Bulgarian Tourism Minister Nikolina Angelkova met with corporate executives in New York, gave an interview for CNN International and delivered a lecture to tourism students at New York University, Angelkova's ministry reported on Saturday.
She talked with Makiko Healy, Senior Vice President for Global Tourism Development at NYC & Company - New York City's official marketing, tourism and partnership organization. The two discussed the organization's expertise in marketing urban tourism and the "New York" brand, and the possibility of using that expertise in Bulgaria.
The guest held further meetings with officials of leading US investment funds, including Global Financial Network, Balkan Capital, and Hunter Peak Investments Karsch Capital. She presented opportunities for investing in the Bulgarian tourism industry, noting that the country offers a very good investment climate.
While in New York, Angelkova was interviewed for one of CNN International most influential economic shows, "Quest Means Business," hosted by Richard Quest. She spoke about global security challenges and their impact on tourism, and the migrant flow to Europe. She said: "We are selling Bulgaria as the best destination [in terms of] value for money. We have everything: we have sea, we have mountains, we have a lot of natural resources like mineral water, we have cultural and historical monuments - more than 40,000."
During her lecture at New York University, the minister presented travel opportunities in Bulgaria and the sector's importance for the national economy. In 2015, tourism directly contributed 2.8 billion leva to Bulgaria's GDP, Angelkova said, citing data of the World Travel and Tourism Council. If other related economic activities are added, the sector's contribution to the national economic output is 13 per cent of GDP. Because of the sector's great economic weight, the Bulgarian government has a separate ministry for tourism, she said. "Our long-term goals are to achieve sustainable growth and make Bulgarian travel products more recognizable," she noted.