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ITF CULTURAL TOURISM

Be sure to chek our new site culturaltourism.info  where you will find all the information about The International Cultural Tourism Fair in Veliko Tarnovo and this year's edition which will take place  April 14-17.

To download the application form please click HERE.

The International Cultural Tourism Fair in Veliko Tarnovo has been the first specialized forum to promote cultural tourism and its importance to Bulgaria as a tourist destination. For seven years now, government and non-government organizations, municipalities, museums, academics, and businesses have been demonstrating in Veliko Tarnovo their activities, good practices and events that change our attitudes toward one of the most exciting and remarkable types of tourism. 
  Breaking the structure of Bulgaria’s tourism industry that has been in place for 20 years, cultural tourism has proven its potential despite a delayed investment strategy in its present day. A guarantee for its future development and efficiency resides in the change of public attitudes to its value and importance as a type of tourism that strongly attracts European tourists.
  Preserving the living memories, traditions, tangible and intangible heritage, and diversifying special events and attractions is insufficient, unless it is part of an overall concept of how cultural tourism should be developed. The attitude to cultural heritage, architectural artifacts, monumental art, cultural events, and festivals as a whole and the tourist use made of them define the uniqueness of this type of tourism. However, in answering the trickiest of all questions (How to develop cultural tourism in a way to guarantee the preservation of Bulgaria’s cultural and historic heritage?), it becomes increasingly obvious that we need to radically change the way we think and act, driven by the awareness that heritage is the most valuable source that makes it possible to diversify the tourist product.
  The trends and problems of the tourist industry, the change in the customers’ attitudes, and the impacts of new technologies imply that the criteria for the preservation of our cultural and natural environment need to be updated.
Consumers of cultural tourism have a different customer profile: they are non-standard, more demanding and intelligent personalities, and higher spenders. They are a specific public that ‘seeks’ the past as an image and experience memories as a reality that becomes ‘visible’ precisely through the cultural heritage. There are many possible ways to promote and advertise cultural heritage to attract the key publics on which its popularity depends. For instance, there is the participation in regional, national, and international exhibitions and fairs that make a destination identifiable, help build its image, and attract tourists who have better awareness of good cultural practices and show more interest in them.
CulturalTourism: The Mission of VelikoTarnovo is an introduction to the International Cultural Tourism Fair, first organized in 2004. There search offers ananalysis of some theoretical concepts in the context of the understanding for cultural tourism and proves the role of tourism exhibitions in tourism promotion and advertising.The results achieved by scores of Bulgarian museums, municipalities, universities, associations, and organizations in the course of their professional activities in the field of cultural tourism are shown in the light of advertising, public relations, and special events.
  Extensive evidence is produced to outline the major strengths of the city and region that underlies the development of heritage, festival, educational, religious, and other various forms of culturaltourism. The city’s unique history, culture, architecture, traditions and customs, in addition to a quality tourism product, have earned it the title of the Balkan Capital of Cultural Tourism.
  The study retraces in detail the beginnings and successful experiences of the travel market in Veliko Tarnovo between 2004 and 2011. It evokes the formula of its success: exhibition stands, a discussion programme, and ancillary events (exhibitions, performances, concerts, book presentations, handicraft demos, and custom recreation). In addition to the main organizer, the Tsarevgrad Tarnov Municipal Agency (Veliko Tarnovo), and the co-organizers, the Bulgarian Hotel & Restaurant Association and the Association of Bulgarian Touroperators and Travel Agents, the book outlines the support of the government and businesses for the forum. Part of the study is dedicated to the Festival of Tourism and Travel Films (On Europe’s Est Coast), an event that was launched within the forum’s second edition and has no match in the country so far.
  Reference has been made to state-of-the art studies by leading researchers in the field, official documents of Bulgarian and foreign organizations, press articles, unpublished photos, and internet sources. For the sake of authenticity, the study is based on archive documents on the fair’s seven editions. More than 50 representatives of the tourist business, tourist organizations, museum directors, municipality officials, and regular participants in the exhibition have been interviewed for the purpose of this research. The fair’s history and practices, analyzed in detail, are an example of how a unique forum can strengthen its position in times of an exceptional, though late interest in the future of cultural tourism in Bulgaria.