The Bulgaria 2009 Review: Tourism


Bulgaria Officially Closes State Tourism Agency. Number of Hotels in Bulgaria Rises Despite Crisis. Bulgaria Top Resort Sunny Beach Fully Booked Despite Crisis. Sex Tourism in Bulgaria Sunny Beach Resort Hit by Crisis. Bulgaria Belogradchik Rocks Out of New 7 Wonders Ranking.
The Bulgaria 2009 Review: Tourism

Bulgaria Officially Closes State Tourism Agency

Bulgaria's Parliament officially removed the state tourism agency, whose functions will be inherited by the Ministry of Economy, Energy and Tourism.

This is envisaged by amendments to the Tourism Act, which parliament adopted at second reading on October 8.

The Minister of Economy, Energy and Tourism will be in charge of the tourism sector from now.

Number of Hotels in Bulgaria Rises Despite Crisis

The number of hotels in Bulgaria increased by 115 in the second quarter of 2009 year-on-year, despite the negative effects of the economic crisis on the tourist business.

Statistics presented by the National Statistical Institute show that the total number of hotels, motels, camping sites, rest houses, and all other lodgings with more than 10 beds went up by 14,5% to 3 015.

The number of people that stayed in the means of accommodations in the second quarter of 2009 decreased by 12,7% to 1 156 000 compared to the same period in 2008. 56,3% of them were Bulgarians.

The foreigners who came to Bulgaria were 13,8% less in Q2 2009 year-on-year. Almost all of the foreign visitors preferred to stay in hotels, and only 0,7% of them chose camping sites and rest houses.

The total number of nights spent in all lodging places in the period April-June 2009 decrease by 16,4% to 3 814 000 year-on-year.

Bulgaria Top Resort Sunny Beach Fully Booked Despite Crisis

Bulgaria's largest Black Sea resort, Sunny Beach, was visited by plenty of tourists this summer despite the economic crisis.

This has been announced by Ivalina Yankova and Peyko Yankov, Executive Directors of the largest hotel company in the resort, Sunny Beach Hotel Holdings Jsc, which owns the four-star hotels Trakia, Trakia Plaza, Hrizantema, Nessebar Beach, and Burgas Beach.

The Sunny Beach Hotel Holdings Jsc has concentrated on attracting a larger number of tourists in order to compensate for the shorter vacations by coming up with more varied tourist services.

Most of those who use the company's services are from Germany. The greatest increase is registered in the numbers of tourists from Israel, Romania, Hungary, and Poland.

The Yankovi family is constantly upgrading their "all inclusive" packages to include additional elements. In their words, the "all inclusive" service is a lot more than just bed and food.

Sex Tourism in Bulgaria Sunny Beach Resort Hit by Crisis

The economic crisis has affected the "sex tourism" in the Bulgarian Black Sea resort Sunny Beach.

The prostitutes in Sunny Beach, who are mostly Bulgarian, Russian, Ukrainian, and Moldavian, are forced to offer their services at very low prices because of the lack of clients, according to a report of the BGNES news agency, as the global economic crisis led to a decline of foreign tourists visiting the top Bulgarian resorts.

BGNES reports that the hourly rate for "standard sex" at Sunny Beach had dropped from EUR 50-100 to EUR 25 per hour, whereas the hiring of a girl for an entire night had gone as cheap as EUR 40-50.

Some of the prostitutes are even reported to have left their pimps because they could not pay the respective percentage they owe to the pimps for "protection".

BGNES reminds of a report of the Face-to-Face NGO stating that some 50% of all prostitutes originated in families with regular abuse and brutality. The prostitutes working at Sunny Beach are said to come from the regions of Ruse, Plovdiv, Svilengrad, and Petrich.

Bulgaria Belogradchik Rocks Out of New 7 Wonders Ranking

The miraculous rock formations near the northwest Bulgarian town of Belogradchik did not make it to the final stage of the world's new Seven Wonders ranking.

The Bayor of Belogradchik, Emil Tsanov, announced that the Rocks appeared to be out of the competition after the second stage, the Bulgarian news agency, BTA, reported.

The Belogradchik Rocks were competing with 260 other landmarks from 220 nations all across the world. The global campaign is organized by a Switzerland-based NGO.

The Belogradchik Rocks are miraculous sandstone and limestone rock formations of up to 200 m in height with various shapes resulting from erosion. They form a strip which is 30 km in length and 3 km in width in the northwestern part of the Stara Planina (Balkan) Mountain.

Every single rock is named after a real object that it resembles. The rock range varies in color. The Belogradchik Rocks were declared a natural landmark in 1949. The ancient Belogradchik fortress is also located among the rocks.


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