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Hidden Before Your Eyes

БНР Новини
Photo fuse: Sylvia Petrova

Fifty little known heritage sites scattered amid breathtaking natural scenery are going to encourage Bulgarians to travel more in their home country. These veritable tourist gems will be advertised in the course of close to one year in a recently launched nationwide campaign promoting domestic tourism with the slogan Hidden Before Your Eyes.

The selected fifty sites are not on the list of the 100 national tourist sites, a movement that has gained great popularity in the recent years. The new selection features instead some unique locations found in remote mountains or valleys not visited often at all but with great potential to offer some special experience.

The authors of the project financed with funding from Regional Development Operational Programme seek to urge an adventurous streak in people tempting them to discover new, unknown places. The campaign includes the production of TV commercials, TV shows and short films, a mobile app, as well as content creation for the press, a dedicated Facebook page, etc. The project's worth is roughly 1 million euro. More about it from Minister of Tourism Nikolina Angelkova:

"Figures suggest that in fact Bulgarians are fond of trips in the country. They however, are not provided with enough information about accommodation, sightseeing and entertainment options. So this has made us think more seriously about ways to make up for the decline in the numbers of Russian and Ukrainian tourists. In fact we hope to beat this decline by boosting the home market and by trying to buck the growing trend of Bulgarians opting for holidaymaking abroad. On the other hand, a recent poll suggests that 61% of Bulgarians want to spend their holidays in this country in case they are aware where and how they should do that. In this context we have to show to them the Dragoman Swampland, for example, a unique nature site only 40 km away from Sofia, in fact a 20-minute drive away from the capital city. Few people are aware of this place though. It is very important to make sure that all those locations close to cities and big towns become known all the more so that trips to them do not require long planning and expenses. They are great for weekend trips. The campaign is going to deliver detailed information via a dedicated website, myastoto.bg”.

The list features a few unique sites such as The Stone Mushrooms in the Rhodope Mountains, Southern Bulgaria, the medieval castle of Cherven near Ruse, the rock monasteries off Provadia, both in Eastern Bulgaria and other emerging attractions. The idea of the Ministry of Tourism is to enrich this 50-strong list with new must-see but little known places. Furthermore, access to them will be facilitated by mounting information boards to guide tourists.

English Daniela Konstantinova

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