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Brieﬁng Notes on Tourism Policy and Institutional Framework
Brieﬁng Notes on Tourism Policy and Institutional Framework
regional and local tourism organisations. with the President elected every 5 years for no longer than two consecutive terms of ofﬁce. The Municipality Council approves the annual budgets and development plans of the corresponding municipality.Brieﬁng Notes on Tourism Policy and Institutional Framework Bulgaria 1 Administrative structure 1. tour operators and travel agents. the cultural. The current president is Georgi Parvanov. The Ministry was a regulatory and policy-making function but a bottom up approach to tourism development has been promoted through the establishment of regional and local tourism ofﬁces which include representatives from government. no party received a clear majority. The Bulgarian Tourism Authority was the government agency for tourism promotion.1 General Bulgaria is a republic. private sector and NGOs. activities. the Tourist Act was amended to transformation of the Bulgarian Tourism Authority to a State Agency within the responsibility of the Council of Ministers. Associated members of BATA are other tourism-related entities. The new Agency will be the main regulatory body in the area of tourism. The policy of every municipality is determined by the Municipality Council and includes the economic development.2 Tourism Previously part of the Ministry of Economy. the educational. The Law has been approved by the Parliament recently (10/11/2005) and it is expected to come out soon. hotels and restaurants. as part of the February 2005 Cabinet restructuring. headed by the Prime Minister. At present. Every municipality is ruled by a Mayor. etc. Founded in March 1990. One of 1 . secures public order and national security and exercises control over public administration and the military forces. In June 2005 general elections. and a coalition government was formed with Socialist Party leader Sergei Stanishev as the new prime minister. The Government (The Council of Ministers) is the main body of the executive power. The municipality is the main administrative territorial unit for the local government. the Association includes more than 250 members. BTC was the non-government tourist trade association in Bulgaria. tourism afterwards falls within the responsibility of the newly established Ministry of Culture and Tourism under Minister Nina Chilova. the environmental policy. The new Agency will have appointed a new president. who took ofﬁce in January 2002. The Council of Ministers rules and conducts the internal and foreign policy of the state. represent and protect the economic interests of travel agencies and tour operators in Bulgaria. Regular members of BATA can be any Bulgarian tour operators and/or travel-agents. 1. The Bulgarian Tourist Chamber (BTC) – a non-proﬁt organisation that brings together national. Now after government election in June 2005. Key tourism organisations Key tourism organisations include: The Bulgarian Association of Travel Agents (BATA) – founded in 1992 to assist.
It is concerned with promotion of professional ethics. ornithology. and Rural Tourism (BACERT) – a non-proﬁt legal entity. capacity development and improved standards. agrarian. Bulgarian Hotel and Restaurant Association (BHRA) – a non-proﬁt organisation which coordinates and encourages the development of private hoteliers and restaurateurs. Bulgarian Association for Cultural. etc. which seeks to assist the development of cultural.the priorities of the Chamber is to actively cooperate with the Bulgarian government in drafting tourism legislation in line with EU directives and international practice. which assists the development of alternative types of tourism – rural. 2 . religious. whose tasks relate to the promotion of rural and ecological tourism. and rural tourism. etc. and mountain tourism.a non-proﬁt association. Ecological. Among the founders were leading hotels and hospitality related companies such as The Sheraton Soﬁa Hotel Balkan. Members of BACERT are tourist agencies whose programmes in Bulgaria feature visits to major cultural monuments and interesting natural sites. spa visits and so on. Regional trade associations In addition to these national level organisations there are ﬁve key regional trade associations: Pirin Tourism Forum Tourism Association of Rhodopes Burgas Tourism Association Regional Tourism Association of Stara Planina Varna Tourism Chamber Specialist product-based associations Specialist product-based associations include: Bulgarian Association for Alternative Tourism (BAAT) – a non-proﬁt association. The Association has developed the ‘Bulgarian ecopaths’ national programme. ecological. Ltd. The National Hospitality Management Club (NHMC) – established by owners and general managers of hotels and restaurants from all over Bulgaria. The Radisson SAS Hotel Soﬁa. eco-. Bulgarian Association for Rural and Ecological Tourism (BARET) . wine tours. TourMarketing.
the Ordinance for Licensing of Tourism Activities. Culture and Tourism Minister Nina Chilova said in April 2005 that overall Bulgaria’s tourism policy emphasised keeping up the pace in seaside and winter tourism. (c) formulate direct and indirect incentives for tourism development at national and regional level. in draft format. Charter of Bulgarian Tourism The National Assembly has also approved the development of a national strategy for tourism development – the Charter of Bulgarian Tourism. Bulgaria is due to join the European Union in 2007. skills development. In addition. however. deﬁne a policy on modernisation of the tourism industry through an appropriate incentives structure. tourism has been recognised as a priority sector in most Regional and District Development Plans (1999) and in the National Economic Development Plan 2000-2006. As such much activity in recent years to adapt and harmonise Bulgarian legislation with EU directives and policy. and marketing strategy. and the Ordinance for Classiﬁcation of Tourist Objects. A prime objective is continued privatization of state-owned tourist facilities – although there have been criticisms of lack of transparency in the privatization process and complicated investment procedures. there is little clarity however on what this means in practice and how to implement it. deﬁne the geography of the future development of tourism.1 Tourism Speciﬁc The legislative framework for tourism currently consists of: the Tourism Act. regional and local government and branch organisations in encouraging tourism development. 3 . (d) set clear rules for quality management in tourism corresponding to European standards. This is not yet. Tourism Act However. and developing and marketing cultural tourism. (b) deﬁne the tasks and responsibilities of the central and local administration. It is intended that this will: outline the further separation of powers between central. While sustainable tourism is identiﬁed as a policy objective. (e) create specialised bodies for marketing and quality standards.2 Policy and legislative framework 2. the Tourism Act has been amended and entered into effect in April 2005 and the amendment was intended to: (a) clearly deﬁne the entire diversity of tourism-related activities. The new Tourism Act will therefore be likely to further revision following accession in 2007.
4 . and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests (MOAF) signed a Protocol for Cooperation for the ﬁeld of ecotourism. the value of the plot will also be included in the tax calculation.Ecotourism Although there is no formal tourism strategy as such. The tax is equal to 0.bulgariatravel. Companies are generally treated as resident when they are registered under Bulgarian law. In addition to the property tax. nonresident companies pay tax on Bulgarian-source income only. in any bank in Bulgaria. A ﬂat rate of 15% applies as from January 1st 2005. Every local or foreign person may own an unlimited number of accounts in any currency. In 2002. the Ministry of Environment and Waters (MOEW). capital.org/. The owner of a building or a plot is obliged to pay property tax. And subsequently developed a national ecotourism strategy and action plan (NETSAP) – based on the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Guidelines for Activities Related to Sustainable Tourism and Biological Diversity. To acquire land. There are no restrictions on the repatriation of earnings.15% of the book value of the property. royalties or interest with regard to the foreign investments and repatriation payments can be made freely. the Ministry of Economy (MOE). Where a building is built on a State or municipal plot. 2. in compliance with the Law on Commerce. foreign nationals need to establish – or acquire a stake in – a company incorporated under Bulgarian legislation. owners also pay waste-collection fees.ecotourism.2 Investment and Fiscal Policy Investment and Fiscal Policy The Bulgarian Constitution and Property Act provide that foreign nationals and foreign legal entities can acquire buildings and limited property rights (right of use etc) but not direct ownership of land. Resident companies are also charged corporate tax on their total income. http://www. there is a national ecotourism strategy.
The regulations set a deadline of a month for the removal of illegal structures. Tourism developments in the Black Sea zone are subject to EIA requirements. Fines for those who violate the law are to vary between 5. (1995) Development plans have been prepared for each region under the auspices of the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works.02 Energy management A new Energy strategy was developed and approved by the Parliament in July 2002. A new law concerning Black Sea tourism is currently under development new law. 5 for construction norms and rules. removable structures will be allowed on beaches. investors will be responsible for ﬁnancing such infrastructure.03 Renewable Energy 5 . The new law will also forbid all construction work from May 1 to October 15.2 for details.01 – 04 Responsible Tourism Policy RT 01. (1973) Law for the Administrative and Territorial Division.05 Membership of community/ environmental group Bulgaria provisions Not destination speciﬁc There are a number of tourism associations in Bulgaria that UK TOs would be welcome to join.06 Ensuring new developments meet regulatory requirements There are no Bulgarian laws or regulations speciﬁcally relating to tourist infrastructure development.01.01.000 and 10. All structures on sand dunes or surrounded by walls and fences are to be considered illegal. Harmonised with EU energy policy. RT 01. See Section 1. special provisions are made for the Black Sea coastal area which is divided into different zones – with different restrictions applicable in each zone. the security of energy supply and environment protection. currently being prepared by the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works. There is no certiﬁcation scheme speciﬁc to Bulgaria – but many of the existing schemes would be appropriate. Construction permits will be given only if the necessary infrastructure is available.3 Links to FTO Preferred Code of Practice Number/Issue RT 01. See above RT 01. If this is not available. This includes electricity and water supply and sewage system. In particular. Important laws include the Foreign Investment Law and various environmental laws. General planning provisions include: Law for Urban and Land-use Planning (for urban and territorial arrangement).000 leva. RT 01. (1995) Regulation no. At local level. the strategy – and a new Energy Bill (2003) – include clauses to promote the use of renewable energy sources and improve energy efﬁciency as a means for increasing the competitiveness of economy.01. municipal land-use plans prescribe requirements for tourism development. only light.
Combined with the National Action Plan for Biological Diversity Conservation. They develop safety and behavior rules. The Ministry of the Environment and Waters manages the protected area systems. The RT 01. Each National Park is managed by a regional body of the Ministry – a National Park Directorate. and Increase local community welfare without harming the natural habitat.06. The National Park Directorates maintain the tourist infrastructure.RT 01. The National Strategy for Biological Diversity Conservation. The Biological Diversity Act (2002). Regulations have been adopted on batteries. in detail.05 Waste water management RT 01. end-of-life vehicles and sewage sludge. was the ﬁrst for Europe and the second in the world. Activities within the National Parks are coordinated with international and national environmental legislation including: The Environmental Protection Act (2002) provides a framework for the overall environmental legislation and is also a guiding document for the National Park Directorates. Waste collection fees are payable by all owners of land or buildings. in hopes of encouraging a ‘recycling culture’. Promote rest and recreation. waste oils. Bulgaria is not known for its efﬁcient waste management. All are currently being harmonised with EU directives including Directive 2000/60/EC establishing a framework for Community action in the ﬁeld of water policy. but several environmental groups have emerged to promote recycling.04 Water management Various pieces of legislation provide for water quality standards. and the Fishing and AquaCultures Act (2001) treat.11 Responsible purchasing and chemical management RT01.07 Nature conservation and biodiversity 6 . the Hunting and Game Protection Act (2000). Legislation has been adopted on the import and export of certain dangerous substances and on the risk assessment of new chemical substances. Measures have also been taken concerning the import and export of dangerous chemical substances. Develop educational and scientiﬁc activities. these are key documents for the State and guided donor activities and investments within the national parks. Directive 76/160/EEC concerning the quality of bathing water allow for bathing water quality. RT 01. A Law on protection against the harmful effects of chemicals entered into force in February 2000. important elements of the environment. Both private citizens and large companies are being targeted by recycling campaigns. the Medicinal Plants Act (2000). The Act speciﬁes that National Parks are managed with the following goals: Conserve biodiversity and protect wildlife. Legislation has been adopted on biocides. The law on waste management was adopted in September 2003 and a national waste management plan has been updated. The Regulation for Assigning of Activities in Protected Areas that are Exclusive Property of the State and the Public Procurement Act. Other laws on the management and control of substances which deplete the ozone layer were published in January 2000. together with the Bulgarian Tourist Union. Existing landﬁlls are being closed or upgraded. Bulgaria has ratiﬁed the Rotterdam convention on certain hazardous chemicals and pesticides in international trade. and the Cartagena Protocol on biosafety.06 Solid waste management/ recycling Directive 91/271/EEC concerning urban waste-water treatment. and work together with the Mountain Rescue Service to ensure visitor safety. Bulgarian National Parks are managed in accordance with the Protected Areas Act (1998).
horse and dog-breeding for fox hunting were high on the agenda of a meeting in September 05 between Deputy Agriculture Minister Stefan Yuroukov and a UK delegation.08 Employee relations Bulgaria has ratiﬁed the European Social Charter (revised) of the Council of Europe. They hire local businesses to produce goods and deliver services. Kalofer. Over the last two years. events. National Park tours and mountain guides. An ecotourism component of each Park’s activities focuses on supporting local business opportunities within the Parks: promoting the tourist experience and capitalizing on local foods. and Rila Ecotourism Associations offer: Reservations for hotels. Furthermore. if the provisions of an individual labour contract are less favourable for employees than the provisions of the LC. and safety facilities. Labour relations in Bulgaria are governed by the provisions of the Bulgarian Labour Code The LC establishes the minimum standards and requirements that must be observed by either party to a labour agreement. the Labour Code has been amended to address labour market concerns and to bring labour legislation into compliance with EU social policy and employment requirements. and hospitality.11 Nurturing understanding See above The Penal Code includes provisions for protecting children against sex tourism – including penalties of up to 20 years imprisonment. activities and transport.National Park Directorates also develop and maintain the tourist routes. interpretation. Not destination speciﬁc 7 . and Visits to ethnographic. RT 01. RT 01.10 Beneﬁting communities and vulnerable groups RT 01. scenic lookouts. cultural and historic landmarks. Minimum wage is currently BGL 150 per month (as of January 05). The management plans for the Rila and Central Balkan Parks provide for improvements to tourist infrastructure including rest and recreation areas. the latter shall apply by virtue of law. The Central Balkan Ecotourism Association. Opportunities for investment in hunting tourism. crafts. Detailed information about tourist services. The National Sustainable Development Strategy also prioritises support to small enterprises. RT01.09 Using local goods and services National Parks demonstrate a preference for local contractors. Bulgarian workers are free to join trade union movements.
+359 48 761283. Triaditza St. Ministry of Culture and Tourism 17 Al.bulgariatravel. Stamboliyski Blvd 1040 Soﬁa Tel: +359 2 .Nedelia Soﬁa 1000 Bulgaria Tel: + 359 2 987 97 78.org Tel: +359 2 933 5811 Fax: +359 2 989 6939 Mobile: +359 8 972 844 93 6.bg 9.bulgariatravel. Bulgarian Hotel and Restaurant Association 5-B. +359 2 981 13 85 Fax: +359 2 986 25 33 3.org Tonchev@btch. Burgas 8000 Tel: 056 841 966.btch.orbitel. Bulgarian Association of Travel Agents 6 Triadiza Str 1000 Soﬁa Tel: +359 2 981 55 53. Tourism Association of Rhodopes 14 Bulgaria Blvd Smolyan 4700 10. Fax: + 359 2 989 69 39 info@bulgariatravel. Bulgarian Tourism Chamber 8 Sveta Soﬁa str 1000 Soﬁa Tel: 00359 2 987 4059 Fax: 00359 2 986 5133 www. Pirin Tourism Forum PO Box 454.org 2. Regional Tourism Association of Stara Planina 4 Raicho Krolve Str Gabrovo 5300 Tel: 066 3 61 90 12.org 5. +359 48 905732 4.940 76 38 / 74 69 / 73 22 Fax: +359 2 . Tel/Fax: +359 2 981 58 11 firstname.lastname@example.org 11. brta@abv. 1st ﬂoor 1000 Soﬁa Tel/Fax: 00359 2 987 65 86 bhra_ofﬁce@abv. Sv. +359 66 801277. Central Balkan National Park Directorate Ofﬁce Tel: +359 48 937838.bg CONTACT FOR UPDATES: Hristina Beeva Bulgarian Tourism Authority www. email@example.com Directory 1. Ministry of Environment and Water 67 William Gladstone str 1000 Soﬁa Tel: +359 2 940 6222.bg 8. bata@mail. Bulgarian Tourism Authority 1 St.org 7. Varna Tourism Chamber 25 M Koloni Str Varna 9000 firstname.lastname@example.org 55 32 www. Burgas Tourism Association 5b Tzar Peter St.org Email: info@bulgariatravel. Blagoevgrad 2700 Tel: 073 3 67 95.bg 8 .
thetravelfoundation.uk . The Travel Foundation The CREATE Centre Smeaton Road Bristol BS1 6XN T: 0117 9273049 F: 0117 9300076 E: email@example.com.These destination brieﬁng notes are sponsored by The Travel Foundation – an independent UK charity that aims to help the outbound travel industry manage tourism more sustainably.uk http://www.org.
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