Bulgaria Looking to Focus on Archaeology to Promote Its Cultural and Historical Tourism
Bulgaria’s government is focusing increasingly on the promotion of its archaeological, historical, and cultural heritage in order to develop further the country’s cultural tourism, according to Bulgarian Minister of Tourism Nikolina Angelkova.
Angelkova has cited data from the World Tourism Organization forecasting that by 2020 cultural tourism will be the leading form of tourism globally.
“That is why our national advertising is focusing on it, and we have developed a project for specific cultural tourism routes with which we are planning to attract attention to the richness that we possess,” she has told representatives of Bulgaria’s local authorities at a meeting in Sofia, as cited by private TV station “Bulgaria on Air”.
She adds that a total of eight cultural tourism routes have been developed under the above-mentioned project so far (in addition to hundreds of other routes developed by the local authorities and private tourism firms): “Capitals and Cities of Bulgarian Tsars and Patriarchs”, “Bulgaria’s Maritime Fortresses”, “Bulgarian Architecture and Crafts”, “Rose Festival”, “The Route of the Thracians”, “Sofia’s Holy Mount”, “The Riches of the Northwest”, and “Struma”.
Angelkova further points out that Europe is a key destination for cultural tourism because of its rich cultural sites.
She has cited data from a Eurobarometer public opinion poll saying that 27% of the European tourists mentioned cultural heritage as the main reason for their travel in 2014.
The share of cultural tourism in Bulgaria is about 11% even though some 80% of the foreign tourists visit at least some historical, archaeological, and cultural monuments during their stay. In 2014, Bulgaria’s museums recorded over 6 million visitors, half of whom were international travelers.
“All of this is evidence that should focus on cultural tourism, and work for its promotion,” says the Bulgarian Minister of Tourism vowing that not a single major archaeological, cultural, and historical landmark will be left out of the cultural tourism routes.
During her meeting with representatives of Bulgaria’s local authorities, the promotion of several major archaeological and historical destinations such as the St. Anastasia Island in the Black Sea, the southern town of Zlatograd, and the Ancient Thracian Shrine of Beglik Tash has been discussed.
Angelkova has revealed her administration is working on developing a cultural tourism route dedicated to Bulgarian treasures and another one dedicated to folklore festivals. They are to be discussed at the upcoming meeting of Bulgaria’s National Tourism Council in July 2015.
“Every single place has a lot to offer in terms of cultural tourism but we cannot advertise all sites internationally. We should manage to reach a compromise and focus on some of the sites in order to become recognizable on the international market,” the Bulgarian Tourism Minister argues.