Bulgaria to Promote Spa and Wellness TourismSource: Sofia News Agency (www.novinite.com)
Published Date: 11 Jun 2008
The State Tourist Agency is preparing a strategy for the development of spa and wellness tourism in Bulgaria.
The strategy was announced by the Agency's Chair Anelia Kruchkova at the First Specialized Business Forum dedicated to Spa and Wellness.
The forum is held in the sea resort Albena and is organized by the National Spa and Wellness Association with the goal for tour operators and state institutions to reach a common vision regarding the development of spa tourism in the country.
A work group has already been created at the State Tourist Agency with the task to prepare a strategy for the development of the spa sector. The document will determine the spa and wellness centers' criteria and standards. "This way, according to Kruchkova, we will avoid calling a hotel with a sofa and a Jacuzzi a spa center."
University professors are also going to participate in the strategy's preparation, which is to be completed by the end of the current year.
Stanimir Stankov, Chairman of the Association's Managing Board stated that spa and wellness tourism would attract wealthier visitors to Bulgaria. Unofficial statistics from 2007 show that 130 000 tourists have used spa and wellness services last year, while there are 75 five-star hotels in the entire country.
According to Stankov, Bulgaria offers spectacular nature and climate for the development of the spa and wellness tourism, adding that strict rules must be created and enforced in order to avoid repeating the mistakes made in the sea and ski tourism sectors.
Stankov explained that currently the hotels in Velingrad and Sandanski are overbooked while in a place such as Varshets with excellent possibilities for the development of spa and wellness tourism nothing had been built in years.