Bulgarian Government receives Open Letter on Travel and Tourism
PR No.: PR14040
On behalf of the government of the Republic of Bulgaria, Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Development Daniela Bobeva has accepted the UNWTO/WTTC Open Letter on Travel and Tourism, recognizing the socio-economic significance of tourism in Bulgaria and committing to support the mainstreaming of the sector in both the national and international agenda (Sofia, Bulgaria, 29 May 2014).
The UNWTO/WTTC Open Letter calls on heads of state and government around the world to acknowledge tourism’s key role in delivering more sustained and balanced growth and prioritize the sector higher in national policies in order to maximize its potential.
Accepting the letter on behalf of Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski, Ms. Bobeva said “I am proud to receive UNWTO/WTTC Open Letter on Travel and Tourism and I know that it means many obligations for the Bulgarian government. We committed ourselves to encourage the development of such tourism which protects nature, which is accessible to all people, which creates jobs and presents to the world the natural sights, the rich history and the cultural heritage of Bulgaria."
Tourism is one of the main economic sectors in Bulgaria, accounting for nearly 14% of GDP. In 2013, Bulgarian tourism showed steady growth, welcoming close to 7 million international tourists, an increase of 5,5%, while international tourism receipts reached US$4,6 billion, increasing by 4,9%. The Bulgarian government is currently seeking to further expand the sector through a variety of measures, including increased air connectivity. A new Strategy for Sustainable Tourism Development until 2030, drawing special attention to cultural and historical tourism, is also under development.
“Tourism is contributing in a central manner to the Bulgarian economy, providing crucial job opportunities for the youth, more innovation, promotion and conservation of Bulgaria’s unique historical and natural heritage. It is extremely encouraging to see the support provided by the Government of Bulgaria to the tourism sector at the highest level and I am very confident that tourism in Bulgaria will continue to progress, benefitting locals and visitors alike”, said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai.
The Open Letter was presented by Mr. Rifai during a four day official visit to Bulgaria, which also included the formal adherence of the National Tourism Council of Bulgaria to the UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, pledging to support the public bodies of Bulgaria in the implementation of the Code and to raise awareness among relevant stakeholders.
Note to Editors:
The UNWTO/WTTC Open Letter outlines Travel & Tourism’s value as one of the world’s largest generators of jobs, a powerful driver of socio-economic growth and development and a key player in the transformation to the Green Economy. To date, the Open Letter has been received by 62 heads of state and government.
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