Twice as many foreign tourists and higher prices for the upcoming holidays. These are the forecasts of experts in the tourism industry. About half a million people will be able to afford a holiday in Bulgaria, and about 60,000 abroad. Despite the measures, there are already resorts where all places are occupied.

With or without vaccine – in Velingrad there are no more vacancies for Christmas and New Year. Anna Kostova runs a small family hotel. To fill it, some compromises have been made.

“For the Christmas holidays the hotel is 80% full”, and for New Year’s we already have 100% occupancy. In order to ensure a peaceful stay, we comply with the measures in place in the country and require a green certificate. “We have kept the price level from last year in order to give more people the opportunity,” she said.

Compliments are also provided for the guests – free accommodation for children up to 7 years.

Anna Maslarova, who runs a large spa hotel in the resort, also confirms that there are no vacancies for the holidays.

There were more bans last year. Now the restrictions are different and at the moment we welcome every guest with a green certificate“, explained Maslarova.

However, the prices are higher than average, and the reason – the entertainment provided for guests.

“There will be different artists to entertain people. In the evening after Christmas, we read Christmas tales by famous actors. We will have an open-air concert at the National Theater”, said Anna Maslarova.

And the fact that people want to live a little, not only in our country but also in the world, the numbers prove it. Top tourism expert Rumen Draganov predicts twice as many foreign tourists in Bulgaria this winter.

“We have doubled travel from abroad. There is a lot of interest from Scandinavia, Great Britain, Poland, Russia, Turkey, Greece, North Macedonia,” he explained.

Experts predict that tourism will return to normalcy in 2024.

The topic of prices in the resorts was commented in the Nova TV studio of “Sabudi Se” by Richard Alibegov from the Bulgarian Association of Restaurants and Dimitrina Goronova from the Association of Bulgarian Tour Operators.

“We expect and hope that the tourist season will be stronger than last year, which was really catastrophic. The forecasts are that the increase in the resorts will be by 10-15% due to the increased electricity prices”, said Goronova.

“In big cities like Plovdiv, Sofia, Varna and Burgas, there is very little interest in New Year’s in the restaurants. We work with a 70% drop at 100% cost. It is unprecedented that a green certificate has been introduced with 20% vaccination. In Europe, this happened because 60% of people were immunized,” Alibegov said.