At this month’s ITB Berlin, Bulgaria pulled out all the stops to publicize its Black Sea resorts. Hoping to cash in on the more recent geo-political shift that has diverted from Egypt and other destinations, officials of Bulgaria’s tourism ministries showed optimism at Europe’s biggest travel event.
Hotspots like Tunisia’s beach resorts, Egypt’s Cairo and Red Sea attractions, and even Paris have suffered greatly over terrorist activities. Meanwhile, destinations on the Black Sea have been immune to such activities. Plamen Bakalov, Consul for Economic Affairs at Bulgaria’s consulate in Frankfurt, told Reuters at ITB of Bulgaria’s heightened hopes:
“Expectations are so great that many hotel operators are concerned about whether they’ll have enough beds.”
Traveler confidence has been shaken for many destinations, bookings for places like Tunisia and Egypt have plummeted, and an overall slow down of demand is crippling some countries’ travel industry. But one country or city’s loss, seems to be another’s gain. Places like the seaside resort of Varna, said summer bookings from Germany were currently up 12 percent compared with this time last year, and that it expected Russian bookings to gain 10-15 percent.
Bulgaria has over 230 miles of coastline on the Black Sea, and hundreds of resort accommodations. Luxurious stays like Grand Hotel Varna (image above) are already revving up for a big crowd this Spring and Summer. The resort is already offering advance booking discounts, and scheduling events from fashion shows to children’s activities.
According to the news from tour operators like Suntours, based in Varna, Summer bookings from Germany are already up 12 percent compared with this time last year, and Russian bookings are expected to rise by 10-15 percent.