SOFIA – The first International Congress on World Civilizations and Modern Tourism kicked off here on Tuesday, bringing together delegations from more than 40 countries and over 20 ministers and heads of tourism.
The aim of the three-day event, jointly organized by the Bulgarian ministry of tourism and the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), is to address how world civilizations can be brought back to life through the collaboration with creative industries such as architecture, design, arts, technology and science, while contributing to sustainable tourism development.
In 2015, almost 1.2 billion tourists from across the globe traveled the world, and tourism generated seven percent of trade and 30 percent of services worldwide, Taleb Rifai, UNWTO Secretary-General, said at the opening ceremony.
The sector has huge potential to make the world a better place for living and communication between people, Rifai said.
Bulgarian tourism minister Nikolina Angelkova said in turn that her country had a rich history and legacy of ancient civilizations, and revealed that cultural heritage was its main priority.
“At the same time, we realize that we live in an era of unprecedented technical discoveries and innovations. Many of them must and can be used in the tourism industry,” Angelkova said.