Projected image of Bulgaria as a tourist destination – content analysis of online and printed media
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Bulgaria is a small country, located Southeast Europe, in the northeast part of the Balkan Peninsula. The country is on the crossroad of Africa, Asia and Europe. It has predominantly sunny and mild climate due to the influence of the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. With its rich history and variety of tourist attractions Bulgaria has a great potential in the tourism industry. The projected image of Bulgaria as a tourist destination is a topic that presents a significant interest due to the strategic plans of the country to focus its policy on tourism as a major sector. This study aims at determining the projected image of Bulgaria and examining the circumstances which have led to its formation. The researcher conducted a content analysis of online and printed media to reach the set aims and objectives. An inductive content analysis was used as the researcher was not able to find any previous works devoted to this topic. A set of codes was used in order the volume of the collected information to be systemized. CATPAC computer software was used for analyzing the data and for deriving the results in a tabular form. After the content analysis, the researcher made several conclusions on the results. It became obvious that the projected image of Bulgaria as a tourist destination is based on a handful of sightseeing and the rest of the potential of the Bulgarian sights are not well offered by the tour operators and tour agencies. It also became obvious that the main key-players in the formation of the image of the examined destination are the tour operator companies. Appropriate conclusions and recommendations were given for an increase in the level of the image of Bulgaria as tourist destination.
MSc Tourism Management
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