Several weeks ahead of the official opening ceremonies at Bulgaria’s ski resorts, the country’s tourism minister has forecast increased numbers of foreign visitors, while a deputy prime minister has promised a repeat performance of his checks on excessive noise levels.
Bulgarian Tourism Minister Nikolina Angelkova told news agency BTA that initial data were that the number of foreign tourists visiting the winter resorts in the 2017/18 season would be five to 10 per cent higher than last season.
These figures were based on information including data from the airports in Plovdiv, Varna and Bourgas, and more precise estimates would be available later in November, she said.
A few days ago, Angelkova said that 2017 so far had been a very successful year for Bulgarian tourism.
In January to September 2017, close to 7.5 million foreign tourists had visited Bulgaria, which was 7.7 per cent higher than in January to September 2016, according to Angelkova. The year 2016 already had set a record high for the number of foreign tourists visiting Bulgaria.
Angelkova emphasised that the figures were calculated according to the definitions used by the World Tourism Organization and EU statistics agency Eurostat and did not include people in transit.
On November 2, Valeri Simeonov, Deputy Prime Minister in charge of economic policy and co-leader of the United Patriots grouping that is the minority partner in the coalition government, said that there would be checks on noise in the winter resorts.
Simeonov repeatedly made headlines this past summer for his personal involvement in checks on excessive noise at Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast resorts.
Speaking before the first meeting of the working group on tourism, Simeonov said that legislative amendments would be sought to bring in more effective measures to overcome the problem of noise in resorts.