Why Elon Musk and Elden Ring Could Boost Tourism in BulgariaArchaeology | March 29, 2023, Wednesday // 08:23| views
Silvana Kirilova от Pixabay
A boost to a country’s tourism industry can come in many shapes and forms. Bulgaria has just received a huge potential lift to its international profile thanks to a tweet from an unlikely source.
Elon Musk and His Tweet
Twitter CEO Elon Musk recently commented on the photos of the Belogradchik rocks, comparing them to the scenery in the Elden Ring video game. Things got more interesting when a chef from a local restaurant suggested that a recent email from SpaceX made it seems that Musk might be visiting the area in the near future.
One way of looking at this is to consider which group of people will most likely play this game and visit Bulgaria because of these comments. A recent report suggests that Millennials play more video games and are more emotionally invested in them than Gen Z players. These more mature players tend to play less frequently than Millennials, but more of them carry out mammoth 24-hour gaming sessions.
The big question is how big this might impact the region’s tourism. Musk’s comment is likely to appeal to players of Elden Ring by FromSoftware, which was released in 2022 and quickly reached a level of close to a million concurrent players. It isn’t clear whether the game’s background was partially based on the Belogradchik rocks, but it seems that the Twitter CEO was just making a light-hearted comparison.
In terms of traveling, Statista points out that about a third of domestic travelers in Bulgaria are aged between 15 and 24. Across the EU, the average traveling age is 44, so bearing all of this in mind, it’s easy to assume that Musk’s comments could appeal to millions of more mature European gamers who feel emotionally invested in games like Elden Ring and perhaps have the time and money to travel to somewhere that looks like the game’s setting.
What are the Belogradchik Rocks?
That debate was started because photographer Vladislav Terziyski posted a beautiful photo online of the stunning rocks, with Musk’s reply stating that he was, “pretty sure that was in Elden Ring”. Since Musk has 132 million followers on Twitter, this reply caused a buzz on the internet and presumably led to many people searching for details of the Bulgarian landmark.
These strangely shaped rocks are made of sandstone and conglomerate rocks of varying colors, and they sit on the Balkan Mountains close to the town of Belogradchik. The highest of the rocks rise to 200 meters in height, and local legends surrounding them include those of the Madonna and the Schoolgirl. This site remains on the Tentative List for the UNESCO World Heritage list, where it was added in 2011.
These rocks are already a major tourist attraction in northwest Bulgaria, but some extra publicity bringing them to the attention of a global audience can only be a good thing. It remains to be seen if Elon Musk will be visiting this part of the country soon, but the debate he’s sparked has certainly put a top Bulgarian tourist attraction in the news.
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