Regional Administration of Plovdiv Region with a vision for slow, green and healthy tourism

On December 1, 2017 in Regional Administration of Plovdiv Region representatives of four target groups: state, district and municipal administrations, university scientific circles, business and employer organizations and NGOs, discussed the vision for Integrated Strategy for Slow, Green and Healthy Tourism in Plovdiv Region.

The workshop was organized within the framework of the project INSiHGTS, in which from Bulgaria participate as partners RDA BSC SMEs (Regional Development Agency with Business Support Center for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises – Plovdiv) and the Regional Administration of Plovdiv.

Mrs. Evelina Apostolova, Vice Governor of Plovdiv Region, delivered welcome remarks to the participants stressing that the state’s support for the development of slow, green and healthy tourism is an opportunity to develop and strengthen the economy in the region.

A brief presentation of the results of the project’s activities so far – status analysis and SWOT analysis of slow, green and healthy tourism, were presented by Mr. Velizar Petrov – Executive Director of RDA BSC SME and Communication Manager of the project and Mrs. Snezhana Alexandrova – Head of the Coordination an European Integration Department at Regional Administration of Plovdiv Region

Mr. Aleksander Tonkov, Senior Expert at the RDA BSC SME and Project Manager, presented a Guidelines for the development of Vision for Slow, Green and Healthy Tourism, elaborated by Ulrike Pröbstl-Haider and Michael Meyer from the partner organizations.

The presentation was followed by an animated discussion on the vision for Integrated slow, green and healthy tourism strategy, moderated by Mr. Velizar Petrov.

Mrs. Dobrina Prodanova, Chairwoman of the Board of the Plovdiv Chamber of Commerce and Industry, expressed his support for the project and congratulated the partners on the topicality of the subject. “We can not build industrial giants in poorly developed regions, but we can give them a great opportunity for economic growth through the development of slow, green and healthy tourism in them,” she underlined.

“We have a problem with the cadres in tourism and we should provide the necessary resources to help the universities that prepare them” said Prof. Yordanka Alexieva from the University of Food Technologies in Plovdiv. “It is important that they have a decent pay in our country, so that we do not have to recruit cadres from abroad who do not always guarantee a quality product,” she added.

“It is high time to think about protecting the Bulgarian tour guides from the unfair competition of the guides of foreign groups,” said Mrs. Rumyana Titeryakova from the Association of Bulgarian Tour Guides. “If it is necessary we can also monitor compliance with the regulations. The fines of unfair foreign group guides can go into the budget and can be used to develop tourism, including slow, green and healthy tourism, “she added.

To promote the tourism in region, appealed Mrs. Zhivka Damianova from TD “Varhovrah”. “It is important that this also happens in social networks,” said Mrs. Irina Dorosieva representative ofom “Slow Tours Bulgaria” and former Marketing Director of the Bahrain Government.