Travel agencies and hotel managers from Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Turkey will present their latest and most attractive arrangements at the International Tourism Fair in Skopje from Tuesday till Saturday.
Turkey and Greece are still one of the most popular destinations, while Northern Cyprus is the latest offer.
"Tourism, as a segment of economic development of a country, is a bridge between nations that we have to build to establish direct link between cultures and traditions. It lifts all obstacles, borders and visas," Economy Minister Valon Saraqini said opening the tourism fair.
Macedonia, he added, is increasingly promoted as an attractive tourist destination and is heightening its cooperation in the sphere with all other countries in the region.
"The objective is the Balkan region to be transformed into a global destination that will welcome tourists over and over again every season. Similarities and differences are our trump card, an additional motivation to pay a visit and to enjoy in their natural and spiritual heritage," the minister stated.
He underlined that government's policies were yielding excellent results - the number of tourists has been increased by 25% in the first two months of 2012.
"The best results in the field of tourism in the past decade have been achieved in 2011 and 2012. The total number of tourists is increased by 10.5%, while accommodations rose by 7.6%. There is also an increase in the number of guests from abroad. Higher indicators are expected in 2012 provided that there is a growth in the overall turnover of tourism," Saraqini said.
The fair is visited by guests from the region, EU countries and representatives of top global manifestations and organisations.
"Guests from the region are verifying our common goal, which is strengthened regional cooperation in all economic aspects to provide sustainable development and high living standards. Guests from EU countries, on the other hand, prove that we are on our chosen path to EU membership," the minister noted.
Bulgaria is a partner country at the International Tourism Fair, which is going to present its famous tourist destinations.
Speaking at the event, Bulgarian Deputy Minister of Economy, Energy and Tourism, Ivo Marinov said that Macedonia was an important tourist partner of Bulgaria.