The National Tourism Board announced its intention to work on the nomination of Sofia for European Capital of Intelligent Tourism 2020. The idea was reported at the Sixth Annual Meeting of the Board, organised with the assistance of the Ministry of Tourism and the Sofia Municipality. Sofia Investment Agency was a partner of the event.
Vladimir Danailov, Chief Executive Officer of the Agency, participated in the panel “Promoting Tourism Investments and Providing Access to Financing”. Part of the topics discussed at the forum were the opportunities for additional funding of tourism, the relation between a “smart city” and the successful development of the urban tourism, the promotion of investments in the sector, etc.
The initiative gathered more than 150 representatives from the tourism industry, non-governmental organisations, representatives of the legislative, executive and local authorities. They presented their vision for the tourism development of the capital by 2030.
According to the data which was provided during the meeting, in 2018 the revenues from the tourism sector reached BGN 8.4 billion. This is 6% more than in the previous year, said the Minister of Tourism Nikolina Angelkova.
During the period 2008 – 2018, the number of foreign tourists in Sofia has increased by 82%. In 2008, they were 422 008 and in 2018 – 767 103. This was announced by the mayor of the city – Yordanka Fandakova. The trend for a growing interest in Sofia as a tourist destination remains stable over the past few years.
The countries that generate the most visits to their capital cities are Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Italy, Israel, and France.