Bulgaria should urgently start issuing entry visas to Russian tourists, according to the Bulgarian Hotel and Restaurant Association (BHRA).

Just hours ago, the Russian Federation announced that flights from RF to Turkey were suspended for indefinite time because of the spike in cases of COVID-19 in the country, BHRA said.

According to the Association, the majority of Russian holidaymakers planned seaside vacations in our southern neighbor. After this destination becomes at least temporarily unavailable to them, it makes sense to immediately look for an alternative for their already planned vacations, points out the chairman of BHRA Georgi Shterev.

If Bulgarian authorities do not immediately start to issue entry visas to Russian tourists, we again will not be able to take advantage of the situation. Because our competitors, such as Cyprus and Egypt, do not waste time and already give visas to Russian holidaymakers, BHRA reps explain.

They also stressed that from the economic point of view it is not the time for the Foreign Ministry to “try to show muscle making sharp statements against the Russian Federation” because it is detrimental to our national economy.

According to BHRA, steps should be taken to restore the work of Bulgaria’s Consulate General in Novosibirsk, as there are currently only three consular offices operating on the territory of Russia that issue visas to Bulgaria, which is extremely insufficient and makes the work difficult. It is also important to send another tourism agent to Russia. As well as to spur the work in all Russian cities and regions, which are twinned with Bulgarian ones, emphasized BHRA.