Tourism Industry News
Bulgarians Prefer Mostly Local Ski Resorts, Neighboring Countries
Bulgarians seem to have abandoned the idea of far, exotic destinations as the perfect place to spend the holiday season, preferring mostly local ski resorts and neighboring countries instead, Bulgarian-language media reported, citing statistics from tourist agencies. While many Bulgarians chose short getaways in FYROM, Greece and Turkey, the Black Sea resorts were flooded by tourists from Romania.
Quoting tourist agency Alfa Tour, website investor.bg reported that there was a total reflux from destinations such as Mexico or Thailand. However, according to the reservations made for the past holidays, the most popular destination was Egypt, where the price for a one-week holiday, depending on the hotel category, started from 450 euro a person, the agency said.
Other popular destinations, according to Alfa Tour, were Lisbon, Paris and Prague, where the best Bulgarians could afford were three-star hotels. Many people drove to Thessaloniki and Halkidiki in Greece, a destination preferred for being attractive, cheap and close, the agency said.
DM Travel Ltd said that as far as visiting local ski resorts, Bulgarians preferred three- and four-star hotels, paying between 500 and 1000 euro for a five-day holiday with breakfast included but without a festive New Year’s Eve dinner included in the price.
Bulgarian media reported that a record number of tourists celebrated the New Year at Pamporovo ski resort. More than 6,000 people crowded the resort’s most exclusive hotels such as Murgavets, Perelik and Dafovska.
Three ski slopes were in operation and the lift to Snezhanka Peak was working. Some reports said that close to 10000 foreign tourists, mainly from the UK, Russia, Romania and Greece had opted for Bansko for their winter holiday.
More than 90 percent of the registered tourist groups came from Romania, which prompted some of the hotels to offer entertainment programs entirely in Romanian language. Along with local pop singers, musicians from Bulgaria’s northern neighbor were also invited.
Roumen Draganov, director of the Institute of Tourism Analysis and Evaluation, told Bulgarian news agency BTA earlier in January that the expected number of foreign tourists for 2009 was about 6.5 million, the same as the previous year. The highest possible decrease was three to seven percent. The focus was to be on Bulgarian tourists who would possibly decide to holiday at local resorts, as well as tourists from Macedonia, Greece, the UK, Russia and Germany, Draganov said.