Tourism: Bulgaria soars while Turkey loses ground in Europe

Written by on July 28, 2017 in Bulgaria - Comments Off on Tourism: Bulgaria soars while Turkey loses ground in Europe

Sand is sandy, the sun is sunny and sea water is salty. But terror is deadly, the degradation of democracy and arbitrary arrests are disgusting. The consequences are expensive, as Bulgaria’s South-Eastern neighbour Turkey just found out.

While Turkey has more beaches than Bulgaria, and possibly even nicer ones, the country is already feeling the decrease, regarding the number of Western European tourists. Marketing people in Ankara and Antalya are already concentrating on getting visitors from the Balkans and Arab countries in the Middle East.

At this stage, the Germans tend to stay away, and they have excellent reasons to do so. The Foreign Ministry in Berlin just updated its travel warnings for Turkey. Those do not sound good. It accurately says, there were tensions in Turkey. The diplomats in Berlin wrote, there had been arrests of German citizens, which were “not understandable”. Germany is saying, it is not safe anymore to go to Turkey. The tourism sector is not exactly happy about this development.

A bit further North-East, in Bulgaria on the other hand, good news are coming in almost every day. While hundreds of thousands of foreign tourists were slurping their Vodka Orange in Slanchev Briag (also known as Sunny Beach or “Sonnenstrand” in German), Albena and Sozopol, the Minister of Tourism of the Republic of Bulgaria was working hard. Nikolina Angelkova went to the inauguration of an aqua park in Devin.

Wait a second: Aqua park? Devin? Isn’t that place located in Central Bulgaria, far away from the sandy beaches? Exactly. Minister Angelkova is doing everything possible to convert Bulgaria to a “four seasons destination”. She said the new aqua park would “undoubtedly contribute significantly to the development of Devin as an interesting and preferred tourist destination.”

Even better: From January through June of 2017, the number of foreign tourists in Bulgaria increased by 7.7 percent, Angelkova said. She also stated her ministry was already “working with the big tour operators” for the summer of 2018.

Those tour operators the minister mentioned are not exactly happy about their losses in Turkey, because of Ankara’s efforts to turn the country into a dictatorship. On the other hand they do have reasons to celebrate.

One of the largest tour operators in Europe, Thomas Cook, just reported an 11 percent growth in bookings for the summer of 2017, compared to last summer. British holidaymakers are rather reluctant this year, but the Germans and Russians are not. Thomas Cook has sold 82 percent of its capacity this summer.

Mainly three holiday destinations have made this success happen. They are Greece, Cyprus and this country on the South-Eastern edge of Europe, called Bulgaria, with a 19 percent surge.

Photo: Dyuni Beach, Bulgaria. By Lea Marcus




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