Bulgarian EconMin Demands Sunny Beach CEO Resignation over Stranded Russian Tourists
Bulgaria's Minister of Economy, Energy and Tourism Traicho Traikov has insisted that Mariya Mihaleva, CEO of the Sunny Beach summer resort should resign over the ongoing crisis involving Russian tourists stranded in the country.
The reason for Traikov's move is that Mihaleva also works for the Alma Tour tour operator, one of the two Bulgarian companies that triggered the crisis, which suggests a conflict of interests is in place, Traikov has explained.
"She may continue working for Alma Tour, even though she was coping well in the state-owned Sunny Beach," Traikov told the Bulgarian parliament Friday, as cited by the Dnevnik daily. Sunny Beach is the biggest and most popular holiday resort in Bulgaria,
Some 700 Russians, 200 Finns and dozens of persons from Lithuania waited for days to get home after their flights were canceled last Friday and Saturday, due to an alleged EUR 3.6 M debt to national carrier Bulgaria Air from Alma Tour.
According to the last reports, some 200 tourists are still stranded at the airport near the northern city of Varna, while 140 more are stranded at the northern Burgas airport.
No humanitarian crisis could possibly take place involving the stranded tourists, Traikov assured Friday, even though he has said out that the Bulgarian state is ready to react. He has added that he does not worry the situation may result in a decrease in Russia's interest in Bulgaria as a tourist destination.
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