In August 2021, 174,044 foreigners were welcomed at Bourgas Airport. Compared to 2020, an increase of 123.45% was achieved, and compared to the base year 2019 before the pandemic there is a decrease of 56%, or 221,906 fewer tourists, according to the Burgas Regional Tourist Chamber.

The growth of the arriving charters in August 2021 compared to 2020 is 97%, and compared to 2019 the decrease is 51.4%. The high morbidity caused by Covid-19, fear, closed borders, and restrictions shocked Europe and the world in 2020, the analysis said. 

The tourism industry has reported that the opening of borders, the decline in morbidity, and the easing of restrictive measures have unleashed the search for freedom in 2021. Businesses now operate without prior reservations and describe the situation from mid-July to August 20 as a “new migration”.

According to the analysis, the largest growth of Ukrainian tourists compared to 2019 by 39%. The decrease of German tourists compared to 2019 is 18%, of Lithuanian – 28.4%, of Luxembourg, is 9%, of the Netherlands – 9.73%, of Poles, is 33%. Individual reservations from Romania, Moldova, and Ukraine dominate, and hotel parking lots are filled with vacationers’ personal cars.

The chamber also claims that markets such as Estonia, Norway, France, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands and Sweden are recovering, of which there were virtually no tourists on the southern Black Sea coast in the 2020 season. Significant growth compared to 2020 are marked by markets such as: Austria – 148.8%, Belgium – 123%. The Czech Republic – 127%, Germany – 103%, Ireland – 214%, Poland – 31%, Israel – 150% and Ukraine – 2.53.

Booking through Booking is growing and provides over 40% of hotel occupancy. Bulgarians rest this year for an average of 4 days compared to 2.8 days in 2019.

The analysis also takes into account serious problems such as the lack of parking spaces, the lack of qualified staff, which, according to hoteliers, cannot be compensated by employees from Ukraine, Moldova, Northern Macedonia, Turkey, the Middle and the Far East.

According to surveys, tourists from abroad are satisfied with the conditions for rest, say Burgas hoteliers. A survey among Plovdiv residents vacationing on the Black Sea coast reports that the area is overcrowded, the service is not satisfactory, the price does not match the quality. Travel companies are signaling the construction of restaurants by the end of July and the movement of heavy vehicles next to the hotels.

Hoteliers are complaining about sudden orders from the health ministry. The issue of the rhythmic payment of the state’s social measures to those affected in the pandemic sector has not yet been resolved, the analysis said.

Most hotels will close the season between September 10 and 15, but leading hoteliers and operators have charter flights between September 17 and 26, 2021. The industry expects a successful completion in September if the restrictions of the last order of the Ministry of Health are maintained.