Bulgaria’s Bansko opens 2023/24 season

Bulgaria’s Bansko mountain resort opened its 2023/24 season on December 16, following Pamporovo and Borovets that opened theirs the day before.

In Bansko, lift card prices, in effect up to December 22 inclusive, are 60 leva for adults, 50 leva for children aged 12 to 18 inclusive, 30 leva for children aged seven to 11, and one lev for children up to seven years age and pensioners over the age of 75.

Good conditions were reported from Bansko, with snowfall set to continue on Saturday and very good conditions for skiing and snowboarding expected on Sunday, local media said.

Ivan Obreikov, market director of the concession-holder for Bansko, told Nova Televizia that this year, Bansko expected tourists from all over Europe.

“From this year, we hope that there will be tourists from Kosovo as well, with the easing of the visa regime there,” Obreikov said.

He said that an increase in tourists from Türkiye was expected, while most tourists were expected to come from Romania, Greece, North Macedonia, Serbia, the UK and Scandinavian countries.

Bulgaria’s Tourism Minister Zaritsa Dinkova told bTV on December 16: “We are expecting a good tourist season”

There would be no drastic increase in the price of holidays during the winter season, Dinkova said.

Dinkova said that her ministry was implementing timely measures to minimise the negative effect of the military conflict in the Middle East.

“Advertising for tourist products in Bulgaria is aimed at the UK, Ireland, the Scandinavian and neighbouring countries,” she said.

A post on Bansko’s official Facebook page said that just before the opening of the winter season, National Assembly Speaker Rossen Zhelyazkov held a meeting with the mayors of Bansko, Razlog, Belitsa and Yakoruda.

According to the post, Bansko mayor Stoicho Banenski said that the issue of the construction of a second cable car connecting the town with the ski area in Pirin national park had remained unresolved for 10 years.

The great interest in the ski area attracts many local and foreign tourists, but the long wait for the only cable car turns many of them away, Banenski was quoted as saying.

For the construction of a second cable car to go ahead, the Protected Areas Act should say that construction of new ecological transport facilities on the territory of national parks is permissible, he said.

The post quoted the mayors of Razlog, Belitsa and Yakoruda municipalities as saying that the restrictive regulations in the Forests Act were also an obstacle to the development of tourism. According to the mayors, the way that the regulations worked was discriminatory, making any kind of investment in sports facilities – lifts and tracks – impossible.

(Photo: Bansko App)

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