site.btaUPDATED Bulgaria Presented in Oslo as Destination for Year-Round Quality Sustainable Tourism

Bulgaria Presented in Oslo as Destination for Year-Round Quality Sustainable Tourism
Bulgaria Presented in Oslo as Destination for Year-Round Quality Sustainable Tourism
From left: Bulgarian Ambassador Dessislava Ivanova, Deputy Tourism Minister Irena Georgieva, BUBSPA President Siyka Katsarova, Oslo, June 13, 2024 (Tourism Ministry Photo)

A high-level forum entitled "Health Tourism in Bulgaria" was held at the Bulgarian Embassy in Oslo on June 13. It took place with the support of, and cooperation between, the Bulgarian Union of Balneology and SPA Tourism (BUBSPA) and the Bulgarian Tourism Ministry, BUBSPA said.

The forum was opened by Bulgaria's Ambassador to Oslo, Dessislava Ivanova, Deputy Tourism Minister Irena Georgieva and BUBSPA President Siyka Katsarova. Attending were more than 30 representatives of Norway's tourism industry, including tour operators, travel agents and media. Venceslava Yanchovska, Norway's Honorary Consul General in Bulgaria, also attended the forum.

Ambassador Ivanova stressed the importance of the event as a first step towards presenting Bulgaria in a new light. She said Bulgaria is well known for its summer and winter tourism, but its potential for health tourism remains largely unexplored by Norwegian tourists.

Deputy Tourism Minister Irena Georgieva said: "Bulgaria is a destination for year-round, high-quality sustainable tourism. Its products have an exceptional value-for-money ratio, which is undoubtedly our best competitive advantage. The key term to describe our offer is 'diversity'. Our attention to detail and customized care for each guest are our trademark."

The Deputy Minister also said: "We have more than 600 mineral springs and 75% of them have a water temperature in the 37C to 100C range. There are more than 54 SPA resorts in Bulgaria, most of them located in clean areas and nature parks, along the Black Sea coast or in beautiful mountain areas, which boosts our reputation as a year-round tourist destination."

Georgieva said this was the first political visit to Norway since a separate Tourism Ministry was instituted in Bulgaria in 2014, adding that this is the strongest message about the importance and prospects of the Norwegian market for Bulgaria. In 2023, it saw a 75% increase in Norwegian tourists from 2022, which brought their number back to pre-pandemic levels.

BUBSPA President Siyka Katsarova focused in her presentation on the high quality medical and SPA centres located n modern hotel complexes which are members of the Union. She also stressed that direct flights between Sofia and Oslo give Norwegian tourists easy access to Bulgarian health resorts. "The exceptional price-quality ratio of Bulgaria's health product is undoubtedly our most significant competitive advantage," she said.

The forum was attended by members of the BUBSPA Management and Supervisory Boards, who are investors and managers of some of the largest medical/SPA centres in Belchinski Bani and Sapareva Banya, Sts Constantine and Helena, Golden Sands and Sunny Day, as well as the management of one of Bulgaria's best dental clinics, known for successful year-round medical tourism.

Deputy Tourism Minister Irena Georgieva also met with Elisabeth Svanholm Meyer, Director of the Tourism and Special Assignments Division at Innovation Norway. Georgieva proposed a Memorandum of Understanding between Bulgaria's Tourism Ministry and Innovation Norway with a view to exchanging successful innovation practices to support tourism business processes. The meeting took place on the initiative of Ambassador Dessislava Ivanova and Norway's Honorary Consul General Venceslava Yanchovska. It was attended by Siyka Katsarova and Meglena Plugchieva, the ambassador of the Bulgarian Union of Balneology and SPA Tourism.

Norway's Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries has delegated to Innovation Norway the task to develop and maintain the official tourism portal, Visit Norway. Innovation Norway has 11 offices in the country and 22 abroad, including Sofia, where it administers the management of projects implemented under the EEA and Norway Grants.

/DD/

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By 15:56 on 25.07.2024 Today`s news

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