Bogan, Not Boutique Bulgaria Not That Bad?
Echoes of communist-era rhetoric. This is how officials' ravings about Bulgaria's tourism future resounded in my mind last week.
Shoot for the moon, settle for the stars, welcome only well-heeled tourists, compete with Austria and beat Greece, the economy ministry said as it sized up Bulgaria's rivals.
Truth is, that can never happen and needn't happen.
Bulgaria is a land of antiquities and mysticism, but also nightclubs, good food, nice weather, pretty women and great wine. And it is one of the best bargains for those who travel on a tight budget.
Lamenting this fact is like crying over spilled milk. What we should do is make the best of a bad bargain and capitalize on those tourists.
Bulgaria also offers many hidden treasures - from sensational archeological sites for history buffs, through virgin beaches for nature lovers to modern clubs for those looking for energy.
We have millions of tourists, going all around us, including all those types. But we lack a strong brand, as the survey rightly suggested.
There remains however one question mark:
How come the economy ministry, after four years in office, needed a special survey to find out what we have known for a decade?
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