PROCEEDS FROM LEISURE INDUSTRY IN 2002 EXCEED USD1.2BN
Proceeds from international tourism in January-November 2002 amounted to USD1.270BN according to preliminary data. The net proceeds of USD697.8MN are 11.7% higher from the same period of the previous year, the Deputy Minister of Economy Dimiter Hadjinikolov announced on February 26 at the opening of the 20th international tourist bourse Vacation 2003 at the National Palace of Culture (NDK) in Sofia. In January Bulgaria was visited by 126,652 foreign citizens. Guests from Greece were the most numerous - 36,631; next come Macedonia and Great Britain, respectively with 13,318 and 6,388 visitors.The management boards of the Bulgarian Chamber of Tourism, the Bulgarian Association of Tourist Agencies, and the Bulgarian Association of Hoteliers and Restauranteurs, held a working meeting on the first day of the bourse. They discussed problems connected with the visa regime with Russian and the Ukraine, improvement of the quality of services, and the new administrative procedures. The establishment of a Bulgarian Tourist Pool, called Olympics 2004 Athens, was also considered at the meeting.On Thursday, February 27, Mr. Hadjinikolov and the Deputy Minister of Transport and Telecomminications Milcho Milanov discussed issues of cooperation between the Bulgarian air-carriers and tour operators. The problem of the Bourgas airport, which handles 60% of the charter flights during the summer season, but is presently used by NATO military aircraft, was considered as well.