Bulgarian Truckers’ Plans to Close Border with Greece Threaten Losses for Tour Operators

Business » TOURISM | April 22, 2016, Friday // 11:03
Bulgaria: Bulgarian Truckers’ Plans to Close Border with Greece Threaten Losses for Tour Operators Trucks remained stuck for days on the Bulgarian side of the border with Greece in February 2016 after Greek farmers set roadblocks at the crossings to protest at planned pension cuts and tax hikes by the Greek government. File photo by BGNES

Plans by Bulgarian road hauliers to halt traffic at crossings on the border with Greece during Orthodox Easter holidays threaten to incur huge losses to tour operators and hotel owners, bTV broadcaster reported on Friday, citing industry sources.

Truckers have announced plans to seal off all crossings at Bulgaria’s border with Greece from April 29 to May 8 in a tit-for-tat action following a blockade of the crossings at the common border by Greek farmers earlier this year. The farmers disrupted motor traffic across the border to protest against pension and tax reforms proposed by the Greek government as part of funding arrangement with the country’s international creditors.

The Bulgarian economy had suffered estimated losses of more than EUR 11 M, while those for the tourist sector exceeded EUR 1.2 M as a result of disrupred road traffic.  

The risk of remaining stuck at the border is likely to discourage about a fifth of an estimated 110,000 Bulgarians who are expected to travel to Greece for Orthodox Easter holidays, according to forecasts of the Institute for Analyses and Assessments in Tourism, bTV said. Those who are likely to drop plans to travel to Greece around Easter include mainly people who won’t be traveling on package tours, according to the projections of the Sofia-based industry association.

Disruptions to motor traffic could also discourage some Greek tourists to visit Bulgaria during the holiday period. An estimated 80,000 tourists are expected to arrive in Bulgaria from Greece, which also marks Easter according to the Eastern Orthodox tradition. Total spending by those visitors is expected at between BGN 42 M to BGN 47 M in case border crossings remain open.

The Association of Bulgarian Tour Operators has pledged to seek alternative routes to take Bulgarian tourists to Greece in case of disruption of motor traffic at the common border, bTV said.

Booked trips wouldn’t be cancelled but would be re-routed through Macedonia or Turkey, with the additional costs of longer travel to be borne by the tour operators, the Association has decided.

 

We need your support so Novinite.com can keep delivering news and information about Bulgaria! Thank you!

Tourism » Be a reporter: Write and send your article
Tags: Bulgaria, truckers, road hauliers, farmers, greece, Eastern, Orthodox, Easter, holidays, Association of Bulgarian Tour Operators, Institute for Analyses and Assessments in Tourism
Advertisement
Advertisement
Expats.bg All Are Welcome! Join Now!
Bulgaria news Novinite.com (Sofia News Agency - www.sofianewsagency.com) is unique with being a real time news provider in English that informs its readers about the latest Bulgarian news. The editorial staff also publishes a daily online newspaper "Sofia Morning News." Novinite.com (Sofia News Agency - www.sofianewsagency.com) and Sofia Morning News publish the latest economic, political and cultural news that take place in Bulgaria. Foreign media analysis on Bulgaria and World News in Brief are also part of the web site and the online newspaper. News Bulgaria