BTA interview

site.btaBulgaria Expects to Welcome Around 460,000 Polish Tourists This Summer

Bulgaria Expects to Welcome Around 460,000 Polish Tourists This Summer
Bulgaria Expects to Welcome Around 460,000 Polish Tourists This Summer
Andrzej Gut-Mostowy (left) and Irena Georgieva in Sofia, May 31, 2023 (BTA photo)

Bulgaria expects to welcome around 460,000 Polish tourists this summer. For this summer there is an increase in booked flights, and at this stage most of them are for Burgas Airport, said Deputy Tourism Minister Irena Georgieva in a joint interview for BTA with Andrzej Gut-Mostowy, State Secretary of the Polish Ministry of Sport and Tourism. The two officials took part on Thursday in a meeting of the Bulgarian-Polish working group on tourism. On May 30, Gut-Mostowy was awarded the title of Doctor Honoris Causa of the International Business School.

In 2022, Bulgaria recieved about 340,000 tourists from Poland, mostly in the summer season, and nearly 500,000 visits - not only tourist visits, we aim to reach and surpass the pre-pandemic period of 2019, when Bulgaria had about 480,000 visits by Polish tourists on an annual basis, said Deputy Minister Georgieva. She clarified that most of them were holiday visits during the summer season from June 1 to September 15.

Gut-Mostowy said that the market will decide which destinations will be the most popular, and that him and Georgieva as state representatives are doing their best to provide as many direct air routes as possible. He expressed hope that Bulgaria would continue to be an important tourism partner for Poland, and noted Bulgaria's importance as a historical and cultural destination. He wished the two countries strengthen partnership for winter tourism, spa resorts and spas, not only for the summer season but also all year round, Gut-Mostowy added.

Georgieva pointed out that family holiday visits to Bulgaria are preferred by Polish tourists. There are also young people, but the interest in Bulgaria seems to be growing in terms of a destination for family tourism, she added. She noted that there is a trend of increasing interest of guests from Poland in cultural tourism and Bulgaria's spa resorts, which was among the topics discussed at Thursday's expert meeting.

Georgieva specified that this was the second such meeting and among the highlights were Poland's Travel and Tourism Guarantee Fund, the support the state has provided to the tourism business during the pandemic, the marketing initiatives of the Polish Tourism Organization for the promotion of the country's brand, something which, according to Georgieva, Bulgaria wants to do more actively. She gave the example of Poland's experience with the creation of the Fund, their voucher programme, the programme for the incentive of spa resorts and stressed that they are the result of very good inter-institutional cooperation. 

Georgieva pointed out that the characteristic feature of the Polish Tourism Organization is giving more rights for the management of tourism processes to their regional authorities. According to her, Bulgaria should study this experience in the context of its own future guarantee fund, which in Poland is managed by these regional authorities, which are also in charge of controlling the spending of the funds. Georgieva said that the conceptual draft of the national Guarantee Fund has been circulated to tourism organisations for discussion by their members, and the topic is expected to be raised again in September.

Bulgarian Tourism minister Ilin Dimitrov welcomed the Polish delegation and held an informal meeting with Andrzej Gut-Mostowy.

/VE/

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By 00:55 on 18.04.2024 Today`s news

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