Tour Operators Brace for Difficult Summer Season in Bulgaria

Adriana Smirnova, 17.04.2014 07:32
Просмотров: 3909

Bookings for the summer season in Bulgaria are intermittent at the moment, with both ups and downs. Experts believe that dumping and carriage oversaturation are unavoidable this coming season.

When some of the large tour operators resort to dumping policies, it really hurts and devalues the market. We can already see a very wide range of prices, many of which are much lower than the true cost of tours to Bulgaria. Also, travel companies are planning lots of flights to Bulgaria during the summer season, which, based on previous experience, probably means that they will merge flights and work at a loss to themselves. This can also affect the image of tour operators,” says Head of Bulgaria Department at Vand International Tour Yelena Bondarenko.

She also added that this year saw a drop in tourist activity during the May holidays.

Last year more people bought package tours, and now many tourists have bought real estate in Bulgaria and mainly buy air tickets and nothing else,” says Yelena Bondarenko.

She also said that demand for health tours to Bulgaria among Russians has increased.

The people at  Adamas Tour  also predict dumping on the Bulgarian destination this summer season.

This summer season dumping will get worse as compared to the previous year, seeing how the overall demand for the destination has decreased and the number of flights has increased. I think that the tourist flow to Bulgaria will either remain the same as last year or decrease,” says the company’s Managing Director Denis Filimonov.

He also said that there has been a drop in sales for the May holidays, but he did not rule out the possibility that Russians will become more active by the end of April.

Denis Filimonov added that there was also a rising interest in excursion and pilgrimage tours.

This year for the first time we started offering excursion tours across the cities of Bulgaria. Right now these programs are sold on individual basis, but in case the demand grows we will introduce group tours. Also, we have started organizing the long-requested pilgrimage trips to Bulgaria,” he says.

Last year, 682 thousand Russian tourists came to Bulgaria, which marked a 4.1% growth as compared to the previous year. Russians constitute almost 10% of Bulgaria’s foreign inbound tourist flow (7 million people).

The visa regime has been eased for Russian citizens: issuing a visa takes 2 or 3 days, and documents can be submitted in just a few minutes. Those who have visited the country a few times are now eligible to get a three-year multiple visa.

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