Tourism Ministry: All Measures Have Been Taken to Compensate for Expected Drop in Russian, Ukrainian Tourists

Tourism Ministry: All Measures Have Been Taken to Compensate for Expected Drop in Russian, Ukrainian Tourists

Sofia, March 29 (BTA) - All measures have been taken to overcome
 the expected drop in the number of Russian and Ukrainian
tourists and to compensate for it with tourists from other
markets, the Tourism Ministry said Sunday.

It has been agreed with the Foreign Ministry to simplify the
visa procedures for nationals of Russia, Ukraine, Belarus,
Kazakhstan, Armenia and Georgia. Short-term visas for two or
multiple visits are being issued for organised tourism to
citizens who have used Bulgarian visas in the previous years.
The owners of real estates in Bulgaria have the right to
short-term visas for two or multiple visits valid for up to a
year (if they have never visited Bulgaria) or three years (if
they have had Bulgarian visas before).
The Foreign Ministry is expected to appoint more employees in
its consular services in Russia, and the visas to be issued
within three days because of the expected interest in the
so-called last-minute holidays.

Additional concessions for the issue of visas to third country
nationals are also possible, as well as the creation of a
charter programme to be implemented ahead of the tourist seasons
 (in March, April and May for the summer season and in
October-November for the winter season), the press release

The official Bulgarian representation in Russia has become an
associated member of the Association of Tour Operators in
Russia. Bulgaria participated actively in the two biggest
tourism exhibitions on the Russian market: Inturmarket and the
Moscow International Travel and Tourism (MITT) exhibition, where
 it had stalls of over 200 sq m and 450 sq m, respectively.
Bulgaria also took part in many other big international tourism
exhibitions this year.

The country also launched an advertising campaign on four
pan-European TV channels (Eurosport, Discovery Channel,
Euronews, National Geographic Channel), worth around 2.5 million
 euro and funded under Operational Programme Regional
Development, the Tourism Ministry recalled.

All these measures are expected to result in an increase in the
number of tourists from other markets, which should compensate
for the drop in Russian tourists: 5 per cent more tourists from
Germany; around 40 per cent from Austria; over 40 per cent from
Lithuania, Latvia and Moldova; around 20 per cent from Belgium
and Slovakia; over 10 per cent from Israel; 6 to 7 per cent from
 Poland, 5 to 6 per cent from the Czech Republic; around 15 per
cent from Turkey and Greece each; 4 to 5 per cent from France; 2
 to 3 per cent from Serbia; around 3 per cent from Macedonia;
and some 3 per cent from the Scandinavian countries.
At the end of the winter season, data show that the number of
tourists increased by over 9 per cent, or 80,000 tourists,
compared to the like period of 2014, despite the drop of around
15,000 in the number of Russian tourists visiting Bulgaria.

Source: Sofia