International communications, resonance and tourism trends

  • Six international promotional campaigns and four successful journalistic tours with 526 international news outlets
  • 500 publications so far in 2019
  • 15 reportage/documentary films. More than 350 interviews
  • Thanks to the ECC title, Plovdiv enjoys a stable growth in tourist numbers.
  • The ECOC initiative has reached a global audience of more than 1.5 billion.

We’re nine months into 2019 now, and we’d like to give a brief roundup of how the ECC title has helped Plovdiv so far. In the years leading up to the event, one of the foundation’s chief tasks was to put the city on Europe’s cultural and tourist maps. Six international campaigns have been successfully realised in the UK, Italy, Germany, Lithuania, Belgium, France, Spain and elsewhere. In partnership with the Ministry of Tourism, we have been popularising Plovdiv’s cultural heritage and city events on global forums such as the World Travel Market in London, Berlin, Moscow and in other cities.

Since 2017 the foundation has organised four journalistic tours, with representatives of 526 international media outlets, and there have been more than 500 publications in 2019 alone. As many as 15 reportage/documentary films were shot, and over 350 interviews conducted, reaching more than 1.5 billion people around the world.

For the first time Plovdiv was simultaneously featured and stayed in the focus of a host of prestigious international media, among them Euro News, BBC World, The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, Rai TV, Corriere della Sera, The Financial Times, Radio Television Suisse and Kleine Zeitung. The New York Times ranked it one of the world’s top destinations in 2019, and The Independent presented it as one of Bulgaria’s most preferred places to live in. Plovdiv is not only a city famous for its cultural riches, but is also modern, with Stuff of New Zealand calling it Europe's “best-kept secret.” We succeeded in intriguing media giants in Asia — Xinhua, TASS and Baijiahao Baidu.

According to data by the National Statistics Institute, trends for a sustainable growth in tourism have been recorded in Plovdiv at the end of 2018, a result of the city’s winning the ECC title. There was a 34% year-over-year rise in the overnights revenue, and overnights of foreign tourists rose by 44%. What’s important here is that this increase accounted for just 30% of the total number of events’ visitors; the remainder used online booking platforms, which official statistics do not as yet cover. There were as many as 1,069,414 overnights in 2018. Business responded to the accommodation demand by investing in more than 40 new facilities since 2014.

The two film productions whose protagonist is Plovdiv – European Capital of Culture will be screened internationally, also after the title has been passed. The documentary series, produced in а successful collaboration with National Geographic, has been currently attracting millions of fans across Central and Eastern Europe. The Bulgarian film The Reunion started its journey in Plovdiv on 15 October and is scheduled for screenings in Italy and the UK.



General partners

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