KAHINI CHAKRABORTY – Mumbai
After witnessing about 3,000 Indian tourists arrivals per year to Bulgaria, the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria is geared up to aggressively promote the destination’s tourism offerings in the Indian market to double the tourists arrivals. For the same it is going to continue promoting destinations like Sofia, Varna, Burgas, Plovdiv, Veliko Tarnovo offering nightlife, golf tourism, cultural tourism, spring spas and other entertainment options. It has also partnered with Qatar Airways for direct connectivity. Talking to Express TravelWorld on the sidelines of an interactive presentation held in Mumbai recently, Stefan Ionkov, head of commercial and economic office of Bulgaria to India said, “Bulgaria can offer different experiences- golf, leisure, culture and educational tours and it is a value for money destination. As the Indian market is emerging as one of our preferred markets, we are looking at attracting all segments of travellers. We are targeting Bollywood tourism as well as working towards increasing the awareness level of the destination in the Indian market, and for the same we are going to organise workshops for the travel trade in metros as well as smaller cities. We will also partner with travel agents to offer exclusive packages.” Later, they will organise FAM tours for the Indian travel fraternity to provide first hand experience of Bulgaria as a tourist destination, informed Ionkov.
Talking about Bulgaria, he added that the destination receives seven million tourists inflow every year. In 2011, it received 6.4 million foreign tourists. “Tourism is an important sector as it contributes 12-13 per cent of the GDP. The destination gets three billion euros as revenue from the tourism sector and this year from January to February the destination witnessed more than 4,80,6000 tourists,” informed Ionkov.