BAAT in 2014
16 years of achievements in tourism
Bulgarian Association for Alternative Tourism is a non-profit public benefit organization established in 1998. BAAT unifies over 100 members: national and regional tourist councils, nature parks directorates, touroperators for specialized tourism, family hotels, guesthouses and individuals.
BAAT is member of EUROGITES (www.eurogites.org) representing rural tourism in Bulgaria. We are also official representative of ECEAT in Bulgaria (www.eceat.org).
We encourage and support partnerships for the sustainable development of alternative forms of tourism at a regional and local level in order to preserve our natural, cultural and historical heritage and help Bulgaria become a better place for living and doing business.
We achieve our goals by:
- Training representatives of guesthouses, municipality administration, non-government organizations and protected areas on various topics connected with alternative tourism - rural and ecotourism, certification and marketing, regular professional courses for mountain guides;
- Consulting our members in cooperation with our partners on how to start their successful business - development of business plans, customers service, marketing and advertisement in tourism etc.;
- Working on projects in the sphere of alternative tourism, regional development, certification and quality standards in tourism;
- Informing our members and interested parties for news, interesting events, tendencies and innovations related to alternative tourism;
- Promotion of our members' activities at national and international tourist fairs, seminars, meetings and in the media;
- Advertising Bulgaria as a destination for alternative tourism through organization of FAM tours, participating in tourist fairs and assisting in promotional campaigns.
- Lobbying the state authorities for protection of the interests of our members for changes in the legal framework regarding tourism and preservation of Bulgarian nature and culture;
- Publishing advertising and information issues - "Bed&Breakfast Guidebook Bulgaria", "Alternative Tourism Manual" and e-bulletin of BAAT;
- Publishing experts' opinions and researches in the sphere of specialised tourism, we support recent SWOT analysis for the alternative tourism in Bulgaria;
- Establishing partnerships with organizations with similar activities.
Among our most important achievements until now are:
- The first Bulgarian Quality Standards Chart “Bulgarski Dom” (“Bulgarian Inn”) for the quality of accommodation in guesthouses, family hotels and other B&B establishments (1998);
- Creation of quality mark "Green lodge", cerificate for sustainable management and hospitality in small accommodations (2008)
- Organization of Green days fair in Sofia for natural products and responsible tourism and lifestyle (2010-2014)
- More than 30 trainings in the field of rural and eco tourism, 12 trainings for mountain guides, with over 600 participants all together (2000 - 2014);
- Many specialized consultations for members and interested parties (2000 – 2014);
- 8 promotion trips for representatives from the Bulgarian media and tour operators;
- 5 times exchange of experience for representatives of the tourism business (2000 – 2014);
- 4 updated editions of “Guidebook Bed & Breakfast and Guesthouses in Bulgaria” (2003 – 2006)
- 2 editions of "B&B and adventure Guidebook - Bulgaria" (2009 - 2013)
- Handbook “Alternative tourism in Bulgaria – a prospective family business. Establishment and management of a guesthouse” (2003);
- Issued series of 10 posters dedicated to the World Year of Eco tourism and Mountains, with 18 700 units all together;
- 213 issues in leading media, mentioning the activity and experts’ opinion of the association;
- Active participation in the preparation of National Eco-tourism Strategy (2002-2003).
BAAT supports and develops its partnerships with National tourism authority, Ministry of agriculture and foods, Ministry of environment and waters, nature and national parks, Authentic Bulgaria Association, "Rodopi" Project, EUROGITES, DCC, ECEAT International, Bulgarian Foundation Biodiversity, "Mountains and People" Association, "For the nature" Coalition and others.
създадена на 05.02.2009; обновена на 02.12.2014