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Bulgaria Tourism and Travel

Unless one has been cocooned in an underground bunker for the past six months, one can’t but have been swept along by the tide of economic doom and gloom that is rapidly turning into a Tsunami. If economic stability and prosperity is aided and abetted by people’s confidence, then the media has been doing a pretty good job in ensuring that people’s confidence be tested to the limit in the economic sphere. One can't but wonder that if the world's media had not fanned the flames and helped create such a frenzy, would we now be in such a state of fear as we seem to be?

 



Here in Bulgaria despite the best attempts of people who like to hear the sound of their own voices we have not seen any huge credit crash, economic fall out, increased unemployment ( of note), inflation / deflation, doom and gloom or any other words that have been forced into our dictionary: such as toxic loans. Yet.

However just as anything and everything that originates (for better or for worse) in the USA eventually finds its way to Europe, so too the chain exists that means that what happens in Western Europe may well find its way to new Eastern Europe. Or so we think.

The fact is that since new Europe arrived on the scene there has only ever been boom. Bust was something that was seen on a tailors dummy. What the greater Europe is seeing now may have been seen before by old Europe but not by new Europe in its current guise.

So will the first indicators that something really negative is occurring on our shores become evident in the winter tourism season? It is a hard one to predict. What the rational persons fear is that the culmination of getting just about everything wrong in our ski resorts: over building and a over supply of beds in Bansko, prices the same as more up market Austria, congested pistes and poor lift infrastructure, might now be simply aided and abbeted by the fact that the market most likely to be attracted to Bulgaria i.e. lower income earners, are the ones who are first to be directly impacted by any downs in an economy. As the media have said before, ‘the perfect storm’. Perhaps.

 

Cashing in

Tourism is often cynically said to result from pure opportunism as opposed to carefully planned marketing. Take Bulgaria, the country effectively spends nothing on its promotion - or at least the governments doesn't - yet its tourism product has soared in popularity in recent years largely off the back of the property buying boom.

Thus Kenya must now be rubbing its hands in glee at the election of Barack Obama in the USA as a stampede ensues with tour operators desperate to put together trips to show the birthplace of Obama's father.

One can just imagine that any neighbourhood caught up by accident in this quirk of nature will suddenly find themselves elevated onto the world stage. Next no doubt comes the explosion of gift shops selling Obama mugs, pens, tee shirts and absolutely anything else one would usually find in Sunny Beach except with a different logo.

 

Fast way to pay

We thought we had discovered the latest scam(sorry efficiency idea)from an airport with news that Luton Airport is to charge people to use the fast track lane through security. A first we thought.

No.

We are reliably informed that Liverpool's John Lennon Airport has operated the scam. (sorry scheme)..for some time and successfully so.

On the last occasion our source said there was one normal lane for security open and five fee paying fast track lanes. The choice was thus 'pay up or wait three hours in the normal queue.

One can see other airports adopting such a ploy once the penny drops that a quick buck can be made!

Fair Play

FPI (Fair Play International) are offering clients who pay for three nights stay at their Sofia Hotels; Crystal Palace, Arena di Serdica, Greenville and Hill Hotel the last night free between 15th December and 12th January.

They will also offer free upgrades to a suite for those booking a standard room at the Crystal Palace, Arena di Serdica and Hill Hotels.

 

Borovets

The excellent Lodge Hotel in Borovets will open its doors again on December 19th after being closed throughout much of the summer. This excellent hotel, furbished to the highest levels also has a superb spa and is located adjacent to the Borovets gondola – literally.



Mark Thomas, HRG Bulgaria
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