Bulgarian Tour Operators are Reporting Increased Interest in Charter Programs for the Holidays
Increased interest in charter programs for Christmas and New Year, according to tour operators. However, tourists are sensitive to all restrictive measures and many of the registrations are at the last minute.
Bookings for the Christmas and New Year holidays are strongest for charter programs in Dubai, Egypt and Turkey. There is also great interest in the Maldives. There is also a trip to Rovaniemi - Finland, the city of Santa Claus. Traditionally, there is great interest in nearby destinations.
Dimitar Baltov - manager of one of the largest companies for outbound tourism pointed out:
"Turkey, Greece, Serbia, Albania too. There is also a demand for European destinations such as Paris, Rome, Vienna, Barcelona, Prague. What was observed last year was extremely high interest in various distant destinations such as the Maldives, Zanzibar, which was almost entirely a new destination for Bulgarian tourists, the Dominican Republic, etc. This year, the demand is definitely not the same as last year. "
Tour operators expect a lot of travel reservations in the week before Christmas, because people are waiting to see if there will be restrictions in their chosen destination.
The requirement for a negative PCR test for entry into Bulgaria by countries in the "red zone" for unvaccinated tourists has a negative impact on bookings, and tour operators are worried about canceling reservations.
Pavlina Ilieva from the Future for Tourism Association and Dimitar Baltov emphasized:
"People started calling, worrying about exactly how it would happen. Will the companies provide an opportunity for PCR and, of course, that, despite everything, it will cause confusion.
"For many destinations, PCR tests are more expensive. In addition, it is an additional organization that needs to be implemented there on the ground, especially when it comes to such orders, which take place from today to tomorrow and people are already in place. "
Currently, tour operators are working with about 20% of their volumes in 2019 before the pandemic and the goal is rather to maintain their position in the market.
At the moment, the prices of the packages have not changed significantly, from next year an increase is expected.
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