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Bulgaria cuts port fees for cruise ships to boost tourism

Staff writer |
Bulgaria has decided to cut tonnage-related port dues for cruise ships in a bid to give a boost to its tourism industry amidst increased competition from neighbouring countries.

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Cruise ships will have to pay a 14% lower tonnage fee when they call at Bulgaria’s Black Sea and Danube ports under amendments to the list of fees collected by state-owned Port Infrastructure company, which the government approved on Wednesday.

The lower fee will create conditions for increasing the number of passengers at Bulgarian ports and overcoming increased competition from neighbouring countries, the cabinet said in a statement.

The government approved the draft Protocol of Intention between the Ministry of Tourism of Bulgaria and the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Tourism of Romania. This way the the two countries state their aspirations to strengthen friendly relations and contribute to their economic development and tourism potential growth.

The Protocol of Intention stimulates the development of joint tourism products in the field of cultural, historical, balneology, Spa, festival, and other types of tourism. The aim is to increase the tourist flow potential from third markets, including distant ones, focusing mainly on China.

The specificity of Asian markets, particularly China, requires the development of cultural routes projects and jointly, Bulgaria and Romania can offer interesting products.

One of the already drafted projects – The Roman Emperors Route - includes two routes and aims to integrate them in transnational and cross-border tourist services, with main attraction elements being the cultural and historical heritage of the Roman era and the ethnic culture of the region.

The project includes five sites in each country, selected according to the following criteria approved by the partners – belonging to the geographic area of the Danube River, close proximity to towns, roads, accommodation and catering, tourist attractions, participation in marketing campaigns.

Bulgarian sites included are: the Belogradchik Fortress, also known as Kelto (Belogradchik), the ancient town of Oescus (Pleven), the ancient military camp Novae (​​Svishtov), the ancient Sexaginta Prista fortress (Rousse), and the Roman tomb in Silistra.

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