High-level Meeting of the Ministers of Tourism of the EU member states "Tourism and economic growth": Media Advisory

08.02.2018

On Tuesday, 13 February 2018, an informal meeting of the EU Ministers of Tourism will take place, followed by a high-level conference on Tourism and Economic Growth. The meetings will address tourism as a factor for economic growth and stability, as well as policies that strengthen the development of tourism. The events will be attended by the Ministers responsible for tourism of the 28 EU Member States as well as representatives from the Balkan region. The EU Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, Elżbieta Bieńkowska, and the Secretary General of the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), Zurab Pololikashvili, will also be among the attendants.

 

The Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of EU 2018 would like to kindly remind you that registration for the High-Level Meeting of the Ministers of Tourism of the EU member states - "Tourism and economic growth" starts at 9.30 on 13 February 2018.

Due to the very high interest in the event, we encourage you to come early, thus having enough time to pass all security checks.

Please, bring your identification document with you and show it at the checkpoints upon request by the security officials.

You should obtain your badge at entrance A4 and also a card indicating the time of the buffet lunch.

Coffee break would be organized on both floor 6 and 7 near Hall 3 of the National Palace of Culture.

Buffet Lunch would be organized into two groups: Group A 13:15-13:45 and Group B 13:45-14:15 (please show the card you have received at registration).

We would like to thank you for your interest in the event and ask to excuse us for any inconveniences caused to you.

Bulgarian Presidency Team

 

Agenda

13 February 2018 | Tuesday

8:00 - 9:00             Arrivals and doorstep statements (streamed live)

9:00 - 10:15           Informal Meeting of the EU Ministers of Tourism

Chair: Nikolina Angelkova, Minister of Tourism of the Republic of Bulgaria

The meeting will focus on the tourism industry as a sustainable factor for economic growth, regional integration and peace. The participants will examine the development of the sharing economy and of EU policies related to tourism. Special attention will be drawn to connectivity as an enabling factor for broadening the relations between people and its positive impact for the Balkan region. EU integration policies will be discussed, with a special focus on cohesion. Participants will have the opportunity to share success stories about tourism projects in their respective countries.

10:15 - 10:30        Family photo

10:30 - 11:15        Press conference (streamed live)

Nikolina Angelkova, Minister of Tourism of the Republic of Bulgaria

Elżbieta Bieńkowska, EU Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary General of the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO)

 

11:30 - 12:00        Conference on Tourism and Economic Growth – Official opening (streamed live)

Tsveta Karayancheva, Chair of the National Assembly of the Republic of Bulgaria

Elżbieta Bieńkowska, EU Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary General of the UNWTO

Valeri Simeonov, Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Bulgaria

Nikolina Angelkova, Minister of Tourism of the Republic of Bulgaria

 

12:00 - 13:00        Panel discussion 1: Tourism and Economic Growth – factors for Tourism Development (streamed live)

                            Moderator: Eduardo Santander, Executive Director of the European Travel Commission

The panel will focus on the tourism industry as a sustainable factor for economic growth on the regional and European level. A summary of the morning’s informal meeting of the Ministers of Tourism will be presented by Nikolina Angelkova, Minister of Tourism of the Republic of Bulgaria. Special attention will be drawn on tourism as a factor for the integration of people, goods and services in the Balkan region. Participants will examine EU policies as catalysts for the development of the tourism industry in terms of competition, consumer protection, and common initiatives.

 

14:30 - 15:30        Panel discussion 2: Tourism and Security – Geopolitical and Geo-economic aspects (streamed live)

                            Moderator: Solomon Passy, Ph.D., President of the Atlantic Club of Bulgaria

Panel participants:

Michael B. Christides, Secretary General of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC)

Yordan Bojilov, Chairman of the Sofia Security Forum

Velina Tchakarova, M.A., Austrian Institute for European and Security Policy

Measures and decisions to make a tourist destination safer and more attractive will be discussed. The session will incorporate recent policy developments in close cooperation between all tourism stakeholders in order to examine security as a major factor in the development of the sector. Positive developments and challenges regarding the new image of the Western Balkans as a region of prosperity and peace will be evaluated.

 

16:00 - 17:00        Panel discussion 3: Europe and China 2018 – new dimensions, challenges and opportunities (streamed live)

                            Moderator: Anna Athanasopoulou, DG GROW, European Commission

Panel participants:

H.E. Zhang Haizhou, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People’s Republic of China to the Republic of Bulgaria

Mr Tom Jenkins, CEO, European Tourism Association

Mr Oliver Fodor, Deputy Director General, Department for Tourism International Relations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary

Mr Martin Zahariev, Managing Director of the National Tourism Board Association

Mr Ivan Todorov, Chairman of the Bulgarian Center for Development, Investment and Tourism in China

Ms Claudia Vernotti – ChinaEU

Mr Vassil Gelev, Director of the Centre for the Promotion of Cooperation in Agriculture between China and the countries in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE)

 

In the context of the EU-China Tourism Year 2018, the panel discussion will focus on important recent developments, projects and initiatives concerning the cooperation in the area of tourism between Europe and China. The role of the Silk Road connecting two of the world’s largest economic powers and two ancient cultures in Europe and China will be examined. The discussion will underline the significance of regional and cross-border cooperation for the development and implementation of joint tourism products and packages designed for long distance markets like China. The discussion will focus on opportunities for attracting more Chinese visitors to Europe and the Balkan region in particular.

 

Accreditation information

Accredited journalists can pick up their badges on the day prior to the event at the Registration Desk at Entrance B-2 of the National Palace of Culture between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.  Members of the press arriving in Sofia on the day of the event will be able to get their badges at the same entrance upon their arrival at the National Palace of Culture.  Only accredited members of the press will have access to the National Palace of Culture.

 

Photos and videos

All media opportunities during the event (doorstep statements, handshake, roundtable, press conference) as well as the opening session and panel discussions of the Conference on Tourism and Economic Growth will be streamed live on the Website of the Bulgarian Presidency. Throughout the day, photos and videos will be uploaded in the Photo and Video sections of the Website. All official photos from the event are also available for download in high resolution on the Flickr account of the Bulgarian Presidency. Videos can be downloaded from Vimeo.

 

Press contacts

In Sofia:               Veselin Jelev, [email protected], +359 883 990 247

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