US Ambassador Encourages Bulgarians to ‘Discover’ America

Las Vegas, New York City and San Francisco are Top Destinations

AmCham Bulgaria and US Embassy-Sofia organized for the first time on March 31, 2011 an exhibition entitled “”Travel USA”” at Hall 6 of the National Palace of Culture in Sofia. The aim of the exhibit was to present attractive travel destinations in the US: New England (Mass, Maine, Vermont), New York, Mid-West (Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin), Southeast (Georgia, Florida), Southwest (Texas, Arizona), Mountain West (Colorado, Utah, Montana), Northwest (Washington, Oregon, Alaska), California, and Hawaii.

In the last ten years, the number of Bulgarians traveling to the US has increased by 75%, US Ambassador to Sofia, James Warlick, pointed out at a press briefing prior to the opening of the exhibition. Warlick further said that after Europe, the US is the country the most visited by Bulgarians. He did not give exact numbers, but joked “”the US is like a magnet for Bulgarians.””

“Come and discover America“,  the diplomat stated, giving as example several natural wonders one must visit when traveling in the US such as the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, the Niagara Falls, East California or the Arizona desert with its splendid night sky.

“The US is not just Washington DC, New York or Las Vegas, there is Hawaii and Alaska as well, “ the Ambassador stressed. The US Vice Consul, Kimberly Atkinson, joined in to explain the visa granting process, saying it is easy, contrary to what many Bulgarians believe.

“It is all online, the application process and the scheduling of the interview do not take more than 30 minutes all while in 2010, only 16% of the applications have been rejected and 84% of tourist visas approved, “ Atkinson stated, adding that most of the above said visas are valid for 10 years, meaning their holder has the opportunity to visit the US on a number of occasions.

Las Vegas is the top destination for Bulgarians, closely followed by New York City and San Francisco, according to the Consul.