San Sebastian 2016 shared its experience in tourism with Plovdiv

The first thematic forum, dedicated to the preparation level of the tourism industry for realizing the European Capital of Culture 2019 project, was held on 26.09 in Plovdiv with the participation of Fernando Alvarez Busca, Marketing Director of European Capital of Culture 2016 San Sebastian, Spain. The event was organized by Plovdiv 2019 Foundation in partnership with the Ministry of Tourism through the municipal enterprise “Tourism” Plovdiv and the Cervantes Institute Sofia.

Tourism is the most profitable field in European Capital of Culture. We can already measure an average growth in the field by 10% and this year we will probably reach a 20% growth”, Deputy Mayor Stefan Stoyanov said in his greeting speech at the forum and added that the title also brings Plovdiv a lot of investments in this field and a serious takeover of the weekend city tourism niche, which extends the tourist season up to 8-9 months.

“We have been a tourist destination for 100 years. We are accustomed to having many famous people visiting and therefore this was not a primary goal for San Sebastian “, Fernando Busca said to those present from the industry. “The European Capital of Culture brand makes a city more recognizable and this will be useful for Plovdiv, but it is more important for the city to keep the interest afterward as well. It’s hard to focus only on tourists from abroad. 80% of the audience during the year of the title will come from a radius of 300 km from Plovdiv”, shared the Spanish expert.

In Busca’s opinion, Plovdiv’s potential as a future European Capital of Culture in 2019 is obvious and enormous. He was also significantly impressed by the motto of “Plovdiv 2019” – “Together”. The slogan reminded him of that of San Sebastian 2016 – “To Live Together.”

According to preliminary data, Plovdiv is expecting nearly 2 million tourists in 2019. The local tourism industry reported that they already have inquiries for the year of the title and expect to plan the cultural calendar and tourist packages together with the local administration and the foundation.

The forum also included the director of Cervantes Institute Sofia – Javier Valdivielso Odriozola and the director of the British Council – Lubov Kostova.


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