Tourism Minister Holds Meeting with US Ambassador to Bulgaria

US Ambassador Kenneth Merten and Tourism Minister Zaritsa Dinkova held a meeting together, where they agreed that Bulgaria has the potential to attract more American tourists, Dinkova’s ministry said Saturday. The country has many cultural and natural attractions to offer that will pique the interest of American tourists. There are still untouched locations in Bulgaria that need to be shown and preserved, Dinkova said. 

The Ministry of Tourism is considering a new marketing strategy, which will also be aimed at expanding markets, Dinkova further noted.

The US is a promising and desirable tourism partner and market for Bulgaria. In 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic, over 104,000 American tourists travelled to Bulgaria. For the first 5 months of 2023, the number of US citizens visiting our country was 30,469, an increase of 41% compared to the same period in 2022, the Ministry said. 

Combined tourism products have great potential, as traditionally American tourists prefer to combine visits to as many tourist sites as possible with one trip. In this sense, combining the main summer and winter tourism products with opportunities for spa and wellness tourism, as well as visits to cultural and historical sites, would be an increasingly significant factor in shaping the preferences of American tourists towards Bulgaria. Dinkova added and suggested that Bulgaria could be presented as a destination on the American market or B2B forum as early as 2024, if this is of interest to the American market.

The development of the Bulgarian tourism sector is a national priority, Dinkova said. According to the WTTC (World Travel and Tourism Council), in 2022 the contribution of the travel and tourism sector grew by 25% to BGN 10 billion, representing 6.5% of Bulgaria’s economy, approaching the 2019 high of 9.9% of the economy.

By Saeed Ahmed Khan