Today, Veliko Tarnovo is an administrative, cultural,historical and tourist centre of Bulgaria. The city is a geographical and communication centreof Northern Bulgaria and one of the 28 administrative districts of the country as well. The size of Veliko Tarnovo district is 4662 sq. km. and it includes 10 municipalities with 14 towns/cities and 322 villages. The population is about 295 000 people.
The population of Veliko Tarnovo is about 65 000 people, but including the students of “St St Cyril and Methodius” University (second biggest in the country) and the “VasilLevski” National Military University, the population increases by about 12 000.
The location combined with the good climate and natural resources together with the historical heritage and preserved architecture as well as the development of traditional arts and crafts provide Veliko Tarnovo with even better prospects for future development. Veliko Tarnovo is an important landmark for Bulgaria, and according to the statistics the city and its region are in the top ten of the most visited tourist destinations in Eastern Europe.
In 2009 Veliko Tarnovo was awardedwith the title "Balkan capital of cultural tourism". This took place at a ceremony in Belgrade, where the 47th congress of the International Hotel and Restaurants Association was held.