BELGRADE, Serbia — Japan's prime minister says his country is seeking to strengthen relations with Serbia and other Balkan countries.
Shinzo Abe visited Belgrade Monday as part of a six-country European tour. He has already visited Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Bulgaria and travels to Romania on Tuesday.
Abe has described Western Balkan countries as important for international stability and said that Serbia is a "key country" for the stability of the region.
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Bulgaria is a country with a historical and cultural heritage, and attractive natural landscapes, one of the most visited tourist destinations in Southeast Europe. Tourism, as an industry, has been an important source of economic growth. In 2008 Bulgaria was visited by 8.9 million tourists, measured as outlined by the World Tourism Organization. Tourists from three countries - Greece, Romania and Germany - account for 40% of visitors. The country has historical cities and towns, summer beaches, and mountain ski resorts. New types of tourism, including cultural, architectural and historic tours, eco-tourism, and adventure tours, are expanding the range of visitor experiences.