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EU Conference in Bulgaria Highlights Digital Transformation of Tourism Industry

An European Union (EU) conference on tourism held here on Tuesday highlighted digital transformations in the rapidly changing industry.

Titled “Conference on Digital Transformation in Tourism”, the one-day event, organized by the EU Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR), brought together representatives from eight countries.

At the first panel of the conference titled “Digitalization — Best Practices Worldwide”, participants discussed future tourism products of the Balkans and the Danube Region, the storytelling in the cultural heritage sector, and the trends in digital marketing and innovative technologies in hospitality.

Ilin Dimitrov, Bulgaria’s Minister of Tourism, said at the opening ceremony that the industry was obviously very important for the economies of Europe and the world, and that it was undergoing dynamic transformation and very serious changes.

“Digitalization of tourism is an irreversible process of modernization of the sector,” Dimitrov said.

Bulgaria, in particular, would create an electronic guidebook that would bring together various elements of tourist services and products, such as cultural and wine routes, festivals, and natural and cultural landmarks, he said.

The minister said that an increasing proportion of consumers used digital devices. Globally, 71 percent of tourism consumers purchased services through their phone, and 91 percent got information over the phone, Dimitrov said.

EUSDR is a macro-regional strategy that seeks to create synergies and coordination between existing policies and initiatives taking place across the Danube Region.