Minister Angelkova meets in Seville with Thomas Cook Group CEO Peter Funkhauser

03 April 2019

Cooperation with major international tour operators is extremely important for the sustainable development of Bulgaria and we as an institution will continue this policy actively. This was stated by Tourism Minister Nikolina Angelkova at a work meeting in Seville with Thomas Cook Group CEO Peter Fankhauser. The talk took place at the 19th Global Summit of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), which this year is titled Visionaries in the Tourism Sector.

In the years after the establishment of an independent Ministry of Tourism, Bulgarian tourism achieved record results in the number of tourists and income from their visits, which upgraded steadily. In 2018, the total number of tourist visits of foreigners is nearly 9.3 million. However, in 2019, we are facing new challenges and in order to keep the trend, common efforts and initiatives are needed, the Minister said. Ministry of Tourism discusses specific opportunities for forming a mechanism in co-operation with municipalities and the tourism business to overcomes declines in early enrollments. The two discussed the successful completion of joint campaigns with Thomas Cook in 12 target European markets. The latest campaign has reached 437,000 users on social networks and over 700,000 customers via email and newsletters. Over 6.8 million were video views at Thomas Cook offices in the UK alone. In 2018, the number of tourists traveling to Bulgaria via Thomas Cook is close to 435 thousand, an increase of 10% compared to the previous year - mainly from the UK, Germany, Czech Republic and France.    

Minister Angelkova added that in the last 3 years there has been an average growth of 20% in British tourists in Bulgaria, last year being a record for the last decade. In 2018 they were almost 390 thousand, which is an increase of over 15% compared to 2017. The United Kingdom is a prime tourist market for Bulgaria and we work not only to maintain current levels but also to increase them, regardless of the outcome on the Brexit case, she explained.

Peter Fankhauser congratulated Minister Angelkova on the results achieved and assured her that the prospects for partnership were excellent. He received an invitation from her to participate in the International Conference on Sustainable Investment in Tourism, which will be held at the end of May in Sunny Beach.

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