”Over BGN 22 million was generated last year in the district of Smolyan due to nights spend in accommodation establishments, while over 22,000 people work in the sector in the entire Southern Central region,” said Bulgarian Minister of Tourism Nikolina Angelkova, speaking in district centre Smolyan at an off-site sitting of the Regions and National Infrastructure Development Council with the President’s Office themed “State policy on encouraging the economic activity in the poorly developed and disadvantaged regions in Bulgaria. Alternatives to the traditional productions”, Radio FOCUS – Smolyan announced.
Nikolina Angelkova remarked the country’s potential in the field of tourism was still not used enough, while the Ministry of Tourism explicitly backed all forms of mountain tourism development not only in Pamporovo, Bansko, and Borovets but also everywhere the potential could be used.
Angelkova stated there were 32 ski zones and only 110 aerial lifts in Bulgaria, which meant it was last in Europe in terms of this indicator.
”We have to clearly ask ourselves if we wish to develop mountain tourism and ski tourism as high class of tourism or we will just ascertain what our neighbours are doing. An aerial lift of 8 km is being built in Turkey. We are here debating on whether ski tourism should develop and what it destroys,” the minister commented.
She added not only ski tourism could be talked about as regards mountains but also ecotourism, pedestrian tourism, creative tourism, and adventure tourism.
”Building aerial lifts, which are the greenest kind of transport, does not mean only they are connected to skiing but that they ensure access to the mountain for the development of all kinds of mountain tourism and thus mountains are much less polluted than in [a situation with] thousands of cars stopping so that people can go to a mountain,” the minister stressed.
She remarked Bulgaria was in one of the first places in Europe in terms of cultural and historical heritage and cultural and historical monuments and turning Bulgaria into an all-year-round tourist destination through its culture and history was one of the main goals of the Ministry of Tourism.