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Where do we spend forthcoming holidays?

БНР Новини
Photo: BGNES

Many of our fellow countrymen booked their Christmas and New Year a long time ago. Data of the Institute for Analyses and Assessments in Tourism /IAAT/ shows that this year the Bulgarians will spend EUR 175 mln. on their forthcoming holidays. Both our resorts and more distant destinations are opted for, depending on the financial opportunities of the individual. Tour operators claim that cheap holiday packages are now getting over and advise people to hurry up with their bookings. The offers with 2 – 3 nights included are the most wanted ones, including transportation and a festive dinner. The more luxurious and expensive spa hotels are preferred, as spa tourism has been recently on the rise in this country. Hisarya, Sandanski, Varshets and Pomorie are desired destinations, along with ethnographic spots like Zheravna, Sandanski, Kovachevitsa etc. Our fellow countrymen hire guest houses there and even private villas, where they are to welcome Christmas and New Year. Those who want to spend it all abroad head to the neighboring Balkan countries mainly. “Booking this year has started a bit harder and mostly neighboring states attract attention,” said Meglena Velikova, an owner of a Sofia-based tourist agency and added:

“The demand this year has been mostly aimed at Turkey and Greece, while in previous years Vienna, Budapest, Prague and other European destinations were preferred. People opt for short distances and want mainly a nice festive evening to be provided, as well as the opportunity to see some tourist attraction. Our offers for a New Year in Serbia face great interest right now. The festive night there will include a huge table and live music. The number of Christmas bookings is more modest, as traditionally the average Bulgarian prefers to meet the Nativity at home. Of course, we have bookings for the holidays around December 25, but we are talking here mostly on places with Christmas bazaars like Vienna, Prague and Budapest.”

Around 280,000 Bulgarians will travel inside the country during the holidays, data of the IAAT shows. Some 160,000 will go abroad. Our country is an attractive festive destination to foreign guests as well and we expect about 75,000 of those, mainly coming from the neighboring countries. “Foreign tourists opt for our ski resorts, while Bulgarians prefer spa hotels and ethnographic villages and towns,” Meglena Velikova says and adds:

“That is the purpose of these festive travels – tourists can feel the more untraditional environment, away from their homes and problems, going through something different, which gives positive energy for the new 2015…”

English version: Zhivko Stanchev

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