Posts by: Gergana Nikolova

Gergana Nikolova

Regional Director– Europe & Central Asia

Three things best describe Gergana: passionate about sustainable tourism, eager for new challenges and with a truly Balkan heart.Gergana was born in Sofia (Bulgaria) in a family where being citizen of the world was a fundamental value. She started learning English and Russian when she was six. By the age of 11 she had already lived in both the UK and the US. By the age of 15 she added German to her language portfolio. Later she also studied Spanish and most recently Serbian.Gergana’s bachelor’s degree in Tourism Management is from Sofia University. In 2005 a student summer work program sent Gergana to Washington, D.C., where she worked at a Starwood property and was later extended an offer to move to the U.S. and work for another Starwood property in the Washington, D.C., area. During the three years of valuable work experience in the U.S., Gergana enrolled in The George Washington University School of Business and obtained a graduate degree in Sustainable Tourism Management. During her studies she also worked as a research assistant and took part in a student consultancy project in the Atitlan Lake area in Guatemala.In 2008 Gergana’s heart took her back to Bulgaria and the Balkans. She worked as an independent tourism consultant for different projects, including a series of European Union-funded projects (in Bulgaria, Greece, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia and Turkey). Her most important engagement in the last few years is with the USAID Regional Competitiveness Initiative (RCI) where she served as ​Regional Tourism Expert​. She led the the National Geographic Maps Division team in the Balkans for the development of a regional promotional MapGuide portal ( – an initiative that brought together several post-conflict countries in the Balkans to work together.Gergana’s first formal contact with ATTA took place during a regional meeting in Montenegro attended by ATTA’s Executive Director-Europe Chris Doyle. Since then, Chris and Gergana have collaborated on numerous activities – an AdventureEDU training in Bosnia and Herzegovina (2013), another AdventureEDU training in Macedonia (2014) and the first European AdventureWeek (in Kosovo, Albania and Macedonia) (2014).Throughout her career, Gergana developed strong strategic planning and management experience that considers the multidimensional nature of the tourism industry as well as the complexity of the stakeholder network it involves. She has worked with a variety of international development agencies and across countries with different socio-economic profiles.

Gergana is a nature lover, active skier and adrenaline seeker. She currently lives in Sofia with her boyfriend Nasko and her dog Chrisma. She enjoys being close to her family and friends while working in tourism on global level.