The President of the National Assembly, Mihail Mikov, and the Secretary General of the UN World Tourist Organization, Taleb Rifai, shared the opinion that the tourist sector is key factor for opening new jobs and for economic growth. The guest is on a visit to Bulgaria at the invitation of Branimir Botev, Deputy Minister of Economy and Energy.
The head of parliament acquainted Mr. Taleb Rifai with the work of the 42nd National Assembly and the situation in the country after the elections for MEPs. Mihail Mikov underscored that the parliament and the government had undertaken real measures to implement the priorities of their programs, tourism being one of them.
The National Assembly speaker has added that the field of tourism in Bulgaria has great potential, considering the country's membership in the EU and NATO, as well as the present open borders providing new horizons and opportunities for investment in this field.
According to the Secretary- General of the World Tourist Organization, Taleb Rifai, the tourist field generates the highest employment and is a powerful engine for economic growth and development. As example he noted that a billion tourists had visited foreign countries in the last year alone. Mr. Rifay stressed that the strategic planning was important and said he fully supported the newly adopted strategy of the government for sustainable development of the tourist sector in Bulgaria.
During the talks the parties discussed the potential advantages for Bulgaria from joining the Schengen area. The speaker of the parliament assured the guest that Bulgaria had fulfilled all criteria for membership and had received recognition for carrying out its obligations. The parties have agreed that Bulgaria’s tourist sector would benefit a lot when the latter joins the Schengen agreement, the members of which are interested in increased openness.
The guest confirmed he supports unconditionally the membership of Bulgaria in the Schengen space.
The World Tourist Organization is a specialized Agency of the United Nations Organization and a leading international body in the field of tourism.