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Organisation Structures in Tourism

Ministry of Tourism

According to the Tourism Act, the Ministry of Tourism has the engagement to
implement the state policy in the field of tourism and to co-ordinate the activities of the ministries and other institutions towards its implementation. The major priorities of its activities are the inter-state relations in the field of tourism, the regulatory provision for the tourists activities, national marketing and advertising, assisting the activities of the regional, local and branch tourist organisations, IT procurement, marketing research, analyses and forecasts for the tourist market, development of the tourist product and training the staff employed in tourism.

National Tourist Board

It functions as a consultative body with the Minister of the Economy. It aims at assisting in the implementation of a national policy in tourism. The members of the National Board are representatives of the tourism-related ministries and institutions, local, regional and branch tourist organisations and the Bulgarian airline companies.

Bulgarian Association of Travel Agents (BATA)

BATA was established in 1992. Members in it are over 200 companies of proven professional experience in tour-operation activities, tourist agency and other activities relating directly or indirectly to tourism. A non-profit association, which represents, assists, and protects the interests of its members. It takes part in the work of international tourist organisations, co-ordinates and encourages the participation by its members in national and international events. BATA is a member of UFTAA - the World Federation of the Associations of Tourist Agents, of the Russian RATA, of the American ASTA, of the Portuguese APAVT, of the Japanese JATA, of the Black Sea Tourism Co- operation (BSTC). It is the co-ordinator for the issuing IATA - UFTAA cards for agent discount. It has a registered economic structure of its own - “Bata Service” - as licensed tour-operator and tourist agent, which assists the BATA members in organising various events, services, staff training, etc.

Bulgarian Tourist Chamber (BTC)

A non-profit Association established in 1990. The Chamber has commissions set up for consultations in hoteliership, restaurateurship, staff training, and economic problems of tourist companies. Presently it has about 800 members - individuals and legal entities. It has regional structures in towns of Varna, Bourgas, Plovdiv, Pleven, and Veliko Turnovo. A member of the Bulgarian Industrial Association.

Bulgariam Hotel and Restaurant Association (BHRA)

A non-profit Association, which organises, co-ordinates, and encourages the development of private hoteliership and restaurateurship in this country. It works out programmes on developing the activities of its members and popularises their achievements and capacities in Bulgaria and abroad. It monitors the observing of professional ethics, the principles of loyal competition between its members, and assists for raising their qualifications.

Bulgarian Association for Alternative Tourism (BAAT)

A non-profit Association, which assists the development of alternative types of tourism - rural, agrarian, eco-, and mountain tourism; ornithology, religious, etc. It co-ordinates the interests and the actions in the forming and implementing the tourist product of the respective alternative types of tourism.

Bulgarian Association for Rural and Ecological Tourism(BARET)

A non-profit Association, whose tasks relate to the promotion of rural and ecological tourism, developing the tourist supply in towns and regions of preserved natural-and- ecological fund, etc. The Association has developed the “Bulgarian eco-paths” national programme.

Commission on Trade and Consumer Protection

The Commission has the functions of a controlling body under the Tourism Act. It is a subdivision of the Ministry of Economy; it has regional structures and monitors the observation of regulations in the field of tourism.

Local and Regional Tourist Organisations

These are non-profit organisations uniting companies and organisations of the respective levels interested in the development of tourism. Their activities are focused on marketing and advertising, IT servicing of tourists (through tourist information centres), development and implementation of programmes on the development of tourism, monitoring of demand and supply, development of tourist products and training in tourism. As of January 2000 this country had 53 local and 4 regional organisations functioning, which maintain 24 tourist information centres.

Municipal Administrations

The Tourism Act envisages that municipal administrations have the status of the basic institutions for the development of tourism on a local level. This takes place through the

programmes on the sector’s development, assisting the local marketing, IT servicing of tourists, categorisation of tourist sites as stipulated by the Tourist Act, as well as exercising control over their activities.