Fewer Bulgarians to Spend Christmas Holidays AbroadTourism | December 14, 2010, Tuesday // 14:12| views
According to tour operators, more Bulgarians will prefer the local winter resorts for spending the Christmas holidays. Photo by BGNES
Fewer Bulgarians will travel abroad during the Christmas and New Year's holidays this year and they will prefer the country's opportunities for rural and mountain tourism, according to Bulgarian tour operators.
The reason for this tendency, which began last year, is the tough economic situation. However, it could also be explained with tourists' attempts to "escape" big resorts.
In general, the companies in the sector do not register a drop of prices, compared to the previous season, but the holiday packages they offer have become more diverse in terms of time and services.
The National Statistics Institute has been registering a decrease of trips abroad by Bulgarians by 20% to 40% in the different months. Even though official statistics does not show whether Bulgarian have redirected their trips to local places, tour operators believe that there has been an increase in the number of Bulgarians vacationing in the country.
This tendency could also be seen during the holidays. Data from the Sofia International Airport showed that tourist companies have booked less charter flights to warmer destinations. Tour operators have also stated that there are less offers and less demand for vacation in Greece and Turkey during the Christmas holidays.
At the moment, in Bulgaria the least number of offers are registered for the Black Sea resorts. Data from the Hotel and Restaurant Organization of Varna has showed that the interest for celebrating New Year's Eve in sea resorts is decreasing. Also, less Romanian tourists are expected than last year.
Prices of current offers vary from BGN 20 per night in small Black Sea hotels to BGN 250 in the bigger ones. Most of the offers are "all inclusive" and envision one or two nights.
Currently, places are available in almost all Black Sea resorts. According to tour operators, vacation packets are bought mostly by people who live in the neighboring towns and cities.
Places are also available in the winter resorts in Bulgaria. The prices vary from BGN 50 per night in family hotels in Bansko, for example, to BGN 1,500-2,000 for a one-week vacation in a luxurious hotel. These prices are comparable and even higher than vacations abroad.
This year most offers include two or three nights, which is due tot he fact that New Year's Eve celebrations are during the weekend.
Tour operators have stated that the offers that sold fastest were the ones for renting villas and houses in smaller mountain resorts and places for rural tourism, like the town of Troyan and villages near Veliko Tarnovo and Gabrovo.
There are no significant changes in their prices – about BGN 40-50 per person a day. The demand for them is big because they provide an opportunity for big companies to celebrate alone.
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