The Deputy Prime Minister for Demographic Policy and Minister of Tourism Mariana Nikolova started meetings with the tourism industry this afternoon to seek a way out of the crisis in the sector most affected by the coronavirus – tourism. This is clear from Nikolova’s address to the sector on her first day as tourism minister, the ministry said.

“I take on the Ministry of Tourism with the clear awareness that the most affected industry in the world from the pandemic is tourism. There is no forecast to give us a horizon when people’s travel will return to the pace and volume to which we were accustomed only a few years ago. months.

Everyone’s health is the most important concern at the moment and that is why tourism faces unknown restrictions. We have the difficult task of considering and deciding how to open the doors to tourism in the face of constraints and often closing borders and barriers.

My intentions are from the first day together with the representatives of the branch to update the National Strategy for Sustainable Development of Tourism and to adapt it to the new conditions.

Our resorts, places with tourist attractions, our rich history, our natural beauty need advertising as attractive, safe and secure for vacation. Today, people working in tourism need the support of the state, as is done in all European countries.

I would like to present to you some important facts that outline the difficult state of tourism at the moment:

– In June, 99 flights arrived at Varna Airport, and last year for the same period there were 1000. The situation is similar at Bourgas Airport – 203 flights now against 2000 in 2019.

– There is a danger that nearly 70 percent of the hotels in our largest resorts Sunny Beach and Golden Sands will remain closed.

– Due to the absence of foreign tourists, transport, food industry, agriculture and many services will fall into a financial crisis.

– The economy of many settlements in Bulgaria is based only on tourism.

A priority in the new conditions will be to encourage Bulgarians to spend their holidays in Bulgaria, whether at sea or in the mountains, in order to compensate for the outflow of foreign tourists. Providing holiday and tourism vouchers to a wide range of people will be a major incentive and support for the industry.

The calculations show that the economic effect of this measure will be 2.3 times – each given lev as a voucher will return as 2.3 levs in tourism. This measure must be constantly in place to see the effect of it.

Many European countries – Romania, Slovenia, Austria, France, Germany – already apply the voucher system in support of the tourism industry. As of this afternoon, I have started meetings with the branch organizations in tourism, the team in the ministry will work in coordination with them in order to reduce the damages caused to the Bulgarian tourism by the pandemic “, Nikolova also announced.