In the period from November 27- December 1, 2014 the city of the seven hills will welcome foreign and Bulgarian tour operators and media in order to promote Bulgaria, Plovdiv city and the region as a competitive tourist destination suitable for year-round tourism.
Participants from over 90 tourist organizations from three continents will take part in the fifth International meeting of tour operators, which began today in Plovdiv. In the presence of The Minister of Tourism Mrs. Nikolina Angelkova, The Mayor of the municipality of Plovdiv eng. Ivan Totev, representatives of the administration of Shenzhen, China Mrs. Yang and Mr. Eric Layden – Vice President of GTI. The event is organized by Plovdiv municipality by the municipal enterprise “Tourism”, together with The Ministry of Tourism and aims to promote Bulgaria, Plovdiv city and the region as a competitive tourist destinations suitable to visit all year round.
“Meetings of the tour operators, which we organize for the third year give real results and this is seen in the growing number of participants and the increasing interest from tour operators who did not know Plovdiv so far – said the Mayor of Plovdiv eng. Ivan Totev and added “The ambitious task we are facing is the development of cultural tourism, so Plovdiv Municipality continues to invest heavily in cultural and historical heritage of the city. We expect that by end the year Plovdiv will have 10% growth of tourists.”
The Mayor of Plovdiv Mr. Ivan Totev stressed that these meetings help a lot to promote the city, the region and Bulgaria. “Southeast Europe has the greatest potential, with cultural tourism. The fact that Plovdiv and Bulgaria fall among prestigious international rankings of the media is a proof that Europe is increasingly looking at us. The nomination of the city as a European Capital of Culture in 2019 was earned by lot of efforts. Therefore we have set very ambitious program – to develop Plovdiv and make it more attractive, more welcoming and more prepared for the tourists that we expect” said Mr. Ivan Totev.
From its part, The Minister of Tourism Mrs. Nikolina Angelkova reported that during this winter season is expected around 4% growth of tourism in the country. A register of tourist sites and attractions throughout the country will be prepared and has to be published on the website of The Ministry of Tourism.
Our policy is to discover new tourist routes and sites and update the old ones. The Roman Stadium and The Small Basilica are proof of this. We want to expand and increase the stay of the tourists that currently are staying for two nights and our goal is to make them at least three nights. On this forum the business meets the business and these meetings are important to us – to see tour operators who after coming to similar events are begining to work with Plovdiv and Bulgaria. We invest very heavily in archeology and culture. Welcome and successful forum, were the words of the Mayor.
The Fifth International Meeting of tour operators focuses on the event tourism. Media representatives and tour operators from Bulgaria, Great Britain, China, Russia, Turkey, Georgia, Italy, Hungary, Macedonia, Montenegro, Greece, Morocco, India, Serbia, Romania, France and other countries will participate in workshops and presentations. Cultural and historical heritage of the city will be presented within two information rounds. State opera – Plovdiv, together with Ensemble “Trakia” and other ensembles will present special musical show “On a wedding in The Old Town.” The focus of the autumn edition of the forum will be the festival “Parade of the young wine 2014”.
In recent years, Plovdiv successfully developed as a leading destination for cultural, historical and event tourism. The latest data marks the city the best results in the development of tourism compared to other cities in Bulgaria with an average of 18.64%, which includes – nights spent by visiting tourists and revenues from nights. For the first nine months of this year, the data shows steady growth in many of the indicators. The increase of nights spent has to do with 14.07%, compared to the first nine months of 2013. Tourists visiting Plovdiv grew by 7.81 %, and revenues from nights spent increased by 34.04% compared to 2013. These gains are due to the successful promotion of the city as a leading destination for cultural, historical and event tourism.
The awarding of the title “European Capital of Culture for 2019”, all launched projects and events and the rich cultural program that will be implemented will ensure sustainable growth of tourists in the coming years. Numerous events and festivals provide a constant flow of Bulgarian and foreign visitors. Plovdiv is selected in specialized edition of Lonely Planet as the sixth best city in the world, which must necessarily be visited in 2015.