Forecasts Predict 40 % Drop in Bulgarian Tourists to Greece Due to Blockade

Tourism | March 2, 2016, Wednesday // 16:03|  views

Forecasts are predicting 40 % drop in the number of Bulgarian tourists visiting Greece over the long weekend which begins on Thursday with the celebration of Bulgaria’s national holiday (Liberation Day) and lasts until Sunday.

This drop is due to the blockade staged by Greek farmers at checkpoints along the border with Bulgaria in the past month.

According to figures of the Institute for tourism analyses and evaluation, 40 % of Bulgarians who had intended to visit Greece for the holiday, gave up their intention.

As a result, instead of the expected 60 000, less than 40 000 Bulgarians will head to Greece for the long weekend, private bTV station informs.

This has lowered prices of holiday packages in Greece, with a six-day excursion to Chalkidiki offered with a 41 % discount.

The blockade also affected negatively Bulgarian tourism, with the losses from cancelled Greek bookings estimated at EUR 1 M.

Hotel-keepers in the ski resort of Bansko are however delighted with the return of Bulgarian tourists to the town.

A lot of Bulgarians have opted for staying in the country rather than travelling abroad, private NOVA TV adds.

It is expected that less than 50 000 Bulgarians will travel abroad for the long weekend.

According to preliminary estimates, as a result of the Greek blockade the Bulgarian economy suffered losses of more than EUR 11 M, while those for the tourist sector exceed EUR 1.2 M.

Analysts calculate that the losses suffered by Greece are greater and are continuing to grow.

Nearly 300 000 Bulgarians are expected to travel within the country during the long weekend.

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Tags: Bulgaria, greece, tourism, border, blockade, farmers, checkpoint


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