Bulgaria Reports Growing Interest Towards Rural TourismTourism | March 7, 2016, Monday // 14:56| views
The village of Bozhentsi. Photo: Wikipedia
The Association of Bulgarian Villages reported a considerable increase in the interest towards rural tourism.
The stays at guest houses in villages has increased by nearly 20 %, while the number of guest houses has risen by nearly 55 % in the past eight years.
In 2007, there were 809 such lodgings, while their number increased to 1250 with a total of 205 000 beds last year, private bTV station informs.
The fastest developing regions in this respect are central and northern Bulgaria, the Rhodope mountains and the region of Blagoevgrad.
Borislav Borisov, chairperson of the Association of Bulgarian Villages, notes that there is a record interest towards investments in rural tourism.
At the same time, application for EU subsidies under the Rural Development programme will be slowed down with at least a year.
The rural development programme for the 2014-2020 programme period foresees the allocation of nearly BGN 100 M for investments in non-agricultural activities.
An expert at the agriculture ministry noted that the institution is aware of the great interest towards the programme, but the funding is allocated mainly to the agricultural sector and to public investments in the infrastructure of rural regions.
At present, an analysis is being conducted on the investments made in the previous programme period.
The application dates and the eligibility criteria for the current programme period will become clear only at the end of this year.