The level of hotel service has to improve in Bulgaria, International Hotel & Restaurant Association (IH&RA) President Dr. Ghassan Aidi told at news conference at the BTA Press Club on Sunday, reported BTA.
"Your country has good hotels both at the seaside and in the mountain and you have all "components" you need to develop Bulgaria as a successful destination, however you have to coordinate these components, to raise the level of qualification of staff and improve service", Aidi added.
IH&RA President and the Association's Director General Abraham Rosental are visiting Bulgaria for a Board of Directors meeting in Sofia, which is hosted by the National Hospitality Management Club. After Bulgaria's EU accession, the Club was made a member of IH&RA, which is the only world business organization in the hotel- and restaurant-keeping, recognized by the UN. Its members include the national associations of over 100 states and 50 world hotel chains.
The chairmen of the national tourist associations of the US, France, the Netherlands, Sweden, Tunis, Jordan and others will come to Bulgaria.
According to the official statistic, Bulgaria was visited by 5.158 million tourists in 2006, up 6.64 per cent year-on-year. Sector revenues stood at 2 billion euros. There are 2 880 hotels in Bulgaria excluding the so-called family hotels of up to 15 rooms.
The tourism sector generates 14 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) of the country and ensures 140,000 jobs, which is equal to 4 per cent of the employed in Bulgaria. During the high season, the number of employed in tourism is doubled. The investments in the sector represent 2.7 of the total foreign investments to Bulgaria.
The tourist sector will generate between 16 and 16.4 per cent of GDP or 7.7 billion euros by 2016, the international forecasts show. According to studies of the World Travel and Tourism Council, a 3.9 per cent increase of revenues of foreign tourists are expected in 2016; as well as 5.3 per cent annual growth of tourism expenditures, incurred by Bulgarians both in the country and abroad and 3.7 per cent annual growth of investments in the sector.