives of the judiciary and executive powers, chairs and members of tourist organizations, mayors and investors to discuss actual issues related to the development of tourism in Bulgaria.

The financing of national advertisement and international marketing in Bulgaria, ownership issues, qualifications of the work force employed in tourism and the management of tourist landmarks are among the main topics of discussions.

"Bulgaria must find a new approach to attract foreign tourists," said the Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov at the forum's official opening, adding that tourism in Bulgaria is a branch constantly generating new job opportunities and steadily increasing its share in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) with over half of the foreign investments being in tourism or real estate.

"Tourism in Bulgaria has a huge potential, but the issue here is how to develop it. We must work on the creation of a new image of Bulgaria as a tourist destination," Parvanov concluded.

The Chair of the State Tourist Agency Anelya Kruchkova said that the 20% increase of foreign visitors in Bulgaria could be considered a source of pride and cited data from other countries members of the European Union (EU), where the increase is between 4% and 6%. According to Kruchkova, tourism in Bulgaria has many problems, which must be resolved in order to continue register similar increases in the years to come.

The Chair if the National Tourist Board Krasimir Gergov stated that tourism in Bulgaria faces the real threats of less tourists, less investments and less profit. He expressed his belief that the branch must strive to attract "higher quality" tourists with one of the measures that could contribute to the execution of such goal would be to set aside about 1,5% of the revenues for national advertisement.

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