We forecast a slight decrease in tourist arrivals in the summer season of 3% to 6% for the whole country and between 5 and 8% for the Black Sea coast, Tourism Minister Nikolina Angelkova told journalists at the National Assembly, Focus News Agency reports.

Minister Angelkova said the ministry projected as early as end-2018 that it would be a very difficult season, with many challenges. “Our direct competitors and destinations like Turkey, Tunisia, and Egypt have a very serious policy of subsidizing and increasing tourist arrivals,” the minister explained. “We hope that we will keep the levels from last year and we will do our best to arouse the interest in last-minute bookings to Bulgaria,” said Angelkova.

“We are launching a special mechanism to support organized tourism,” said she, adding that it will be presented in August to allow big tour operators to take it into account for season 2020. 

Asked whether the current slowdown was due to the geopolitical situation, Minister Angelkova said there are many factors. “Tourism is a highly competitive economic sector, and it greatly depends on how we approach it. There are difficult situations, but we are taking measures to overcome them. We are working for season 2020-2021,” she noted.