Bulgaria’s beach holiday economics 2012

The summer 2012 holiday season will see Bulgarians spending about 88 leva (44 euro) a day during vacations lasting an average 10 days, according to a survey – and if they are going to Bourgas on the Black Sea coast, they will be paying a bit more than last year for renting umbrellas and lounge chairs.

According to a June 21 report by public broadcaster Bulgarian National Television (BNT), concession-holders of beaches near Bourgas, the country’s second-largest coastal city, have increased prices of umbrellas and lounge chairs to compensate for the large sums they spent on repairs after this year’s severe winter storms.

The storms damaged facilities and scoured away beach sand. In spite of promises of state funds to help affected areas, concession-holders have yet to get any money, the report said.

Tsonyo Hristov, a concession-holder, told BNT that he had spent 270 000 leva to get his beaches in order.

The report said that at Sunny Beach, (Слънчев бряг), about 35km north of Bourgas, an umbrella and lounge chair set costs about 16 leva a day. Prices on beaches on the southern coast are generally lower than that, but for most Bulgarians still too expensive, the report said.

Bulgarian law requires that concession-holders set aside part of the areas of their beaches as free-of-charge, where holidaymakers can set up their own portable beach umbrellas.

The report said that it was only at the central beach in Bourgas that there were 200 free umbrellas and sunbeds.

Meanwhile, a survey by a credit card company said that summer 2012 would see Bulgarians taking holidays of an average 10 days, with people of working age from the major cities having set aside budgets of 882 leva.

Forty per cent of those polled said that they would be spending more than last year and 16 per cent said that they would be spending less.

Bulgarian holidaymakers aged between 35 and 45 would spending an average 1009 leva and those between 18 and 24 an average 485 leva.

Overall, 87 per cent of Bulgarians intended going away on summer holidays in 2012, 27 per cent more than in 2011, according to the survey.

About 60 per cent of those polled said that they would be spending their holidays in Bulgaria. Close to a third said that they would holiday both in Bulgaria and abroad, while 12 per cent said that they would be only going abroad.

More than half of those polled said that they preferred holidaying abroad because the service was of a higher standard than in Bulgaria.

Among Bulgaria’s Black Sea resorts, the largest single share of those polled said that they intended going to Sunny Beach (6.5 per cent), followed by Varna, Kiten and Sozopol (five per cent) and Lozenets, Pomorie and Primorsko (three per cent).

Among foreign destinations, the most preferred were Greece (15 per cent), Turkey (9.5 per cent), Spain (five per cent), Italy (three per cent) and Germany (two per cent).

Fifty-six per cent of people intended holidaying in August. The rest said that they would go on holiday in July, September and June, respectively, the last-mentioned accounting for only 18 per cent.

(Photo: Dimitar Tzankov/sxc.hu)



The Sofia Globe staff

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