Hyper-active in London: Bulgaria’s Tourism Minister Nikolina Angelkova

Written by on November 8, 2017 in Bulgaria - Comments Off on Hyper-active in London: Bulgaria’s Tourism Minister Nikolina Angelkova

Bulgaria’s Minister of Tourism, Nikolina Angelkova, is extremely busy, as always. She is constantly striving to give Bulgaria its full potential as a tourist destination. The fact that the country is breaking record after record, what the number of foreign tourists is concerned, does not stop her. With an incredible amount of energy, Minister Angelkova keeps on working.

These days, the most active minister the Borissov government might have is in London. She did not go there to see palaces, bridges and towers, or to have beef with peppermint sauce, but rather to join World Travel Market London (WTM), one of the more important European tourism fairs.

5,000 exhibiting destinations are on site. So is Nikolina Angelkova, at a rather large Bulgarian stand, which her ministry shares with Fraport, P Group and other companies directly or indirectly involved with tourism in Bulgaria.

At WTM, travel professionals meet investors, travel journalists, so-called ‘digital influencers’, and, yes, tourism ministers. Minister Angelkova just had to go there, in order to push tourism in Bulgaria even more. She has several meetings per day.

The Tourism Ministers of Bulgaria and Turkey, Angelkova and Kurtunluş. Photo by Ministry of Tourism.

On Tuesday, she met her Turkish counterpart Nouman Kurtunluş. The outcome of their conversation: Cultural Days. Under this title, exhibitions presenting Turkish customs will be organised in Bulgaria, and the same kind of events about Bulgaria will be held in Turkish cities.

In addition, Angelkova and Kurtunluş, who is both Tourism and Culture Minister of his country, decided to work on what they call a “common tourist project” aimed at ‘prospective markets’. Those are markets in countries located so far away, they might hardly know the difference between Bulgaria and Turkey. Those include Asian countries such as China, Japan and India, as well as the United States and Canada, the two North American markets.

According to the Ministry of Tourism in Sofia, Turks are the fifth largest nationality among all foreign tourists, who visited Bulgaria from January through September of 2017. More than 485,000 Turks came across the border. On the other hand, the number of Bulgarians who visited Turkey is more than twice as large.

As a tourist destination, Bulgaria has a lot to offer. Photo by Imanuel Marcus.

Minister Nikolina Angelkova is not done on that front either. She and her helpers have already organised expedition tours for Turkish tour operators, internet ads in Turkish media, and visits of Turkish journalists, who travelled Bulgaria extensively. More is to come.

The Bulgarian minister’s schedule on Tuesday was rather full. While, back in her home country, ski resorts like Bansko were gearing up for the first snow of the season, she met Gloria Manso, President of the World Travel and Tourism Committee, at the Bulgarian WTM stand.

Nikolina Angelkova used this opportunity to show off the tourism numbers Bulgaria recently came up with. During the first nine months of this year, the country was visited by some 7.5 million foreign vistors, which amounts to a juicy increase of 7.7 percent. Foreign travel revenues from January to August added up to more than 5.2 billion leva.

As if all of those activities weren’t more than enough already, the minister also took part in an investment forum at the London fair, where she talked about Bulgaria’s “enormous potential to develop different types of mass tourism and specialized tourism products”. Her stated goal is to turn her country into a year-round tourist destination. In a way, it already is. But Nikolina Angelkova, the minister with unlimited amounts of energy, sees far more potential.


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