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Bulgarian Tour Operators Expect Slower Winter Season
Date: 29/11/2010
Bulgarian Tour Operators Expect Slower Winter Season

Tour operators forecast that Bulgarians will continue to limit the amount of money they spend on vacations through the whole winter season.

According to the forecasts, the number of trips abroad, which has been decreasing since the beginning of 2010, would probably continue the tendency.

The tourism industry in Bulgaria expects that during the upcoming winter season, short vacations would be preferred the most.

Information from the Sofia Airport showed that in 2010 the big tour operators decreased their charter flights to warmer destinations.

About 4000 Bulgarian tourists are expected to attend such flights, mostly to Egypt's cities Cairo and Hurghada. In comparison, a year ago, about 5000 Bulgarians have traveled to warmer destinations in the winter.

Many Bulgarian travel companies have also cut the number of weekend offers by bus or plane to Western European countries. There are less offers for Greece and Turkey as well.

However, tour operators expect that Bulgarians will continue to increase the number of vacations in the country. It is expected that the vacations would be mostly for 3-4 days, including the weekend.

The reasons for the decline in number of trips in the winter are the recession and the fact that most of the Bulgarians use their annual leave in the summer.

According to the Association of Hoteliers in the Bulgarian winter resort Bansko, there has been a 10% decline in reservations for the winter season so far.

"The market recovery may start in the middle of next year," said Irina Naydenova, Chair of the Control Board to the Association of Bulgarian Tour Operators and Travel Agents.

In her words, this seasons Bulgarian tour operators will offer more family vacations or vacations that include attractions and entertaining.

According to data from the National Statistics Institute, the number of trips that Bulgarians traveled abroad declined by 10-20% a month since the beginning of the year, with the biggest drop being recorded for destinations that used to be popular, like Greece and some Western Europe countries.


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