Bulgaria has predicted the timing of the start of the 2021 summer season and decided on a strategy for working with key markets. One of the formats for the safe reception of tourists is called "green tourist corridors". Russia is also on the list of countries to create such "tourist bubbles".
SUMMER SEASON 2021 IN BULGARIA STARTS IN USUAL TIME
During the meeting of the Tourism Advisory Council, Deputy Prime Minister of Tourism of Bulgaria Mariyana Nikolova presented forecasts for the summer season-2021.
In her opinion, the inbound tourist flow this summer will be lower than in the 2019 season and will most likely be close to the indicators of 2020. Therefore, the country's tourism sector should focus more on attracting Bulgarian guests who traditionally spend their holidays abroad.
According to the minister, the start of the season will be complicated by a number of factors, including a late start of booking, a reduction in air travel, and the slow pace of vaccination campaigns in foreign countries.
Nevertheless, as Ms Nikolova said, there are already reservations for the Easter holidays, preliminary orders of airlines for flights to Burgas and Varna in the summer months, which gives hope for the launch of the season as usual - after May 24.
“We are working hard to ensure the best summer travel season of 2021 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.And, despite the incomprehensible situation, we still hope that the crisis is over and will soon be overcome, but it should be noted that it will leave its lasting mark on the further development of the tourism industry, ”said Marijana Nikolova.
The Minister called it extremely important that Bulgarians employed in the tourism sector get vaccinated as a priority before the start of the summer season. According to Ms Nikolova, “maintaining and restarting the tourism sector is the responsibility of not only the government, but also those in it [in the tourism sector - approx. ed.] working".
“We are focusing on mass vaccination, and I have initiated a priority vaccination procedure for those working in the tourism sector,” she added.
RUSSIA IN THE LIST OF COUNTRIES TO OPEN GREEN CORRIDORS
In the 2021 season, Bulgaria will mainly rely on green corridors and foreign tourists who travel by car.
According to the minister, the restoration of free tourist flow and safe and hassle-free travel is the basis of tourism activities, therefore Bulgaria will strive to conclude bilateral agreements on the creation of "green corridors" with key markets.
Among them are Israel, Turkey, Russia, Greece, Poland, Ukraine, Moldova, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Germany and Great Britain.
For example, the agreement on the free entry of vaccinated tourists between Israel and Greece is already being actively discussed in Bulgaria as an example and a reason for action.
RESTAURANTS IN BULGARIA WILL RESUME OPERATION FROM MARCH 1
According to the minister, restaurants outside the hotels will resume work from March 1 in compliance with all epidemiological safety measures.
“Taking into account the opening of restaurants and the beginning of the summer season after May 24, I hope that the restoration of the tourism industry will gradually and smoothly begin,” stressed Mariyana Nikolova.
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