PLAN OF ACTION
OF THE BSEC WORKING GROUP
ON COOPERATION IN TOURISM

1 July 2016 – 30 June 2018

Country-Coordinator: REPUBLIC OF BULGARIA

I. GENERAL OBJECTIVES:

The Plan of Action of the BSEC Working Group on Cooperation in Tourism is guided by the Charter of BSEC, taking stock of the Resolutions of the 34th Meeting of the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, and the Joint Declaration of the Ministers in charge of Culture and Tourism of 23 June 2016.

The mission of the BSEC Working Group on Cooperation in Tourism for the period
2016−2018 is to promote regional cooperation in the field of tourism and actively participate in the celebration of the 25th Anniversary of BSEC by also planning events and activities to mark this significant milestone and to increase the visibility of the Organization.

The key priorities for the activity of the Working Group, as defined by the “BSEC Economic Agenda Towards and Enhanced BSEC Partnership”, are the following:

 Promoting the BSEC Region as one of the leading tourist destinations of the world.

• Further strengthening Member States cooperation in the field of tourism, including enhancing dialogue on facilitation of visa procedures. 

Ensuring sustainable tourism development by adopting green growth strategies that will enable economic expansion while preserving natural and cultural heritage.

• Promoting new tourist products for the BSEC Region. 

Promoting a joint marketing campaign of the BSEC Member States, inter alia by participating in international tourism exhibitions, fairs and festivals. 

Establishing a network among the tourism professionals, travel agencies and associations of the Member States.

• Developing and implementing joint projects and programs in the field of maritime, winter, health, spa, wellness and business tourism.

• Encouraging cultural tourism/cultural routes projects in the Black Sea Region and their implementation.

• Examining the option for creating a web portal displaying internship possibilities in the BSEC Member States for students and graduates interested in pursuing a career in the tourism and hospitality sectors.

• Considering ways of effective implementation of the signed Memorandum of Understanding between BSEC and UNWTO, with a view to promoting the collaboration between the two Organizations.



II. LIST OF ACTIVITIES AND JOINT PROJECTS:
1. MINISTERIAL MEETINGS:

• Connectivity Meeting of the Ministers in charge of Tourism and Transport of the BSEC Member States (venue – TBD, 2017)

• Meeting of the Ministers in charge of Tourism of the BSEC Member States (Sofia, May-June 2018).


2. MEETINGS OF THE WORKING GROUP:

• 1st Meeting – BSEC HQ, Istanbul, November 2016 – consideration and approval of the Plan of Action • 2nd Meeting – Varna, February/March 2017 – consideration of the proposed projects • 3rd Meeting – Burgas, November 2017 – consideration of the proposed projects • 4th Meeting – Sofia, May-June 2018 – consideration and approval of the evaluation report of the Country-Coordinator


3. RELEVANT EVENTS (seminars, workshops, symposia, conferences):

• First International Congress of World Civilizations and Creative Tourism (Sofia, Bulgaria, 29 November–2 December 2016); • Conference on Tourism and Culture, Danube Strategy, Priority area 3 – (Romania, October 2016); • Seminar and 61st Meeting of UNWTO Commission for Europe (Moldova 2017); • Vacation and Spa EXPO (Sofia, Bulgaria, February 2017); • International Festival Culture Tourism (Veliko Turnovo, Bulgaria, April 2017); • International Yacht Festival “Black Sea Friendship”, Russia – Turkey (summer 2017); • Tourism Black Sea Forum (Varna, Bulgaria, September 2017).



4. JOINT PROJECTS

• Consideration of a possibility to start a Project on Development of Cruise Tourism based on Fast Track Cooperation. Creation of a common cruise product which will unite the Black Sea region ports. • Design of the Project “Joint initiative to promote common tourist products in Black Sea Region”. • Creation of joint tourist products of:
- Health tourism (including spa); - Cultural tourism; - Festival and other active types of tourism; - Exhibitions and tourism fairs; - Gastronomy and Wine tourism and Film-induced tourism.

• Consideration of other projects on Cultural tourism / Cultural routes.


5. PRIORITIES FOR PDF FUNDING

• In accordance with the decision of the Working Group on Cooperation in Tourism (Yalta, 28 February 2013), the priorities of the Working Group for PDF funding are: new tourist products and routes; research; education and training; marketing and promotion.


6. COOPERATION WITH OTHER BSEC BODIES

a) Other Working Groups:

• BSEC Working Group on Culture – Consideration of Cultural tourism / Cultural routes projects;

• BSEC Working Group on Transport – Development of Cruise Tourism; preparation of a Connectivity Meeting of Ministers in charge of Tourism and Transport in 2017.


b) Related Bodies:

• Parliamentary Assembly of BSEC (PABSEC) • BSEC Business Council (BSEC BC) • International Center for Black Sea Studies (ICBSS)


7. COOPERATION WITH OTHER INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

• UNWTO (First International Congress of World Civilizations and Creative Tourism).