Whether the summer tourist season is successful or weaker than in recent years remains to be seen, but the data for the first days of the most active summer month of August show that 88% of all seaside hotels were occupied on August 3rd, and 68% of the full month is already booked, according to preliminary data from the Institute for Analysis and Evaluation in Tourism.

In the morning block of bTV, Rumen Draganov from the Institute admitted that there was a 3% decrease compared to last year, but noted that tourists should be more on an annual basis.

According to him, the data of the National Statistical Institute (NSI), are not so alarming, although they are showing a decline.

Traditionally for the sector, June data are a kind of benchmark for the season, and this year’s figures, released on July 29, show that in June foreign visitors to Bulgaria for holiday and tourism purposes fell by 2.5% compared to the same month in 2018  (769,662 people in June 2019, 789,371 in June 2018 or 19,709 less) In June 2019, only visits for the purpose of “others” (including visits and transit) increased by 3.0 %. Transits through the country accounted for 22.6% (347.5 thousand) of all visits of foreigners to Bulgaria.

Apparently, due to competition from Turkey and Greece, the Russian market is very weak this summer. According to June 2019 data, 100,474 Russians were on holiday in Bulgaria, while a year earlier, in 2018, their number was 123,272 or a drop of 22,805.

However, hoteliers expect more tourists in August and September:

“The season started off hesitantly. The second half of July went very well. August is expected to be better than July. September is expected to continue well, ” longtime hotelier Georgi Iliev predicts.

Plamen Kopchev, chairman of the Sunny Beach Hotel Owners’ Union, confirmed the reversal: “The resort is full.” According to Kopchev, the profile of tourists in Sunny Beach hasn’t changed since the noise checks organized by Valery Simeonov. The only difference is that it has “become a slightly quieter resort”.