Bulgaria's Tourism Revenue to Drop This Summer – Industry Sources
Bulgaria’s tourism revenue is expected to drop by 10%-12% this summer hit by a fall in the Russian rouble and unusually rainy weather, an industry source has said.
According to the head of Sofia-based Institute of Analyses and Assessments in Tourism Rumen Draganov, a 20% drop in the value of the Russian rouble against the Bulgarian lev and the euro has dented the spending power of Russian tourists compared to last year, Trud daily has reported.
In addition, Russian nationals who own properties in Bulgaria and spend their holidays in the country are shopping less than they did a year ago. To make things worse, floods at Bulgaria’s Black sea resorts triggered by heavy rains have made hotel owners slash prices by around 10%.
According to Blagoy Ragin, Chairman of the Bulgarian Hotel and Restaurant Association (BHRA), seaside hotel owners have offered considerable discounts this summer but it’s too early to estimate the extent of the expected fall in revenue before the peak summer holiday month of August is over.
Last month, Ragin told the Bulgarian National Radio (BNR) that the Ukraine crisis, Bulgaria’s political crisis and the banking crisis involving Corporate Commercial Bank (KTB) have all affected adversely Bulgaria’s tourism sector.
Bulgaria’s Economy Ministry said last week that H1 2014 revenue from international tourism rose by 5.3% year-on-year to BGN 1.3 B. According to World Tourism Organisation data, tourism generates 13.6% of Bulgaria’s GDP.
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A Chinese acquaintance visited our tourist town after an enjoyable bus tour through Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Romania, but when she got to the tourist destination in Bulgaria she told me that everything changed. The staff at the top listed hotel she stayed in were rude, so she ventured out to have a meal in a local cafe. People on the street were rude to her as were staff in the cafe she went to. She spent the rest of her time of her Bulgarian tour in her hotel room and vowed never to return to Bulgaria. If Bulgaria is serious about becoming a tourist destination for people from around the world, it really needs to overcome its attitudes towards people who spend money here, and its xenohobia - and it really needs to understand that politeness is regarded as important in most other countries. I have heard the staff in the local tourist office making fun of tourists which is also likely to ensure that they will not return. Even if they do not understand Bulgarian, they can read body language