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Convention tourism to add high-end touch to Bulgaria's image

Date: 06.01.2006

Stakeholders in Bulgarian tourism have decisively turned eyes to one its most high-end and high-yield sectors - convention and visitors travels.

This is the common conviction of the organisers of this year's Fifth edition of Bulgaria Dream Area ( http://www.bulgariantourism.com ) conference to run January 6-7 in Sofia's Radison SAS hotel.

Organized in partnership with the Bulgarian Convention and Visitors Bureau (BCVB), Bulgaria Dream Area aims to explore the interaction between convention tourism and economy, how international tour operators and carriers help develop the region and what attracts foreign investors to Bulgaria. To be held under the heading "Bulgaria - The Future Regional Convention Centre", the international conference will pursue to instigate vivid discussions on the opportunities of convention and visitors tourism in Bulgaria and also to present to local tourism stakeholders the broad horizons this kind of business opens for them.

"This year's venue is probably the most exciting for all five years of organising Bulgaria Dream Area," former Governor of Nevada Bob Miller said at a press conference on Wednesday. "The reason is that now the EU is on the horizon and more and more tourists will learn to come to Bulgaria."

In the words of Maxim Behar, CEO of PR leader M3 Communications Group, Inc. and publisher of Sofia News Agency, Bulgaria deserves to be promoted as a convention centre as it has the potential to be among the best in Europe.

Bulgaria has confirmed its determination to add congress business as an alternative product to its tourism portfolio, noted Martin Kolb, General Manager of Radisson SAS hotel and chairman of the Board of Directors of the Bulgarian Convention and Visitors Bureau (BCVB). In December last year, taking over the chair, he presented a strategy for the development of this high-end and high-yield business here.

For the first time in five years the venue will be held at the five-star Radisson SAS hotel. It is to bring together more than 150 participants, including heads of European convention bureaus, state representatives and tourism experts.

The organizers are convinced that Bulgaria's improved facilities and hotels, great affordability and accessibility, as well as the traditional hospitality of Bulgarians are gaining popularity amongst business travellers around the world. Yet, one of worst problems to make up with upon the country's EU entry, is the improvement of transportation infrastructure, according to Dimitar Hadzhinikolov, Deputy Culture Minister.

"Bulgaria Dream Area has been established as the conference event of the year," he said adding that convention tourism has become a huge potential for Bulgaria. He was positive tourism is a major priority for the Bulgarian economy and the recent growth in sea and ski tourism puts the country among the preferred European destinations.

The BCVB comprises a membership of 70 companies and organizations related to convention business in Bulgaria, including hotels - international and local, air carriers, transportation companies and municipalities.

Sofia News Agency

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