Bulgarian Tour Operators Demand Urgent Measures on Declining Number of Foreigners
The Bulgarian tour operators are sustaining heavy losses due to the decline in the number of foreign tourists visiting the country.
In the first six months of the year, the number of foreigners visiting Bulgaria amounted to 280 000 tourists, daily Dnevnik informs.
This was announced by the chairperson of the Association of Bulgarian Tour Operators and Travel Agencies Bayko Baykov on Thursday.
According to the estimates of the organisations in the sector, there is a decline on almost all important markets.
Baykov stated that the sector's expectations for compensating the withdrawal of tourists from the east with more visitors from western, northern and central Europe and the Balkan countries has not materialised.
According to him, there were no concrete measures on marketing and advertising on these markets.
In his words, there was a complete lack of marketing, advertising and the corresponding stimulating measures towards the final customers in Germany, the UK, Sweden, Italy, Spain, France, Serbia, Greece and Macedonia.
Baykov also pointed to another worrying trend – the constant drop in the number of EU tourists, whose share at present stood at around 50 %.
He said that this was the most sustainable market, which was accompanied by the largest number of benefits.
Baykov reminded that there was also a considerable drop in the number of tourists last year despite the attempts to portray the opposite trend.
Compared to 2013, there was a decrease of 13 % in the number of tourists from Germany, 35 % in the number of visitors from Greece and 20 % drop in the number of UK citizens.
Baykov called for measures to be taken at the level of Council of Ministers, otherwise the negative trend will deepen.
He highlighted that the tourist sector in Bulgaria was in crisis, but this was not caused by the withdrawal of visitors from Russia and Ukraine.
Among the suggested measures are the re-assessment of the marketing strategies used to date and revision of the online advertising.
Bulgaria has not managed to establish its presence as a destination in the web pages of European tour operators, while its presence on social media was only symbolic.
Baykov pointed that all main competitors of Bulgaria, including Greece, were investing significant efforts and funds and were constantly improving their performance.
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