At the end of 2021 the Municipality of Varna received two prestigious awards for tourism: Award for tourist destination of the year from the National Information Agency www.bgtourism.bg and the Magazine “Destinations - ultimate guide for your holiday” and Award from the Bulgarian Hotel and Restaurant Association (BHRA) for contribution to development of sustainable tourism. The awards were presented to the Mayor by the Minister of Tourism Stella Baltova and the Chairman of the Board of BHRA Georgi Shterev at an official ceremony in Sofia. As a sign of partnership and support, in the event took part Mr.Adrian Cummins - Member of the Board of HOTREK, the largest European Association of Hotels, Restaurants, Bars and Cafes and similar establishments in Europe, which unites 45 national associations in 31 countries.
The Varna Municipality was awarded because of the rich and interesting campaign for the anniversary of "100 years of Varna as a resort", as well as thanks to the new transport services launched after the implementation of the Interreg Europe LAST MILE project. Together with some CIVITAS projects, the implemented measures facilitate locals and tourists and offer sustainable mobility in Covid pandemic.
The new free mobile application for purchasing tickets in the public transport of Varna, launched at the beginning of the active tourist season - varna.mpass.bg is another method to facilitate travel by public transport, along with electronic ticketing since beginning of 2021. The application allows the purchase of tickets with a credit or debit card, and the check is performed via a dynamic QR code from the controller's device. One ticket lasts 1 hour.
The official tourist site of Varna Municipality – www.VISIT.Varna.bg that won the Grand prize in the 8th edition of the National competition Read & Travel at the International Exhibition "Cultural Tourism" in Veliko Tarnovo, also contributed much to the development of the destination. VISIT.Varna.bg has a completely new vision, columns, photos and videos. The site is supported in six languages: Bulgarian, English, Russian, German, French and Romanian. A special place is given to the rubrics: landmarks, transport in and around the city, attractions, museums, temples, parks, galleries, art spaces, sports opportunities with rich photos and videos. To date, the site has published over 600 original photos and over 100 thematic videos, owned by the Municipality of Varna. A technical module "Tourist routes" has been developed especially for the site.
In 2021 VISIT.Varna.bg proposed 14 cycling routes for mountain biking enthusiasts. The trails are of different lengths and levels of difficulty and can be used almost all year round. Some are shorter and suitable for beginner cyclists, while others are long and require physical training and experience in off-road riding. The starting point for some of the routes is the city of Varna, others start from the Golden Sands Nature Park and can be combined with a visit to Aladzha Monastery.
The routes are available at: visit.varna.bg/bg/velo-marshruti.html that in just 6 months of launch reported over 8 million visits.