Vesselin Zlatev ,
Mayor of Shumen Municipality
“Shumensko Plateau” Nature Park – World of Unique Nature Creations

The citizens of Shumen will celebrate the 25th anniversary from the establishing of “Shumensko Plateau” Nature Park. This nature creation has always been one of the most cherished places for everyone in Shumen. Every nature lover hiking the tourist trails admires the greatness of the venerable beech forests, the rich animal and plant world, the diversity of the relief, the dozens of monks’ dwellings carved in the rocks and the rock drawings coming from our ancient history.

As a man coming from these parts I highly appreciate and respect the work of the staff of “Shumensko Plateau” Nature Park Directorate. I am truly pleased with their success when implementing the management plan, which is being realized by conservation and restoration of the biological and landscape diversity through educational, consultant, advertising, tourist activities, etc. That noble activity has won great public support.

Being a protected territory the Nature Park is also the backbone for the realization of one successful local ecological politics. With the certification of Shumen municipality according to the international standards for management quality ISO 9001:2000 and ISO 14 000, with the installing of an informational terminal, with the opening of an informational center, through seeking ways for introducing modern ecological standards and informational culture, the municipality has already realized the strategy for the development of the city in its ecological tourism part.

However, the challenges are still to come – maximum access to the beauty spots in the park, enrichment and adding of everything valuable in the fields of tourist business, widening the possibilities for standards and systems for certification at a local level and by the business executives (tour guides, chalets, hotels, activities and services). Whether Shumen with its Nature Park will become an attractive tourist center not only for us, but also for the whole world, depends on our ability to attract great public attention and to combine the economics, environment and cultural development in one. The development of tourism in all its varieties is a prior objective for the Shumen municipality, because the potential of the region with the presence of the Nature Park, with the ancient capitals Pliska and Preslav, with the National Archaeological Reserve Madara is more than beneficial.

The official celebration of the anniversary with a number of initiatives, among which stands the International Scientific Conference in October and which theme is “Protected Karst Territories – condition, problems, perspectives” is yet another striking demonstration for the engagement of the institutions – the Shumen Municipality, the Park Directorate, the Geographical Institute at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, the Regional Ecological Inspection. These initiatives are part of our unique chance to turn our natural treasure not only into a tourist attraction, but also into a stimulus for sustainable development of the local tourism.

I am much obliged for the invitation to patronize this initiative. It will give me the opportunity to meet Bulgarian and foreign scientists, nature protection groups, friends and adherents, enthusiastic followers of the ecological tourism, and let me confess that I am one of them.