The current unseasonably relatively warm weather in Bulgaria could have a negative impact on the winter snow and ski tourism season, according to Bulgarian Tourist Chamber head Stoyan Lazarov.
Quoted by local news agency Focus, he said that although there had been snow, the warmer weather could have a negative impact on the number of tourists.
“No comparison can be drawn between Bulgaria and world ski destinations, such as France, Austria and Italy, but we are already familiar on the European market. There is something we can boast about and I expect serious growth. I expect an increase mainly on the Russian and British markets,” he said.
Weather forecasts for Bulgaria on December 31 2012 showed temperatures countrywide ranging up to daily maximums of about five degrees Celsius, with a slight possibility of snow on January 5.
The long-range weather forecast for Bulgaria for January 2013 was that temperatures would be normal for the season, between minus three degrees and zero in northern Bulgaria, between zero and three degrees in southern Bulgaria and along the Black Sea coast and between minus eight and minus three in mountainous areas.
Optimism about Bulgaria’s winter season was expressed by Economy, Energy and Tourism Minister Delyan Dobrev, who told Bulgarian news agency BTA that Bulgaria’s mountain resorts ranked highly in a recent survey of 27 European and North American resorts as the cheapest place for winter recreation.
Meanwhile, the protests in Bulgaria’s winter resort of Bansko that disrupted traffic daily between January 28 and 30 have come to an end.
The protests, backed by Bansko mayor Georgi Ikonomov, saw Speaker of Parliament Tsetska Tsacheva and Interior Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov turn out in support of the campaign to allow the building of a second gondola lift and expansion of the ski slopes.
Ikonomov claimed that the campaign also was backed by President Rossen Plevneliev, saying that he had been told this in private conversation, although there was no public statement from the Presidency on the issue.
Tsvetanov said that the demands of the protesters would be met and would be discussed at the first Cabinet meeting in the New Year. The protesters derided conservationist movements who oppose further development at the resort as “eco terrorists” and “racketeers”. The conservation organisations argue that expansion of the ski facilities would violate land use agreements and UNESCO recommendations for Pirin national park.
(Photo of Bansko: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)