The Institute for Market Economy has been given the task to perform an economic analysis of Bansko municipality. With the Institute’s help we wanted to see what our strengths and weaknesses are, what are the perspectives and challenges Bansko faces. It goes without saying that tourism is the most important sector for the economy of our municipality. The turnover, the income, and the employment in the tourist sector in 2014 have much higher figures compared with the ones before the crisis in 2008/2009. The provided accommodation in Bansko grows in parallel with an increase in the number of registered visitors. More than 60% of the municipality’s economy is concentrated in this sector, which, together with the lower levels of unemployment, leads us to believe that Bansko has overcome the negative impact of the world economic crisis. Some additional positive impact is due to the fact that Bansko is rated among the 10 municipalities where the administration has managed to acquire most EU funding per capita.
During the last several years we managed to establish ourselves as the leading winter tourist destination in Bulgaria and on the Balkans. The fast growth attracts more and more tourists, but also imposes the need for sustainable development. In order to overcome the lows of the summer season, we develop summer festivals which already have shown positive results. We actively advertise the resort in many different ways – via direct advertisement, by participating in tourist forums, by organizing interesting events. Outside of the tourist sector, we will continue to strive for obtaining EU funding for various projects. We will also look for ways to encourage the local businesses, and in particular the furniture industry that is typical for Bansko by enhancing its connections with the professional education and the tourist industry as a direct consumer. In the area of agriculture, the focus is naturally on farming and plant-growing. The increasing flow of tourists, also in the summer months, provides good possibilities for development for small companies in the food-processing industry. The produce of meat and dairy products can satisfy the demand of the local tourist industry, thus closing the circle from farm to table. By enhancing their share in the local economy, we will also increase the numbers of people employed throughout the year, which in turn will lead to better conditions for keeping the young people in our municipality.