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Bulgaria’s seaside beaches – the holidaymakers are yet to come

Photo: BGNES

Though the weather may continue cool for the beginning of June, beaches along the southern portion of the Bulgarian Black Sea coastline are now ready to welcome holidaymakers. Under the beach management contracts, as of 1 June, beaches must provide lifeguards and medical services. The tourists are yet to come.

Vladimir Kisyov from the Association of Beach Concessionaires comments, for BNR-Burgas, the government decision – that every beach concessionaire decide for themselves whether to bring down the prices of beach services or not:

“Most colleagues – concessionaires – have made the necessary discounts so as to attract Bulgarian tourists because what we are seeing is that the coronavirus problem in Europe and in the world is still affecting free travel enormously. Practically all flights on 21 June this year from Western Europe to the airports in Burgas and Varna on the Black Sea were cancelled. Still, the beaches at Sunny Beach, Nessebar, Sozopol and further south are ready – complete with lifeguards and medical services. We can only pray for good weather!”

Vladimir Kisyov is expecting the control bodies to step up their work at seaside beaches and bring down unregulated practices connected with the prices of sunbeds and umbrellas compared to last summer. At the bigger beaches, like the one at Sunny Beach, the sand has been cleaned and treated for parasites, the umbrellas and beach beds are up. Observance of all safety requirements will be monitored throughout the summer, including the anti-Covid measures. The distance between umbrellas has to be at least 4.5 metres. A sufficient number of staff has been provided to disinfect the beach furniture after every tourist. Once again this year all three beach strips have the Blue Flag certification. Nevertheless, the resort is still deserted, according to the vox pop by BNR’s correspondent in Burgas Daniela Kostadinova:

“Unfortunately, Sunny Beach looks to me to be much more deserted than it was last summer. There aren’t enough tourists. In the building where we are staying you can hear foreign languages spoken, mostly Russian but that is probably the property owners from the area.”

“I don’t know why people are saying that the season has begun, there are not enough tourists.”

“Not all eating and drinking establishments are working, there is still repair work going on…”

Beach furniture will be free of charge at Burgas’ northern beach this summer, in a bid to respond to the appeal by the Ministry of Tourism for such a gesture to tourists. However, Simeon Tsvetkov who represents the concessionaire is sceptical that the benefits the government has promised will be enough to cover the costs:

“The concession fee is just one element of the expenses for the tourist season. The others are – cleaning the beach, rendering it safe, providing medical staff… All this means higher costs. Not to mention the anti-Covid measures every beachside restaurant and bar has to take. There are fewer umbrellas because the area they have to cover is bigger. And that means less earnings etc.”

Though off to a difficult start, the concessionaries of beaches along Bulgaria’s coastline are hoping this summer season will turn out better than last year’s.

Interviews by BNR-Burgas

Editing by Krasimir Martinov

Photos: BGNES

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