As a representative of the country that is holding the presidency of the Council of the EU, I want to say that we live in challenging times but challenges can become opportunities, Minister of Tourism Nikolina Angelkova said at the prestigious Berlin Economic Forum, organised by the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy. The event coincides with ITB Berlin, the largest international travel trade fair in the German capital, her ministry’s press office said.
The minister highlighted the importance of tourism as a key sector for the Bulgarian economy, which the government has made a national priority. The average 6% growth of tourist arrivals over the last 5 years exceeds the average for the EU and the world. Nearly 8.9 million foreign tourists visited Bulgaria in 2017. The revenues from international tourism amounted to nearly BGN 6.9 billion with over 9% growth compared to 2016, said Minister Angelkova. The development of different types of tourism – cultural, business and congress tourism, spa and wellness, wine and gourmet tours are among the main objectives of the ministry for the establishment of the country as a competitive destination.