In Bansko, Bulgaria’s Tourism Minister expresses optimism about winter season
Bansko is renowned as a ski resort, is establishing itself successfully as a year-round resort, and the institutions have declared readiness for the 2019/2020 winter tourism season, Tourism Minister Nikolina Angelkova said.
Speaking at a meeting with stakeholders in Bansko’s tourism business, Angelkova said that notwithstanding the challenges of 2019, which has been a difficult year, “we expect good results in the winter season thanks to our joint efforts”.
As quoted in a Tourism Ministry media statement, she said that “in spite of the negative campaign at the beginning of the year, over the period from January to September 2019 inclusive there were more than 7.8 million visits by foreign tourists, with a decrease of only 0.8 per cent compared with 2018, which had been a record year”.
Bookings for winter show that about 60 per cent of foreign tourists will be from neighbouring countries, with growth expected in some of the leading markets.
The estimated increase in the number of passenger seats on planes arriving at Sofia Airport, for example, is 17 per cent so far this coming winter season from the UK, while German flights are forecast to increase by seven per cent and from Hungary, 16 per cent, she said.
Angelkova said that Bansko, known abroad as a competitive ski centre and a place for great competitions in snow sports, and is increasingly becoming seen as a year-round resort.
Thanks to the initiative of the municipality and the private sector, more than 77 000 people stayed overnight in accommodation establishments in the municipality this summer, an increase of more than eight per cent compared with the same period of 2018.