Bulgaria's tourism industry calls for anti-crisis measures

Stressing that the annual occupancy rate of hotels is 20%, Blagoy Ragin, Chair of the Bulgarian Hotel and Restaurant Association (BHRA), has called on the government to implement anti-crisis measures.

In a Thursday interview for the Bulgarian National Radio (BNR), he spoke in favor of the introduction of multiple-entry visas for Russian-speaking and Turkish tourists and for the allocation of 1% of the revenues in the sector to external advertising.

"If multiple-entry visas for a period of 5 years are introduced for Russian-speaking and Turkish tourists and if 1% of the revenues in the sector go to external advertising, the number of holidaymakers from these countries is expected to grow by 10% on an annual basis over the next 5 years," Ragin stated.

"If we get help for advertising and visas, we may achieve an annual occupancy rate of 30%, our aim being at least 40%. If we manage to reach 40% through external advertising and visas, this means that we will double tourism revenues, turnover rates and visitor numbers in 5 years," he explained.

Ragin made clear that 80% of Russian tourists preferred holidays by the sea, adding that they were also interested in visiting Bulgarian monasteries, ski and spa resorts. He informed that a tourist left around EUR 1000-5000 in the Bulgarian economy during their stay. Ragin also noted that a total of 350 000 Russians owned property in Bulgaria.

The BHRA Chair explained that Turkish tourists were interested in visiting winter resorts in Bulgaria.

He said that preliminary data indicated a growth by 4-5% in tourist numbers on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast this season.

Adapted from Novinite