Covid-19: Bulgaria’s Tourism Minister proposes European Travel Compensation Fund

European Union tourism ministers expect the summer holiday season to start on July 1, Bulgaria’s Tourism Minister Nikolina Angelkova said on April 28.

Speaking a day after taking part in a video conference meeting of EU tourism ministers, she said that her counterparts had supported the proposed creation of a European Travel Compensation Fund, to guarantee the liquidity of tour operators and consumers’ rights.

“I proposed, and my colleagues from other countries supported me, to create a so-called European Travel Compensation Fund, which can support tour operators’ liquidity and guarantee consumer protection. In this way, we will avoid this closed circle of inability to recover funds, which would lead to massive bankruptcies,” Angelkova said.

With pan-European rules, the chaos in tourism was sure to be less, she said.

She said it was especially important for the government, local authorities and business to join forces.

Angelkova said that a proposal for zones where umbrellas and sunbeds would be free of charge would be discussed with the Association of Concessionaires.

She said that a crisis programme for tourism advertising had been developed.

Angelkova said that it was unlikely that scheduled passenger flights would be restored quickly that Bulgaria would be able to rely on tourists from other countries.

She called on Bulgarians to choose their own country as their holiday destination. The country would rely, in second place, on tourists from neighbouring countries and in third, on the rest of the European market.

“We are in constant dialogue with the major tour operators we have worked with so far,” Angelkova said.

Another major measure is the promotion of organized tourism and the promotion of charters. But this would depend on the gradual opening of borders and on the possibilities in the budget.

Angelkova said that she had already submitted a proposal to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to facilitate tourist visas for citizens of Russia and Turkey.

(Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)

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The Sofia Globe staff

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