Minister Angelkova delivered a lecture at the Moscow State Institute for International Relations (MGIMO)

11 March 2019

Tourism is an essential factor in the business relations between the two countries, Russia is among the generating markets for the destination Bulgaria, the Bulgarian Minister told students and professors


Co-operation with universities is extremely important - science and young people are the future of our countries, and we value this partnership. These close contacts are an incentive for the development of bilateral relations, including in the field of tourism, which is an important economic sector for both Bulgaria and Russia. This was stated by the Minister of Tourism Nikolina Angelkova in a lecture before the leadership, teachers and students of the Moscow State Institute for International Relations (MGIMO), one of the most respected in the academic circles. The meeting took place during her work visit to the Russian capital at the Intourmarket International Tourism Exhibition.

Minister Angelkova's statement to the scientific audience was dedicated to the 140th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between Bulgaria and Russia, which is in 2019. She stressed the role of tourism as a significant factor in the development of traditionally good bilateral contacts, which have been stepping up in recent years. An example of the dialogue was the visit of the Prime Minister of the Russian Federation to Sofia last week, Dmitry Medvedev. Our cooperation is constantly developing in many areas of common interest, and in the field of tourism has reached the level of strategic partnership and the Federation is among the leading generating markets for Bulgarian tourism. During the visit of the Russian PM to Bulgaria, a Bulgarian-Russian Tourism Business Forum was held and a two-year Tourism Cooperation Program (2019-2021) was signed between the Ministry of Tourism of Bulgaria and the Ministry of Economic Development of Russia, said Minister Angelkova.

She recalled that the government of Prime Minister Boyko Borisov created the Ministry of Tourism as an independent administration at the end of 2014, taking into account the priority of the national economy sector, accounting for about 12 percent of GDP and over 11 percent of employment in the country. According to BNB data, the total income from domestic and international tourism in Bulgaria in 2018 amounted to BGN 8.4 billion. Last year our country was visited for the first time by more than 9 million foreign tourists (about 9.3 million). Over the past four years, the growth of foreign tourists in Bulgaria has increased by 31% and the incomes from inbound tourism by 34%, said the Bulgarian Minister.

She stressed the efforts of the Bulgarian state to introduce a number of visa facilitation procedures for Russian tourists. As of this year, applications for visas for Bulgaria can be submitted in 59 Russian cities. The National Tourism Office is working at the Bulgarian Embassy in Moscow, which is a member of the Russian Tour Operators Association (ATOR). However, our partnership is developing not only with the major Russian centers, but also with the regions, their universities, chambers of commerce and industry and etc., the Minister added, and announced that a Memorandum of Cooperation with the Tourist Association of the regions in Russia is planned to be signed this year..

We are working on many joint programs and initiatives, including the announcement of 2020 and 2021 for the tourism years of Bulgaria in Russia and Russia in Bulgaria. In April, a Bulgarian-Russian tourist forum will be held with representatives of the Russian regions in Veliko Tarnovo. We are also planning concrete measures in conjunction with the industry and the municipalities to increase charter flights between our countries, she said.

Minister Angelkova presented in detail to the teachers and students of MGIMO the potential of Bulgaria as a destination for four seasons with a huge variety of cultural and historical landmarks, mineral springs, renowned summer and winter tourism resorts, organized children's recreation and various types of specialized services. She recalled that last year about 512,000 Russian tourists visited our country, but the opportunities are much greater.

Just before the lecture, Minister Angelkova also spoke with the Deputy Rector of MGIMO on General Affairs Artyom Malgin. He presented the scientific activity of the university and the programs for the preparation of students, among which there are Bulgarians. Minister Angelkova drew attention to the possibility of graduates of the Institute to conduct internships in Bulgaria in the field of tourism. We have various such practices and programs, as well as proposals from companies where young people from Russia can develop, she explained. The Minister informed the Deputy Rector of the idea to hold an international investment forum in tourism, which will take place at the end of May in Sunny Beach resort with almost 300 participants. The focus of the event will be investments in the Black Sea region.

The meeting with the university leadership was also attended by the Bulgarian Ambassador in Russia Atanas Krustin, Egor Andreev, Head of International Management of MGIMO, etc.

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