Bulgaria’s Black Sea resort of Sunny Beach (Slunchev Bryag) closed the summer 2012 summer season with a seven per cent increase in tourists year-on-year, and the company that manages the resort turned in a three per cent increase in its financial results – but hoteliers have left 2.5 million leva in infrastructure fees unpaid, the company said.
Sunny Beach AD chief executive Zlatko Dimitrov said that under the resort’s privatisation contract, third parties that are users of the resort – hotels, restaurants and shops – have to pay for maintenance of the infrastructure.
He said costs of maintenance were very large and businesses operating in the complex were refusing to co-operate.
At the time of the privatisation, after the end of Bulgaria’s communist Zhivkov era, there were 80 hotels in the resort. There are now close to 450, with a total of about 260 000 beds.
Zlatkov, quoted by local media, said that shops and other facilities in the complex were saying that because they paid taxes as well as tax to Nessebur municipality, they refused to pay towards the maintenance of the complex. He said that Nessebur municipality would be approached to use the proceeds of the tourism tax paid by businesses in the complex towards infrastructure, as the law requires.
This year, the joint stock company that runs Sunny Beach generated revenue from operations amounting to 910 000 leva and renovated and maintained various facilities, including pavements, streets, landscape lighting and water control equipment.
Sunny Beach AD said that during the 2012 season, there had been a huge amount of early bookings of tourists from Germany, Israel, the United Kingdom, Scandinavia, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland, along with increased demand among individual tourists from Ukraine and Russia.
Achieving full capacity in May had set the scene for the 2012 improved financial results, Sunny Beach said.
The resort has various plans ahead of summer 2013, including improving internet access facilities at hotels and increasing the skills of general managers and other management figures to deal with terrorist acts and natural disasters.