Opportunities For Tourism Growth And Development

3085 words - 12 pages

There's an old joke (ed. note: real old!) in the United States about a shopkeeper who one day finds that a competitor has opened a shop right next door. In the competitor's window is a sign that says "Best prices in Town." The next day another competitor opens a shop on the other side, and puts a sign in the window that says "Best Selection in Town." Finally, the man, surrounded by his competition and their superlative claims puts a sign above the door to his store which is now located between the two. His sign reads "Main Entrance."I tell you this because it is our goal to make Bulgaria the "main entrance" to tourism in this part of the world.In our letter of welcome to you, we mention three words that are the keys to Bulgaria's tourism development. Those three words are "Investment", "Experience", and "Education." Let me briefly address each of those words.As for investment, Bulgaria already has the raw materials for a thriving tourism industry...the attractions and destinations that are unequaled in most parts of the world (and I'll talk more about that in a minute). But there is a need for capitalization. By demonstrating your commitment to developing the industry, and by creating a coordinated marketing effort, I believe Bulgaria will be able to attract the necessary capital.The experience Bulgaria needs is available in conferences like this one. In this conference we bring together some of the leading tourism and tourism marketing executives and officials not just from Bulgaria, but from the United States and Europe. They are here to share with you their expertise. Just as important, they are here to tell you how, as representatives of different parts of the tourism industry, they work together in synergy to build a strong industry.As for education, Bulgaria has one of the best educated populations in the world. It is the responsibility of the tourism professionals here today to find ways to use that educated population to further the tourism industry. The industry, and the educational resources that support it will grow together. It's no accident that the University of Nevada Las Vegas has one of the best hotel management programs in the world, including a scientifically-based hospitality research and development center, and curricula on the economics and every other aspect of the tourism industry. I should point out that Maria Radeva, one of our Bulgarian student volunteers, is a student at the University of Nevada Las Vegas and is studying hotel management there.In fact, the development of Las Vegas and its tourism industry is a good parallel for our purposes today, and throughout much of this conference.The history of Las Vegas and Southern Nevada dates back thousands of years to the first Native American residents of the area.Unlike some of the ancient visitors to Bulgaria who built fortresses and other edifices, the primarily nomadic indians who inhabited our area didn't leave much behind. But they did leave these petroglyphs, which...

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