Business and the state expect a challenging winter season 2021/2022, which will again rely on Bulgarian tourists and guests from neighboring countries. At the moment, there is clarity about the date of the official reception of the season only for Bansko - December 18. This will be the second pandemic winter for Bulgarian tourism, which is expected to be more difficult due to the new electricity prices, according to an analysis by BTA.
The hotel industry is one of the most energy-intensive sectors and electricity bills are a big part of business costs. That is why the price of electricity for the industry is among the biggest problems that should be solved immediately, announced a few days ago by the Alliance of the tourism industry in Bulgaria / ATIB /. For this reason, the tourism sector insisted on energy aid, but one that would really help it, because the aid of BGN 110 per megawatt-hour, and only for October and November, is extremely insufficient.
The business requested interest-free and low-interest loans for RES
ATIB was also asked by the state to provide interest-free or low-interest loans with a long grace period for the installation of photovoltaic systems for hotels and to make a commitment to buy the excess electricity.
Our expectations for the winter season at this stage are cautious, given the fourth wave of coronavirus in the country, and more late bookings are expected, commented the caretaker Minister of Tourism at the end of October at the online meeting of the National Tourism Council. The forecast is that there will be a number of trips of Bulgarians for ski and spa tourism, and destinations with developed cultural tourism will also attract tourists. It is expected that the interest of Bulgarian tourists in the upcoming winter season will be directed to the municipalities of Bansko, Samokov, Smolyan and Chepelare, Varna, Velingrad, Hissarya, Razlog, Plovdiv, Sandanski, Troyan, Veliko Tarnovo, Burgas and many others. And at the moment there are bookings from our traditional markets - Northern Macedonia, Serbia, Romania, Turkey, Russia, Great Britain, but with unconfirmed reservations and with the option to cancel.
The expectations of the Ministry of Tourism are that Czech tourists will return to the winter resorts of Bulgaria, and tourists from Israel, Germany, Poland and Ukraine are also expected.
The Ministry of Tourism expects the arrived foreign tourists to rest mainly in our ski resorts or to stay in Sofia. In the capital we expect tourists from Germany, Poland, etc., mainly for business or a combination of business and cultural tourism.
730 thousand adult Bulgarians or 12.8 percent of the population
plan at least one tourist trip for the winter season
According to the results of a representative survey on the attitudes of Bulgarians towards the upcoming winter season and their intention to rest, 74 percent of the adult population of Bulgaria assess the potential of our winter tourism as good - according to nearly a million Bulgarians, accommodation conditions, infrastructure and specialized facilities. which are offered in our country are "definitely good", and according to 2.7 million the rating is "rather good". Slightly more than half of the respondents - 54.6 percent, are of the opinion that the Bulgarian winter resorts are making progress and improvement in the offered conditions for tourism.
In the midst of the fourth COVID wave, 730 thousand adult Bulgarians (12.8 percent) say they plan at least one tourist trip or vacation in the upcoming winter season 2021/22.
The findings also show that traditionally travel as a "tourist" is more prevalent among residents of the capital and regional cities. The main concerns are related to the financial factor and the COVID-19 virus - to a relatively close degree.
Nearly 5 percent of Bulgarians have the attitude to travel abroad, regardless of the pandemic situation in which we are.
For the duration and the allocated budget for winter vacation, for the season 2021/22 the intention is for an average of 6 days of using a tourist service of some type with a budget of BGN 1330 on average. About 260 thousand Bulgarians are looking for vacations within BGN 1,000, and a little over 70 thousand are looking for a budget of over BGN 2,500.
The greatest potential for the tourism sector at the moment is represented by people between the ages of 18 and 44, who form 80 percent of the category of those actively seeking suitable offers. 37 percent of them are in the category with 2000-3000 BGN monthly household income.
In general, when planning a vacation, the Bulgarian is largely guided by his direct impressions - 36 percent indicate as an important factor in choosing a recommendation from relatives and acquaintances, and 34 percent rely on direct, personal impressions of a particular place.