Bulgaria's Value for Money Driving Tourist Demand
Bulgaria in recent years has expanded its attraction to European travellers as a beach resort rivalling the traditional beach resorts of the Mediterranean. Bulgaria has been known across Europe for providing value for money Ski holidays and the Black Sea coast is now becoming widely known as a top sun holiday destination.
Low Cost Airlines Supporting Bulgarian Travel
Growth in tourism has been aided by the number of low cost airlines increasing flight routes and capacity into Sofia and Varna and Bulgarian Hoteliers maintaining a highly price competitive hotel industry. The international tourism industry is now a highly price sensitive market continuing to see cost saving measures being taken for business travel by corporations as well as families taking fewer holidays a year on a smaller budget than in previous years before the global economic recession. In a time when some low cost airlines are removing scheduled routes to major European cities, Bulgaria is seeing an increase in flight capacity. Major European low cost airline Ryanair announced in August that they were launching a new twice weekly route from London Standsted to Plovdiv and then later announcing in October that they were pulling out completely on Belfast routes and axing 13 routes at Marseille. While easyJet announced in February the axing of the Bristol – Milan routes and a 20% cut in London Luton services in September. This is a clear indication that there is better value for money for both the airlines and travellers when it comes to Bulgaria travel.
Hotels Leveraging Price Competitive Market
Sunny Beach is the top Bulgarian beach resort destination for UK holidaymakers. Sunny Beach hotels like the 3* Hotel L&B and the 4* Aktinia Hotel, are offering highly competitive deals from just ?9.29 per person per night, which is driving visitor demand and filling the seats of airlines. A massive push by major travel companies for early summer 2011 holiday bookings is already seeing a further increase in year on year tourism growth to the region.
The city hotels of Sofia are making similar competitive moves to drive visitors to the city by offering great value all inclusive deals and making strides to move into the 'cheap luxury' market. International travel is seeing the gap between luxury and budget holidays close more and more. In the current price sensitive market 4 and 5* hotels are competing on price with more traditionally budget accommodation as value for money is now the primary motivator for travellers.
Across Europe luxury city hotels have been hit by the fall in business travel and cost saving measures adopted by corporations to favour 3 and 4* hotels. Similarly luxury sun holiday resort destinations have seen a drop in demand with affordable and cost friendly holidays seeing a growth in their market share in response to value for money demand and the more independent traveller searching out the best deals online. For Bulgaria's tourist industry to maintain its advantage and grow Bulgarian holiday popularity, price competitiveness from hoteliers, restaurants and bars will have to be maintained.