Due to the increase in food prices, some hoteliers will not offer all-inclusive packages for next year, according to the Bulgarian Hotel and Restaurant Association in Varna.
However, other experts in the industry say that in order to be competitive in the tourist market, hoteliers must offer all-inclusive.
“There is a general misunderstanding of what all-inclusive is and what it means. In Turkey, for example, there are many hotels that prefer the all-inclusive strategy because they are located in the middle of nowhere. There is nothing nearby to see as a landmark, so their service is focused on keeping tourists completely in the complex. Greece rejected all-inclusive in most places, because Greeks value their taverns and said they want to preserve the local economy with them. Our Black Sea resorts were created on the basis of all-inclusive, we called it full board, because there was no place for guests to eat outside the hotel. All-inclusive has been in Bulgaria for more than 60 years and will continue to exist, where the service works for the benefit of hoteliers,” said on BNT Rumen Draganov – director of the Institute for Analysis and Evaluation of Tourism.
“We are in a fierce competitive struggle in tourism. Who is better and who knows how to do it, wins visitors. The competition is the price-quality ratio must be very good and the advertising must go by word of mouth. Visitors recommend the place to their relatives and friends” Draganov said.
The all-inclusive service is constantly increasing in price, and this increases the prices for vacations at sea. Therefore, hoteliers now offer only breakfast or breakfast and dinner.
“This year, the prices reached 700 to 900 leva per room with an all-inclusive package. We want to be more competitive, we want to give tourists the opportunity to choose, because there are tourists who for lunch prefer to go on an excursion, prefer to be outside the hotel complex,” said the chairman of the Bulgarian Hotel and Restaurant Association in Varna, Pavlin Kosev.
However, hoteliers in the resorts near Varna say that tourists want to pay for their vacation in full. They usually look for offers that, in addition to all-inclusive, include the umbrella and sunbed.
“I think that giving up this form is perhaps not appropriate at this moment, because the seasons are already difficult. Perhaps there will be an outflow if the form of service is changed,” said hotelier Stella Deyanova.
Many tourists support all-inclusive vacations.
“Well, more casually, I don’t think about food and it’s more convenient for me. Otherwise, I have to think about the family, every breakfast, lunch, dinner, where we will eat. We are in Bulgaria for the first time, we are in this hotel with an ‘all-inclusive’ offer, the food is very nice, we like it”, say foreign tourists.
The all-inclusive service is preferred by tourists, but it is not economically advantageous for hoteliers, some of them say.
“Do you know what it means to produce something that stands in a window, someone fills some plates and then throws them away,” said the deputy chairman of the Bulgarian Hotel and Restaurant Association, Atanas Dimitrov.
The all-inclusive service has been talked about for a long time, but offering it is still a widespread practice. Refusal may apply to high-end hotels visited by more wealthy tourists.
“Hotels that have more than 300, 400, 500 beds, 4 stars, it’s like that in Greece, it’s like that in Turkey, they rely on the all-inclusive, because that’s what the tour operator demands, that’s what the client demands. So the competition puts pressure on us and at least in the near future, I don’t see a mass abandonment of the all-inclusive along our Black Sea coast, because we will be left without tourists,” said Stoyan Marinov.
According to industry experts, the balance between price and quality of all-inclusive offers is difficult. Due to the increase in food prices, next summer’s holiday will cost about 5-10% more.