site.btaTourism Fair in Madrid: Bulgaria Turns East
Bulgarian Deputy Tourism Minister Irena Georgieva held a series of meetings on the sidelines of the Fitur 2023 International Tourism Trade Fair in Madrid. The main focus of the meetings was a turn to the East and a desire to promote cooperation with Asia, the Tourism Ministry in Sofia reported on Saturday.
Georgieva and Azerbaijan's State Tourism Agency Chairman Fuad Nagiyev discussed the possibility to set up a direct air service between the two countries. They pointed out that Bulgaria and Azerbaijan have a tradition of good relations. The two officials looked at the development of tourism in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, the changing pattern of tourist flows to Bulgaria and ways to boost two-way travel, partly by resuming direct flights.
Georgieva said Bulgaria will be a partner country to this year's Azerbaijan International Travel and Tourism Fair in Baku. Nagiyev spoke about his plans to attend the 68th Meeting of the World Trade Organization Commission for Europe, which will be held in Sofia in May.
Another country with which Bulgaria can boost two-way travel is Georgia. During Fitur, Bulgarian Deputy Tourism Minister Irena Georgieva talked with Maia Omiadze, Head of the Georgian National Tourism Administration (GNTA), and her first deputy Tamar Koriauli.
The sides discussed the state of the tourism sector in their countries, the problems and challenges in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic, and the share of tourism in GDP. They exchanged information on target markets and related priorities. Georgieva and the GNTA leaders shared opinions and ideas about relaxing the visa issuance process. They concurred that the foreign ministries in Sofia and Tbilisi should be briefed on the matters discussed at this bilateral meeting with a view to taking future actions.
The Bulgaria-Georgia Economic Commission was identified as one of the channels of tourism cooperation. Omiadze and Koriauli expressed willingness for contacts at the highest level with the Bulgarian Tourism Ministry and during the ITB Berlin Travel Trade Show as well as at the upcoming Sofia meeting of the World Trade Organization Commission for Europe.