Tourism Minister: The Summer for Bulgarian Tourism will Be Challenging
Bulgarian tourism urgently needs a minimum of BGN 10 million for national advertising on international markets. This was announced by the Executive Director of the National Tourist Board Polina Karastoyanova. The goal is to take into account the downward trend in early registrations, save late bookings and support the upcoming season, she commented after a meeting of the National Tourism Council.
According to various official data, unfavorable downward trends in early registrations have been reported, said Karastoyanova, pointing out that our direct competitors - Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Croatia, Montenegro, Romania and Serbia - are particularly active with resource-intensive campaigns. The aim is to support not the private property in tourism, but the public property of the Bulgarian tourism - the cultural-historical and natural heritage, added Karastoyanova. She explained that for this reason, today, through the Tourism Minister, the representatives of the tourism industry make a proposal to the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister to consider their request.
Tourism Minister Nikolina Angelova told reporters that this summer for Bulgarian tourism is set to be challenging. She reminded of the agency's expectation at the end of last year that 2019 would be dynamic and difficult, pointing out that there was a slight decline in early registrations from both Russia and Germany due to the bankruptcy of one of the German air carriers, which helped bankruptcy and a small charter carrier in Poland, will have an impact on our summer season.
The Minister pointed out that in the case of ourgas airport, early flight requests are about 1.5% less, which is within the framework of the statistical error and at the airport in Varna, the flight orders are reported to be about 15% lower. She expressed hope that the levels of last year will be preserved and that the winter season will shift to the summer as well, explaining that there are over 865,000 foreign tourists currently in December and January, down 3.7% but on the other hand there is a 5.8% increase in overnight stays.
This shows that fewer tourists come, but they spend more nights, said Angelkova, pointing out that this leads to higher revenues in the economy and expressed hope that this trend will be the same this summer. This is also in line with the ministry's goal for the country to start offering a higher-quality tourism product at a reasonable price, which is already evidenced by the lack of vacancies in four- and five-star hotels that are attractive to higher-class tourists, the minister said.
Angelkova informs that, according to data from the social ministry, last season's summer workers were over 7700 and added that the expectations for this year are similar and even the number could be exceeded on the basis of current employers' requests. In addition, through the German-Bulgarian Center for Qualification and Retraining, in its branches in Smolyan and Tsarevo, in the "tourism" segment, employers have applied for the re-qualification of over 700 of their employees.
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