On May 1, the new summer season kicked off in Bulgaria. What do green certificates and vaccinations mean for hoteliers and tour operators?

What’s in store for us in the next few months? Will we be able to rescue this summer season?

” Stanislav Stoyanov, member of the Union of Hoteliers of Golden Sands commented the topics in Our Day talk show.

“Unfortunately, the developments after this epidemic are currently on the negative side. Perhaps the summer-2021 season will be worse than summer-2020. Maybe the measures that were taken too late played a low-down trick.”

“This has led to a lot of cancellations, especially for Easter. From tourists of neighboring countries, on whom we rely at critical moments. As well as from the Bulgarian tourists themselves.”

“We are in touch with all our colleagues, we literally hope some miracle to happen, because with these belated measures there is no way to organize the charter programs. As we know, major airlines have suspended their charters by the end of June. We can’t expect tourists before this period.’

Green certificates

“This is a measure that will be of great help for the sector. The free movement of vaccinated customers will contribute to the development of the tourist market.”

“We need to overcome the mental barrier that tourists have due to the stress of the virus itself.”

Tourists from Russia

“Unfortunately in the last few years we have started to lose this market due to the mistakes of the Ministry of Tourism. Unfortunately, there was no active effort on the part of the Ministry as regards the Russian market.”

“There was an opportunity to use the situation to our advantage when Russia cancelled flights to Turkey. You know that Turkey is one of our country’s biggest competitors in tourism. We had the perfect opportunity to attract tourists to Bulgaria.”

“Russian tourists know Bulgaria well. It’s a destination they’ve preferred for years. But these erroneous actions, which are not only in connection with the coronavirus, but also with diplomatic relations, they spoil everything. You know that Russia put Bulgaria on the list of unfriendly countries. This also leads to the ebb of Russian tourists.”

Measures to save the industry

“The measures taken by the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy under the 60/40 and 80/20 payroll support programmes were not very effective, specifically in the hospitality sector.”

“A very small part of the industry could benefit from them, because on the Black Sea coast the business is seasonal, no one maintains 100% of staff  all the time, but the hospitality industry has become a no man‘s land because the only aid it received was under the 60/40 programme, which is not effective enough.”