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Fluent in Foreign Languages Police Patrols Keep Eye on Bulgarian Winter Resorts

Sofia News Agency

Police patrols whose members speak up to three foreign languages will be sent to the country's winter resorts, Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov, informed.

Tsvetanov made a statement on Monday during a meeting with EU, Norway and Switzerland Ambassadors in Sofia, saying this was just one of the measures undertaken by his institution to provide safety for the visitors. In some resorts, such as Pamporovo, police will be even watching the ski tracks.

Policemen's fluency in foreign languages will eliminate the language barrier between them and the holidaymakers. Other measures include round-the-clock patrols on duty, and distributing brochures among the tourists with information how to notify authorities about unsafe or criminal activities. The Interior is opening 24-hour phone lines for the Consular offices at Embassies in Sofia. There are also brochures with information regarding health insurance and first aid.

Tsvetanov said Bulgaria receives 4 million visitors annually and tourism forms 14% of the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

UK Ambassador, Steven Williams, pointed out the forecast is for 1 million foreign tourists to visit Bulgaria during the 2010-2011 winter season, adding the British authorities have launched a campaign against the so-called "alcohol tourism," in order to inform Brits about the risks of binge drinking and vacationing.

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