Bulgaria: We are waiting for over 1.5 million more Foreign Tourists this yearTourism | April 14, 2022, Thursday // 14:04| views
“Compared to last year, more than 1.5 million more foreigners are expected to visit Bulgaria”, Rumen Draganov, director of the Institute for Analysis and Evaluation in Tourism, told BNR. He added that “there is about 100% plus increase” of Bulgarians traveling abroad.
“On Easter, out of 340,000 trips, about 60,000 will be realized abroad, and the rest - in our country. We are waiting for 70,000 foreigners to visit Bulgaria for the holidays”, Draganov explained.
“The worry is the horizon. Last year tourism was stopped by the lack of a horizon. It kills tourism. Last year we lost over a million tourists. There was a wandering. Now we see it was pointless, maybe it was meaningful at the time, but this summer it should not be done, as there is a huge interest in traveling to Bulgaria”, commented Rumen Draganov.
He stressed this interest in our country for the upcoming season in the context of flight restrictions due to the war in Ukraine and pointed out that there are flights from unusual for us as a tourist destination places, such as Croatia, Switzerland or Spain.
On the topic of refugees accommodated in hotels in our country, Rumen Draganov said that “Ukrainians will not interfere with the season, as we have oversupply.”
“We have free capacity,” he said.
“PCR tests are business and this business is lobbying. If you ask them, they will say - let them stay. It's about money,” said Rumen Draganov before the upcoming hearing of the chief state health inspector in the parliamentary committee on tourism for relief of the entry conditions in Bulgaria.
“Tour operators and regular people have long forgotten about this pandemic. PCR tests, certificates - all this must be dropped because it interferes with free travel. People are used to - if they want two PCR tests, they will do them, but they are absolutely meaningless and interfere. We understand about the business, good money was made by those who sold us a stick at the price of diamonds, plus gold and platinum combined. We thank them, but not from now on we are moving on to other types of business.”
According to Draganov, in these difficult times, tourism will show how it works, because “it does not need rare metals, oil and gas in those volumes that other industries need.”
Due to the oversupply and the great competition, Rumen Draganov does not expect a drastic jump in hotel prices. He advises for the upcoming season to set aside ten levs for every 100 levs (BGN).
“A number of things are being rationalized so that the price is maintained. We see others who have increased the price - up to 20%. We will monitor both formulas.”
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