Bulgaria’s Environment Minister Neno Dimov has backed calls to expand and develop ski areas in National Parks in Bulgaria.
The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in the region and others have been fighting these plans for decades, particularly the plans to expand Bansko’s ski area in national parkland which is also a UNESCO World Heritage site, but Mr Dimov has hit back pointing out that lots of countries have ski resorts already operating in their national parks.
Mr Dimov highlighted the Mercantour National Park in France which he said has nine ski resorts operating in it, and the Hohe Tauern National Park in Austria which he said had 33 ski resorts, 837km of ski slopes and 264 ski lifts in it.
Mr Dimov also warned that Bulgaria would fall behind nearby nations like Serbia, Romania and Slovenia which have been spending on expanding the own ski areas, he said.
Without mentioning the WWF directly, the Environment Minister told a Bulgarian radio station, “In Bulgaria there are organisations that are trying to prevent the country from developing into a ski destination.”
He said that this was against Bulgaria’s national interest, which he said was higher incomes for Bulgarians whilst developing the economy and tourism.