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Why is tourism expecting an alarming outflow of guests during Easter?

Varna Chamber of Tourism calls on government to take urgent measures aimed at saving the tourism sector on the eve of the Easter holidays.

Photo: Veneta Nikolova

This year, there are 5 non-working days in the period April 30 - May 4. But the easing of anti-epidemic measures in the country is unlikely to provide a breath of fresh air to one of the most affected sectors  - tourism. Workers in the industry warn that if the authorities did not take urgent measures, Bulgarian resorts this spring would remain emptier than during last year's Easter, which was marked by the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis in this country.

For example, the northern Bulgarian Black Sea coast relies mainly on Romanian tourists, who traditionally spend the holidays in this country. Every year about 200,000 guests from Bulgaria’s northern neighbor choose the seaside resorts for their vacation. However, the expensive PCR tests and the lack of clear rules for entering the territory of Bulgaria have literally stopped the reservations, Ilin Dimitrov - Chairman of the Varna Chamber of Tourismhas told us.

"It is very important that the Ministry of Health urgently adopts a regulation for the entry of citizens into the country, because we are in grave situation,” Ilin Dimitrov says. “A regulation for charter flights must be adopted, too. We must strengthen the marketing strategy and workers in the sector must be vaccinated. All the countries around us are doing this and only we are lagging behind!”

According to the chair of the Varna Chamber of Tourism, neighboring Turkey and Greece have agreed with the Romanian government about the conditions for entry and the way they are to work with the tourists. However, Bulgaria has not made this important step. That is why there are almost no foreign reservations for Easter. "Everything will be clear in the last week before Easter," Ilin Dimitrov says.

Easter is very important for the tourism industry, as it defines the start of the summer tourist season for many hoteliers. However, this spring very few hotels in the Golden Sands resort are preparing to open, Ilin Dimitrov has told us. The industry no longer relies on Bulgarians to fill the hotels. But what is different this year?

"Bulgarian tourists will represent up to 30% of the total number of tourists we can welcome,” Ilin Dimitrov says. "But they can't save the season. This year both Greece and Turkey have regulations that allow vaccinated people and those who have recovered from Covid-19 to visit these countries, even without PCR tests! So, I expect an outflow of Bulgarian tourists. Last year they stayed in Bulgaria and some even rediscovered our country as a destination. This year, however, there are many attractive offers from nearby countries," chairman of the Varna Chamber of Tourism says in conclusion.

English: Alexander Markov

Photos: Veneta Nikolova

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