Bulgaria Importing Cheap Labour To Accomodate Tourism Boom

Facing a serious problem with a shortage of workers ahead of the summer season, Bulgaria’s booming tourist industry is seeking to employ foreign workers to meet the growing demand.

While the Ministry of Tourism forecasts a rise of up to 10 per cent in numbers of tourists this summer, the sector unofficially estimates it is short of 15,000 to 25,000 workers to provide services for the increase.

“I am very worried. We are bringing in more foreign tourists because of different geopolitical factors – but how are we going to provide them services?” Elena Ivanova, president of the Union of Owners in Sunny Beach, the largest resort on the Bulgarian Black Sea, told BIRN.

“Only foreigners can offer us some perspective,” Ivanova said, explaining that Bulgarian workers either seek jobs abroad, or are “young and unqualified people who do not want to work”.

She said that nationals from Ukraine and Moldova, which have large ethnic Bulgarian communities, as well as Macedonia and Belarus, are the most willing to take summer jobs at Bulgaria’s seaside resorts.

Related image
At a roundtable in November 2016, the President of the Independent Syndical Federation in Trade, Cooperatives, Tourism and Services called salaries in the tourism sector in Bulgaria “humiliating”, noting that the average monthly pay cheque in the sector in Bulgaria was only 295 euros compared with 2,000 euros in Spain.

In January, the Labour Ministry eased the conditions for hiring non-EU citizens for seasonal jobs in the tourist and agricultural sectors, after that option was introduced under a new labour migration act in 2016.

Deputy Prime Minister Valeri Simeonov said in the resort of Varna on May 19 that additional incentives to attract foreign nationals had been introduced, including a speeded-up process for obtaining visas and removing the old requirement for an official translation of would-be workers’ foreign diplomas and certificates.

Related image

Bulgarian trade unions, however, do not share the employers’ enthusiasm about hiring foreign staff.

The Confederation of Independent Syndicates in Bulgaria, CISB, insists that if the tourist sector offered higher wages, local workers would not leave to work in countries like Spain or Greece.
In January, the CISB opposed a request by the employers’ organisations to widen the list of professions for which Bulgaria can import non-EU workers, saying it would put Bulgarian and EU workers in an unequal position.

Read More

Bulgaria No Longer Has Roaming Fees

Mobile phones users all over the EU, which includes Bulgaria, Romania, Greece and Croatia, will benefit from new “roam like at home” rules from...

A1 Bulgaria Installs First 5G Internet Station In Bulgaria

The mobile operator A1 introduced the first 5G network in operation in Bulgaria after receiving frequencies for a test period of six months. During this period, the...

Bulgaria’s Trade With China Increased By 5.1% In 2019

China's trade with Bulgaria grew by 5.1 percent year on year in 2019 to 2.72 billion U.S. dollars, said an official with...


Competition Commission Approves Domuschiev Acquisition Of Nova Broadcasting Group

The Commission for Protection of Competition (CPC) has allowed Advance Media Group, controlled by Kiril and Georgi Domuschievi, to acquire control over...

Investbank Request Permission For New Share Listing

Bulgaria's Investbank is seeking the approval of its shareholders to increase its capital by up to 23.9 million levs ($13.6 million/12.2 million...

The United States Refuses To Negotiate Over Iraq Troop Withdrawal

The United States is not discussing the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, France press and Reuters reported. Agencies cited a statement today by US Department of...