Bulgaria's Tourism Sector Expects 10% Decline in 2014Tourism | September 4, 2014, Thursday // 16:07| views
The Association of Bulgarian Tour Operators expects over 10% tourism decline this year, mainly due to the weak summer season and the lack of advertising.
The number of tourists from the Netherlands has dropped by 30% this summer, and the number of Germans – by 5%, Darik news reports.
Economy Minister Vasil Shtonov announced a 6.7% increase of foreign tourists and 4% revenue growth for the first seven months of 2014. According to Bayko Baykov from the Association of Bulgarian Tour Operators and Tour Agents, however, this information is incorrect.
"Our forecast is that there will be a decrease of over 10% which is mainly due to the decline in summer tourism," he said.
Kalin Draganov from the Association noted that the official statistics on tourism revenues are based on the amount of foreign currency exchanged. According to him, it completely distorts the information.
Draganov commented on another pressing problem in the sector. "There is a huge problem this summer in the Sunny Beach resort,” Draganov said. “Crimes have increased significantly – robberies and attacks on tourists must have doubled and tripled this year. Our Dutch partners sent us an official letter saying that if the situation did not change, they would terminate the program,” Draganov explained, as quoted by Darik news.
According to Bulgaria's Tour Operators Association, there should be a separate Ministry of Tourism, in order to ensure predictability and security in the sector.
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