Bulgaria is a small territory with an extremely large diversity and this is our wealth. That is exactly where we should focus our attention, not on all-inclusive, where we have very little surplus value and it goes abroad in most cases. Emphasis should be placed on the unique, boutique, mountain tourism in Bulgaria. That’s what he said Vencislav Venev, Chairman of the Bulgarian Tourist Unionin the show “Business Start” on Bloomberg TV Bulgaria with hosted by Roselina Petkova.
This year marks the 57th anniversary of the creation of the National Movement “Know Bulgaria – the 100 National Tourist Sites”, which is emblematic of the Bulgarian Tourist Union and unique, not only in Europe, but also on a global scale. The registered participants with gold badges from September 2022 to August 31, 2023 this year are 332 people.
One of the important initiatives that is currently being worked on is the digitization of the structure of the Bulgarian Tourist Union, in order to have clear statistics on how many are the fans and true members of the Bulgarian Tourist Union. There are currently 136 tourism companies that are members of the BTS throughout the country, said Vencislav Venev.
When asked what the challenges of digitalization are, the interlocutor said that “a digitalization requires quite a serious creative resource, as well as a financial one.” “We are currently looking for partners with whom to develop this idea, but we are still at the level of the conceptual phase, hoping that very soon there will be concrete steps to digitize many of the routes, so that tourists can quite accessible and easily understand what initiatives are held in different parts of our country, what routes are available and how difficult they are”.
“For three months now, BTS has had the status of a nationally represented organization in the sense of the Law on Physical Education and Sports. This status means that our members – the tourism companies – have the opportunity to apply and participate in the programs of the regional and national institutions. Of course However, we do not yet have the experience of participating in these programs that other organizations (mainly sports) have. We are still developing in this respect.”
Venev also said that Bulgarian tourists are extremely interested in the “100 National Sites National Movement”. About 25-30,000 tourists tour the tourist sites, with new tourists each year between 15 and 17,000. For now, this figure varies within these limits, but this year, thanks to a digitalization initiative that BTS is implementing with its partners, this number is likely to be greatly increased.
“We are digitizing the well-known 100 National Sites booklet and now have a digital passport where tourists can put a digital stamp, which equates to a paper one, while still retaining the traditional booklet and stamps.”
It is difficult to predict the increase of investments in the BTS sites, because until now the work is done entirely with own funds, as the donors and helpers of the union are few in number, and the amounts that are donated are small. Everything else is done with revenues that are realized from the activity of BTS, said the guest.
“High mountain tourism cannot be done without state support. This should be clear to every state official. We have done everything for our resorts – summer and winter – we create conditions, we pay attention, but the future of Bulgaria, Bulgaria’s tourism is not in all-inclusive, but in the unique tourism that can be offered by our mountains, not only in the high mountain, but also in the mountains, forests and all sights in Bulgaria”.
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You can watch all the guests of the “Business Start” show here.