Bulgarian Govt to Set Up State Firm for Tourism AdvertisingTourism | February 18, 2011, Friday // 19:28| views
Bulgarian Economy MInister Traikov at the "Vacation 2011" tourism expo in Sofia. Photo by BGNES
The Ministry of Economy, Energy, and Tourism has come up with the idea to set up a State Company "Bulgarian Tourism" that would manage Bulgaria's "national marketing and tourist image."
The Economy Ministry proposes that the new state firm should be included in the new draft Tourism Act, which is to be discussed next week with the public.
The further proposals in the draft law presented Friday by Deputy Economy Minister in charge of tourism Ivo Marinov provide for dividing Bulgaria into tourist regions to be under the responsibility of organizations for destination management. Marinov presented the new ideas within the annual "Vacation" Expo in the National Palace of Culture in Sofia.
The proposed state company for Bulgaria's national advertising will be subordinate to the Economy Minister. It will be funded with 10% of the total revenues from tourist tax, 50% of all fines under the Tourism Act, fees from tourism expos as well as additional state funding.
The "Bulgarian Tourism" state company will be responsible for managing Bulgaria's tourism advertising, participation in international expos, and the development of marketing strategies and communication campaigns. It is will feature a consultative council with representatives of the business tourism associations.
The other major brainchild of the Bulgarian Economy Ministry, the destination management organizations, will feature representatives of municipalities and district authorities as well as local tourism associations. Any other tourism-related organizations will be free to join – including parks, museums, etc.
The destination management organizations will be allowed to create marketing strategies and advertising campaigns for the specific region, and to provide their projects to the future state tourism company. Each of them will have a governing council of 9 people – 5 businesspeople, 3 municipal officials, and 1 district governor's office official, and a supervisory council of 3 people – one from the economy and finance ministries each, and one elected by their general assembly.
It is still unclear how exactly the Ministry will want to divide Bulgaria into destinations and tourist regions.
Upon taking in 2009, the Borisov Cabinet shut down the former State Tourism Agency and turned the Economy and Energy Ministry into a Ministry of Economy, Energy, and Tourism. This restructuring does not appear to have produced much in terms of tangible benefits for the development of tourism in Bulgaria.
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