Bulgaria’s cabinet has reshuffled the 2015 budget of the Ministry of Tourism to provide an additional two million leva (about a million euro) for advertising the country as a tourist destination.
The July 15 decision was made against a background of a reported downturn in the number of tourists visiting Bulgaria in the 2015 summer season, with a notable decrease in Russian holidaymakers, hit by the declining rouble.
A Bulgarian government media statement said that the funding had been shifted from a budget item, “improvement of policies and regulations in the tourism sector”.
The statement said that the two million leva sum was needed to present Bulgaria at 11 international tourism fairs that were to be held by the end of 2015, to promote opportunities for cultural tourism and for the development of regional marketing.
Earlier in July, Bulgaria’s Tourism Minister Nikolina Angelkova was quoted by Bulgarian National Radio as saying that there had been a 20 per cent decrease in Russian tourists visiting Bulgaria compared with 2014. The decline had been forecast in January and had come true.
Other reports said that there had been a decrease in the number of Greek tourists visiting Bulgaria, against a background of the deep financial woes in Bulgaria’s southern neighbour.
Separately, however, the Institute for Analysis and Assessment in Tourism said that tourist numbers would in fact increase in 2015, but revenue from the season would be lower because of large discounts offered by Black Sea resort hotels.
(Photo: (c) Clive Leviev-Sawyer)