Black Friday comes to the tourist industry

More than 200 discount offers await visitors at the specialized Travel Expo at the National Palace of Culture

Photo: БГНЕС

Competitiveness, advertising opportunities and different methods of attracting tourists from traditional and new tourist markets are a key element of tourism expos in this country and around the world.

Travel Expo, however, is staking on surprise to win over the fussiest of customers. That is why at the exposition on 29 and 30 November, visitors to Travel Expo on at the National Palace of Culture in Sofia, can choose from over 200 exclusive tourist offers, presented by 50 exhibitors.

The idea of the forum is for every exhibitor to present offers which are only valid within the frameworks of the expo, and for customers to avail themselves of this opportunity, says Anton Penev, cofounder of the company organizing the exposition. Our aim is to assert an early planning culture for next year’s holiday. That means people should be able to plan their summer vacation by the end of the previous November. We have offers for Bulgaria and for abroad, for summer and winter vacations, cruises and exotic destinations.

It is obvious that such an event is needed, because as in any other industry, tourism goes through its own mini-catharsis once in a while which changes the way of thinking in the sector, Penev says.

Participation in such an expo is dependent on how attractive a given tourist product is. At Travel Expo, all stands are the same size and look more or less the same, only the offers by the different companies are different.

“Everything else is the same,” Anton Penev says. Six square metres, the same wall, the same table, the same two chairs, lamps and carpeting. When they come to the stand customers won’t know if it is a company with a staff of 1,000, 100 or 3, their attention will be entirely on the product it offers. Sometimes it is difficult to find exhibitors as there are people who do not like being put in a mould, but their number this year exceeded expectations.

This year the forum coincides with Black Friday, the last Friday of November. It is a popular practice among companies to announce their discounts throughout the entire last week of the month and encourage their customers to shop early for the Christmas holidays. Many Bulgarians have also been availing themselves of this opportunity, as Black Week makes its way into this country as well. In Anton Penev’s words, to begin with, the tourist industry was rather timid about making a profit out of offering discounts of commodities and services on this day or week.

In recent years more and more tour operators and travel agents have been more and more active in this. They have worked hard to convince their contracting parties to offer more and bigger discounts for a given period, number of rooms or packages. Last year the increase in the number of offers in our sector was tangible. They are a good instrument if customers are treated fairly. It would mean better planning for the company. In this connection, in October we organized working meetings with the National Revenue Agency and the Commission for Consumer Protection so as to make sure that the offers we shall be making meet all requirements and do not breach any consumer protection laws. To make the event a success, we have to make offers that are adequate and are not misleading to customers.

English: Milena Daynova

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