In The Complex are exposed
• Fortress wall and tower IV-XIV century.
• Complete exposure of the ancient well IV-III century BC
• A museum collection in part of a building dating back to the V-VI century.
• Conservation and restoration of the St. Cyril and Julita chapel, dating back to the 13th-14th centuries.
• Ethnographic exposure “The magic of wine”.
• Halls for exhibitions, sailplanes and shows.
• Ethnographic Exposition “Sailor’s Corner”.
• Restoration and adaptation of a Renaissance house located in a typical Sozopol yard.
The complex offers organized round-the-year tours and routes in the old part of Sozopol, as well as those designed for individual visitors.
Guided tours are being exported, specially trained for the purpose.
The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) is an international not-for-profit organization whose activities include environmental protection, workforce development and innovation, sustainability in the global tourism industry which are all beneficial to the international communities.
The WTTC’s awards main objective is to stimulate the tourism industry by promoting all tourism related businesses and tourist routes, as well as, to promote the sustainable development of the sector. The 2015 WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow Awards are: Community Award; Destination Award; Environment Award; Innovation Award; People Award.
Sozopol Foundation applied for the 2015 Destination Award with its project Architectural-historic Complex with a museum collection Southern Fortress Wall and Tower – history, culture and heritage. This project was evaluated with great interest among the 158 received applications and was selected as one of the three 2015 nominated finalists which include: Ljubljana, Slovenia; Northeast and Yilan Coast, Taiwan; Sozopol, Bulgaria.
The winners were officially announced at the Awards Ceremony taking place in Madrid, Spain on the 15th of April 2015 during WTTC’s Global Summit. The Award Ceremony was broadcasted live on WTTC’s website from 6.30 p.m. /Bulgarian time/ at http://www.wttc.org/.
On April 15, 2015 in Madrid, Spain, was held “Tourism for Tomorrow” award ceremony of the World Travel and Tourism Council. Awards are presented in five categories: Community Award; Destination Award; Environment Award; Innovation Award; People Award.
The ceremony was attended by the representatives of Sozopol Foundation – Ms. Nevena Arnautska – member of the Board and Ms. Lyubov Draganova – Expert international projects and programs.
In category „Destination Award” three destinations were nominated: Ljubljana, (Slovenia); Sozopol, (Bulgaria); Northeast and Yilan Coast, (Taiwan).
For the winner was determined the capital of Slovenia – Ljubljana. The project of Sozopol Foundation „Architectural and Historic Complex with a museum collection Southern Fortress Wall and Tower – history, culture, heritage”, Sozopol, Bulgaria and Northeast and Yilan Coast, Taiwan were runners-up in this category.
Awards in this category were bestowed by Destination Award Sponsor – Company “Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority” – Valerie Segarra and by the Awards Lead Judge – Graham Miller.
During presentation of the three nominated projects Mr. Graham Miller – Awards Lead Judge said the following:
„In Bulgaria, the people of Sozopol have shown the bringing together local government and partners can have a great impact on regenerating and establish coastal destination. Restoration works using authentic methods, local labor and the revival of 2500 years old traditions have all created a new sense of place in this rapidly changing coastal destination”.
The jury and the participants from over 60 different countries expressed their sincere admiration for the achievements of Sozopol Foundation and local authority in the town of Sozopol for the turning of the Bulgarian Black Sea town into international destination that ensures sustainable tourism and employment for the local population. The project „Architectural and Historic Complex with a museum collection Southern Fortress Wall and Tower – history, culture, heritage” was unanimously assessed as extremely successful and as an example of facilitation the access of people with disabilities to the cultural values of the town. After presentation of the project and bestowal of the honorary diploma, many participants expressed their desire to visit Bulgaria and the town of Sozopol.
This Award aims to celebrate excellence in destination stewardship. Destinations are expected to be able to demonstrate: engaging multiple stakeholders and host communities in decision making; improving direct economic and social benefits for local people; promotion of equal opportunities for employment, career development and capacity building; respect for the rights of people in the destination, including the rights of indigenous peoples; conservation and protection of natural, built and/or cultural environments; mitigation and adaptation of tourism activities with climate change; encouraging local people’s activity towards preservation of the unique reserve’s authenticity; building economic resilience through appropriate business models.
The project Architectural-historic Complex with a museum collection Southern Fortress Wall and Tower – history, culture and heritage was carried out by Sozopol Foundation and in collaboration and understanding with its partners. All parties involved as well as the local communities made positive contributions with their know-how for the conservation and development of this integrated and diverse tourism product. The constructive collaboration with the Municipality of Sozopol proved very important to the quality implementation of this project. It is important to underline that the activities of this project were not only concentrated in the museum complex, but throughout the entire Ancient city of Apollonia Archaeological Reserve. The main objective was to achieve social, cultural and environmental benefits for the Sozopol Municipality, which would contribute significantly to its sustainable economic development and consequently improve the standard of living and create new jobs for the local population.
The Municipality of Sozopol and Sozopol Foundation treated all project participants equally regardless of their genders, age, race, social status or religion. Protection from discrimination was respected at all stages of this project. Equal opportunities to the participants were provided and guaranteed during the project and after its completion.
Throughout the project’s activities special restoration techniques were used that provided maximum preservation of the authenticity of the sites in the complex and the reserve. The materials used in the restoration and conservation activities are as close as possible to the original ones. Conservation and restoration works were carried out by local professionals. Steps were taken to minimize the environmental noise level pollutions in the reserve. Initiatives are regularly carried out to clean the reserve and to landscape the designated for these activities areas.
All activities were carried out in order to improve and shape the overall uniqueness of the coastline and the reserve with its numerous cultural monuments, as well as to maintain the excellent condition of the old and the newly created tourist routes. This project created a new vision and outlook to the town, which successfully combines its opportunities for recreational (including water and underwater), cultural-historic, pilgrimage, eco and hunting tourisms. Thanks to the outstanding efforts of the local authorities and civil society, the town of Sozopol has become an important international festival and congress centre.
The creation of the Architectural-historic Complex with a museum collection Southern Fortress Wall and Tower and Sozopol Foundation’s activity is a great example for a successful business model and a positive public-private partnership, stimulating local economic stability and the active cooperation between municipal and regional administrations in favor of the prosperity of the town and its inhabitants. Since the establishment of the museum complex in 2006 until the end of 2017, it has been visited by over 240,000 tourists from around the world.