TOB (Tourist Organisation of Belgrade) held the promotion on the 1st December 2023 in Sofia.
It is a traditional New Year’s promotion of Belgrade Winter in Belgrade and Serbia.
Promotion of TOB in Sofia
Owing to a kind invitation from the Touristic Organization of Belgrade, I had an opportunity to attend its promotion.
The event was held in the 5-star Grand Hotel Millennium, located in the centre of Sofia. The conference hall was full of Bulgarian tourist agencies and Serbian representatives of agencies and hotels.
For years, Belgrade has welcomed Bulgarian tourists with open arms. And tourists from Bulgaria like to come to Serbia, especially for the New Year holidays.
During last year’s holidays, they were among the most numerous tourists. Actually, in the first nine months, 29,342 tourists from Bulgaria visited Belgrade, with 49,815 overnights, which is 49% more than last year. Also, they spent about 10 million euros this year in January travelling all around Serbia.
Ambassador of Serbia – Mr. Željko Jović
Željko Jović, the Ambassador of the Republic of Serbia to Bulgaria, welcomed the guests.
In his speech in the Bulgarian language, the ambassador mentioned the importance of completing the last sections of the highway between Serbia and Bulgaria. By the way, the distance between Belgrade and Sofia is only 395 km, which makes Belgrade the perfect weekend destination.
The speech of Mr. Slobodan Unković
Mr. Slobodan Unković, Assistant Director of TOB, addressed the guests.
“We are exceptionally pleased with the large number of Bulgarian tour operators who came to promote Belgrade and B2B meetings with hoteliers. This means that again this year, Bulgarian tourists will be among the most numerous for the New Year’s holidays.
And we believe that we will achieve a new record in their arrivals – said Mr Slobodan Unković.
By the way, Belgrade was visited by more than a million foreign tourists, and the Belgrade airport had a turnover of seven million passengers. Belgrade is also preparing for the upcoming BEOEXPO 2027, and it is planning to open 20 new hotels in the city.
Among the guests at the promotion, there was Mr. Georgi Genov, the president of HORES, the Serbian Business Association of the hotel and catering industry, and Mr. Obren Drljević, a professor at the College of Tourism in Belgrade.
Bayko Baykov & Bohemia
The collaboration between Serbia and Bulgaria regarding tourism had lasted for years.
And Mr Bayko Baykov, the owner of the Bohemia tourist agency has been bringing Bulgarian tourists to Serbia for exactly 10 years.
The promotion of Serbian tourist organisations
Aleksandra Mikata presented Belgrade and “Belgrade Winter” in the name of the Tourist Organization of Belgrade.
So, the festival “Belgrade Winter” begins on 8th December 2023 and lasts until 8th January 2024.
The event “Winter Tale” will be held at Savski Park near Belgrade Waterfront from 12 to 10 PM every day. Entrance is free, and visitors can enjoy various programs for kids and adults: kids workshops, theatre performances, music concerts, outdoor winter cinema and of course, food and drinks. You can check the festival program on the website zimskabajka.rs.
Well, tourists in Belgrade can enjoy delicious food in many restaurants, including the ones in the famous Skadarlija, the Bohemian Quarter. For kids, there will be Kids’ theatre performances held in front of the Theatre Vuk during December. And Kids Village will be in front of the Saint Sava Temple until 7th January 2024.
Traditionally, the festival “The Street of Open Heart” will be held on 1st January 2024 in all communities in Belgrade.
Also, the RTS Symphony orchestra and choir will hold a New Year’s concert on 14th January 2024.
The great TOB team took care of the successful promotion and organization of the trip:
Aleksandra Mikata, Saša Stevanović, Ivana Nikolić and Dina Stamenković.
TON – The Tourist Organisation of Niš
Dušica Todorović, the head of the tourism promotion sector from the TON, held the presentation about the city of Niš.
Since the distance between Niš and Sofia is only 165 km, Bulgarian tourists are the most numerous tourists in this part of Serbia.
By the way, Niš can offer a lot to tourists, including historical and cultural sights such as the Fortress of Niš, the Archaeological Park Mediana, Ćele-kula, museums, etc. For New Year’s Eve, Niš is preparing a traditional manifestation with a rich musical and cultural program on the main city square of King Milan, starting from 26 December .2023 and lasting until 1st January 2024.
And, of course, don’t forget to enjoy delicious dishes from the Niš region.
Tourist Organisations of Sokobanja and Dimitrovgrad
Sokobanja and Dimitrovgrad are also very popular destinations among tourists from Bulgaria since they are very close.
Mrs Aleksandra Krstić presented Sokobanja, one of the most famous Serbian tourist locations. The hotel Sunce has a unique wellness and spa centre that offers numerous and various facilities to guests.
Mrs Andrijana talked about Caribrod, known as Dimitrovgrad, in the Bulgarian language, since many Bulgarian citizens live there. This city in the Pirot region got its name from the Bulgarian President, Georgi Dimitrov.
TOB Tourist vouchers
After the presentations, Mr Bayko Baykov drew vouchers for 2 people could spend a weekend in Belgrade.
Two ladies from the Bulgarian tourist agencies were happy winners 🙂
The second part of the promotion was dedicated to the B2B meetings.
The representatives from Serbia talked about hotels and wellnes&spa centres with Bulgarian travel agencies.
Sanja Milinčić represented the IN HOTEL, located in New Belgrade. And Jelena Jovančić talked about Falkensteiner Hotel, located in the heart of New Belgrade’s business and entertainment district.
Jelena Hinić represented the 5-star luxury HILTON Hotel, located in the centre of Belgrade. Interestingly, this hotel was the first one who have its ice rink in Serbia. From 10th December 2023, visitors can enjoy free ice skating lessons, a large selection of treats and DJ parties every day from 10 AM to 9 PM.
Olja Milosavljević-Žuvić and Dragana Rajak represented the modern PUTNIK INN hotel
with excellent fitnes&spa, located in New Belgrade.
A few words about Serbia and Bulgaria’s relations
During the promotion, Aleksandra Mikata (TOB) was talking about some interesting facts and relations between Bulgaria and Serbia.
- Four Bulgarian princesses were married to the rulers of the Nemanjić dynasty.
- Four Serbian princesses were married to the Bulgarian rulers.
- Teodora, the mother of the Serbian King Dušan, as well as his wife Jelena, were both from Bulgaria.
- The relics of the Serbian king Milutin are kept in the church of Sveta Nedelya in the centre of Sofia.
- The Serbian architect Konstantin Jovanović made a design for the National Assembly of Bulgaria and after that, for the National Assembly of Serbia building.
TOB invites you to visit Belgrade
During New Year’s Night, there will be concerts in front of the National Assembly and a few locations in the centre.
And at midnight, there will be spectacular fireworks and a laser show from the Belgrade Tower.
So, come to Belgrade, enjoy and experience a wonderful time with us 🙂