Tourism: ‘Rediscover Bulgaria’ online hotel, restaurant reservation platform to launch in June

Bulgaria’s government and private sector are launching “Rediscover Bulgaria”, an online reservation system for hotels and restaurants, on June 1 to boost the revival of the tourist industry amid the new coronavirus crisis.

The plan for the online platform was presented at a briefing on May 21 by Tourism Minister Nikolina Angelkova, Economy Minister Emil Karanikolov, Agriculture Minister Dessislava Taneva and Metro Bulgaria management members Philip Anastassiu and Georgi Pirinski.

The platform is intended to encourage domestic tourism and attract foreign tourists to Bulgaria.

Currently, an epidemic declaration is in effect in Bulgaria, due to expire on June 14. Bulgaria has reached bilateral agreements with Greece and Serbia that will allow citizens of the three countries to cross the borders from June 1 without being required to spend 14 days in quarantine.

There has been no official announcement as yet about whether the current entry ban on foreigners – with some exceptions – will fall away in full or in part when the epidemic declaration expires on June 14.

Anastassiu said that restaurants and hotels would be able to use the “Rediscover Bulgaria” („Преоткрий България”) platform to post their offers for summer holidays and restaurant reservations.

Pirinski said that several other companies were participating in the coalition for the benefit of Bulgarian society. International and Bulgarian companies would invest the funds to finance the launch.

The platform would promote places that are safe in terms of cleanliness, hygiene and the guaranteeing of physical distancing, he said.

The second point of the programme is to return Bulgarian food to restaurant menus. “It is a mandatory condition for hotels and restaurants to offer Bulgarian food and dishes made from products provided by Bulgarian companies and farmers, including small farmers.”

Angelkova said that the initiative was presented as an opportunity for the state and business to unite their efforts and focus on supporting tourism, which is most severely affected by the coronavirus epidemic.

A month ago, the Ministry of Tourism launched a campaign, also entitled “Rediscover Bulgaria” on social networks to promote domestic tourism.

“We will promote this platform and encourage hotels and restaurateurs to participate in this free booking system. We will try to help and minimise the risk,” Angelkova said.

(Archive photo, of a restaurant in Varna on Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)

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The Sofia Globe staff

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