Bulgaria to organise round table for tourism in 2016
Sudipta Dev – Mumbai
The recent visit of Nikolina Angelkova, minister of tourism, Republic of Bulgaria was successful in creating awareness about the destination and its varied products in the India market. Angelkova is the first tourism minister in the newly formed ministry. In 2016, Bulgaria will be organising a round table and invite the Indian tourism minister, the travel trade industry, media, and other key players. Angelkova mentioned that the most interesting fact is that her country has managed to attract the attention of Bollywood which, she believes, is the most powerful marketing tool for the India market. “We have hosted three movies, including the soon to be released Dilwale. We are happy that we managed to convince Bollywood producers to shoot in Bulgaria and give them the right environment,” she said, adding that, she considers Ajay Devgan to be a friend of Bulgaria. “Next year he is going to shoot more movies in Bulgaria. I met Shah Rukh Khan and discussed other possibilities. We are receiving a huge support from them and are supporting them also to comfortably shoot in our country. We hope it will be a long lasting relationship,” said Angelkova. Similar to the video campaign that Bulgaria has launched with Hollywood bigwigs, a campaign will be launched with Bollywood stars for the India market.
In terms of value for money, Bulgaria is in top 10 position for winter resorts and ranks number six for summer resorts. The minister pointed out that it is much cheaper than France, Austria, Turkey, Greece and many other European destinations. “Bulgaria is real value for money for mid market and high-end hotels. Most of four / five star hotels are located in cultural and historical buildings, and when you enter these hotels you can feel the history dated back in time,” she stated, adding that she is hopeful of attracting luxury hotel investments and had a meeting with the Tata Group regarding this.
For a country that has a population of 7.3 million citizens, it attracts almost an equal number of tourists. Acknowledging that there is lack of awareness about Bulgaria in the India market, Angelkova said, “We want to show that Bulgaria is an undiscovered treasure that needs to be visited and unveiled. We have so much to offer the year around – from skiing in winters to water sports in summer, culture to spa and wellness, gourmet, MICE, eco rural tourism, golf. We are blessed to have everything in our small land.” Bulgaria that is currently offering combined touristic products with Romania, is preparing common cultural products with Turkey and Greece for long distance markets like India.