The master class "Cultural tourism in northeastern Bulgaria - potential for profitable business" was launched at Varna Free University "Chernorizets Hrabar" with a lecture delivered by the archaeologist Prof. Dr. Nikolay Ovcharov.
Rumen Draganov – the director of the Institute for Analysis and Assessment in Tourism, the Regional governor of Silistra - Petko Dobrev, Todor Yanakiev – a member of the Board of the Bulgarian Hotel and Restaurant Association, representatives of the tourism business and students also took part in the master class.
Master classes are an academic tradition at Varna Free University, which allows students and participants to meet with scientists and experts from various areas.
“The audience of our master classes is diverse, very intelligent and comes from different areas”, said the dean of the Faculty of "International Economics and Administration” Assoc. Prof. Dr. Eleonora Tankova at the opening. She recalled that the United Nations (UN) declared 2017 "International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development" with an emphasis on cultural tourism.
“This forum aims to answer the question of how successfully and sustainably to develop cultural tourism”, commented Assoc. Prof. Tankova. She shared her expectation for the forum to generate unique and innovative ideas for the development of cultural tourism in northeastern Bulgaria.
Under the topic "Cultural tourism in Northeastern Bulgaria - New Opportunities and Challenges" Prof. Nikolay Ovcharov from the National Institute of Archeology at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences did a review of the development of cultural tourism linked to the archaeological sites and made a comparison between the region of the Eastern Rhodopes and the Northeastern Bulgaria. He shared his experience of the discovery of the archaeological complex "Perperikon", which provides for the development of cultural tourism and gives a powerful boost to the economy in the region, as well as the role of the media in this process.
“Investing in routes for cultural tourism generates interest in existing sites and regains their tourist value” said categorically Prof. Ovcharov. As an example he pointed to the "rebirth" of the ethnographic complex in Zlatograd as part of the route to Perperikon. According to him an important prerequisite for the development of this type of tourism is the partnership between scientists, businesses and local authorities. Prof. Ovcharov noted the role of subsidies for architectural excavations, infrastructure investments and working on European programs for conservation and restoration of monuments and the infrastructure related to them.
According to Prof. Ovcharov the enormous potential of northeastern Bulgaria in the field of cultural tourism is still not used enough. There are many examples for that - the third largest Roman baths in Varna, the Old Bulgarian capitals - Pliska and Veliki Preslav, the archaeological reserve Abritus and the tomb in the village of Sveshtari near Razgrad, the medieval city Misionis near Targovishte called "the Northern Perperikon." “There are huge resources in the region of Ruse and Silistra”, pointed out Prof. Ovcharov. He also said that he was ready to actively take part in the processes of development of cultural tourism in northeastern Bulgaria both as an archaeologist and a lecturer in the innovative master's program in the field of cultural tourism started by Varna Free University.
Presentations related to religious tourism given by Assist. Prof. Gergana Zhelyazkova, a participant in the project "CULTOUR + - “Innovation and Capacity Building in Higher Education for Cultural Management, Hospitality and Sustainable Tourism in European Cultural Routes " and a presentation related to the legal and administrative obstacles for the development of cultural tourism in Bulgaria, given by Petko Dobrev, the regional governor of Silistra are part of the forum.
The master class continues with a panel "Cultural tourism - modern trends for development" with lecturer Rumen Draganov - Director of the Institute for Analysis and Assessment in Tourism (01:30 pm., Academic and Sports Complex, Hall 1).
The following topics: "Digital marketing of the tourism" and "Online positioning of Varna as a destination for cultural tourism" with moderators Assoc. Prof. Dr. Galina Momcheva, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Daniela Popova and Assist. Prof. Dr. Vesselina Spasova from Varna Free University are provided for the second day of the forum (April 6).