Bulgaria to Set Up 19 Visa Consular Services Across Russia
Bulgaria's Foreign Minister Daniel Mitov announced on Saturday that Sofia would take measures to eases access to Bulgaria for Russian tourists.
In his words, the move could allow "all Russian tourists who want to come to Bulgaria to do it."
Mitov's comments come as many experts and tourist industry representatives had raised their concern that tourist flow from Russia would decrease this summer due to the sanctions Europe has imposed on Moscow over the Ukraine crisis.
The Bulgarian top diplomat told Bulgaria On Air TV station that alongside Tourism Minister Nikolina Angelkova he was working to attract tourists from a host of countries including Belarus or Turkey.
He pointed to the fact that in many countries near Bulgaria, the number of tourists from Russia had declined dramatically in 2015, most notably in Greece (4 times), Egypt (by 50%) and Turkey (by a quarter).
In another interview for the Bulgarian National Radio on Saturday, however, he added that comments about an expected drop in the numbers with regard to Bulgaria is "part of the mass disinformation on the issue".
"Over 300 000 Russian citizens own properties in Bulgaria and will virtually come home bringing their families... If there is a drop in Russian tourists, it will be due to the decreased purchasing power."
In the same conversation Mitov downplayed recent reports that Russian citizens (and most notably civil servants) had been told not to travel to Bulgaria.
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