'Model' Ski Resort Planned for Bulgaria's Rila Mountain
The Rila Destination project has confirmed annoucements of Bulgarian officials that it plans to develop a large "model" winter resort in the mountain with the same name.
Rila Destination is a project for a mega resort on 55 thousand decares, to be built between the town of Sapareva Banya and village of Govedartsi, near Samokov, which is a ski area in the Bulgarian Rila Mountain.
The PR Agency Havas, which services the project, has confirmed for Bulgarian media, including Novinite.com that Rila Destination is a French-Bulgarian project being developed in partnership with leading global companies and institutions with an internationally proven track record.
Rila Destination is a greenfield project and the idea is still at an early stage.
In a press release, Havas lists as partners the French Accor Group, the largest hotel operator in Europe, PGI Management, leader in the management of resort complexes and owner and leading operator of ski resorts in Europe, Asia and South America, Schneider Electric, leading company in energy management, Markan, leading Bulgarian construction company, Cluster Montagne, Association of French companies specialized in the development of mountain regions and villages as tourist destinations, the French-Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce, the European Association of Elected Representatives from Mountain Regions, and the French Embassy in Bulgaria, among others.
The total investment for the project is forecast to be EUR 550 M with over EUR 1 M already invested in technical studies and feasibility analyses.
Accor has firmly rejected previous media reports, including of Novinite.com, citing Captial.bg, that it was going to invest the full amount. The French Group is just one of the many partners in the project.
Rila Destination will be completed in two phases with Phase I lasting four to six years and Phase II two to four years.
Rila Destination is a project aiming to become a new model for the development of mountain regions in Europe as it is planned on the base of modern concepts of sustainable mountain tourism and regional social and economic development. According to the investors, it is expected that the project will create over 8 000 jobs in the area and its positive impact will affect a number of other sectors such as agriculture, the woodworking industry, healthcare and education.
The year-round resort will have several hotels - 2 to 5-star, different types of apartments, entertainment centers, an aqua center, a golf course, a ski zone and over 80 other activities. It will attract people of all ages and foreign tourists who are currently not considering Bulgaria as a destination for their holidays.
The investors pledge an environmentally responsible approach to tourism with reduced environmental impact and a first for Bulgaria "car-free" mountain villages.
Rila Destination has already received the full support of the regional administrations of Samokov and Sapareva Banya.
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