Implementation of policies and actions for creating sustainable tourism in the Varna region.

In 2020, as a result of the participation of the Regional Administration Varna in the Land - Sea project, the first actions were taken to implement the lessons learned from the other partners. The start of implementation was delayed as the COVID pandemic was just beginning. However, it started with the preparation, printing and distribution of brochures for ecotourism destinations and thematic routes in the Varna region. Each of the 12 municipalities in the region Varna has identified sites that are attractions for ecotourism and their inclusion in the brochure aims to promote them, eliminate the risk of being abandoned and to differentiate into a route that allows them to be offered by organizations, suppliers of tourist information and tourist products. In this way a precondition was created for their effective utilization through conditions for development of specialized types of tourism in a wider network, based on local values - natural resources and landmarks, climatic conditions, cultural and historical heritage. The brochure collected 20 landmarks of ecotourism from Varna region. This start was followed by the organization of 2 events for cleaning of the protected area Pasha Dere and the protected area Longoza. The team on the project "Land - Sea" from the Regional Administration Varna together with the Municipality of Varna - stakeholder did everything possible to reach the information to a large number of people who will be motivated to join the cleaning. Thus, with the joint efforts of the organizers and the stakeholder, the event attracted the attention of various groups in society, including NGOs, politicians, athletes, representatives of the public and private sectors.
In order not to be in vain, the activities laid the foundation for the development of sustainable ecotourism continued with the creation of a strategic document for the development of tourism in the region. With this idea, the Regional Tourism Development Strategy of Varna was prepared, which aims to lay on the basis of strategic planning and sustainable development integrated tourism, combining economic, social and environmental conditions and impacts, by building a medium-term perspective for its implementation. The strategic framework of the document is formulated through a comprehensive interpretation of the assessed comparative advantages, resources, unrealized potentials and existing problems. The process of drafting the strategic document reflects the close cooperation with the regional units of state institutions, the 12 municipalities and stakeholders in the field of tourism in the Varna region.
As a result of studies conducted to improve the information services of consumers of ecotourism products and services, the following conclusions were reached. First of all, in order to increase the overall effect of ecotourism on the economy of Varna region, it is necessary to start an integrated supply of available resources in adequate tourism packages, covering the maximum spatial combinations of ecotourism resources in the region. The contribution for the realization should be of the organizations, the providers of tourist information and tourist products in Varna region. This necessitated an analysis of the registered in Varna region tour operators, travel agencies, companies operating as tour operators and travel agencies, tourist information centers. Secondly, a decision was made to work with the National Digital Platform for Tourism Business "iLoveBulgaria", and through the application an agreement was reached to promote ecotourism sites in the Varna region. The idea is to present the ecotourism attractions in the region in an interesting and interactive way and to obtain information and proposals for businesses related to tourism, culture and history, thus connecting all stakeholders.