Outlook on Bulgaria's Tourism Season Good Despite EU-Russia Crisis
Improved weather conditions compared to last year and low euro will contribute to a better tourism season despite the expected drop in numbers of Russian and Ukrainian tourists, the head of a tourism think-tank says.
Russians visiting Bulgaria during their summer holidays this year will be some 20% down from 2014 (150 000 less than the 660 000 last year), Rumen Draganov, Director at the Institute for Analysis and Assessment of Tourism, has told Investor.bg, citing early estimates.
Ukrainians who are set to arrive here are estimated to be 12% (24 000) less than in 2014, he added.
However, the total number of visitors to Bulgaria in the summer is expected to grow some 300 000 in his words. This, if confirmed, will boost the number to 7.5 million tourists staying at the Black Sea, 4% up from the 7.2 million in 2014.
Draganov explained that euro's low against the dollar will turn Bulgaria into a better bargain this summer for markets using dollars or other currencies like the British pound, the Swiss franc, or the Japanese yen.
This is combined with an expected average drop in room and services prices of up to 7%.
As of mid-June only 47% of beds are used on average at the Black Sea hotels, though this is normal for the beginning of the season, he went on.
Earlier, Tourism Minister Nikolina Angelkova had also opined that European visitors would compensate the withdrawal of Russians expected this year.
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