Between 15 and 20 percent drop in Russian tourists in Bulgaria during the summer, predicts General Consul of Russia in Varna Sergei Lukyanchuk. Speaking to journalists the diplomatist said it was inevitable sanctions imposed on his country by the EU and the crisis affect the financial ability of Russian citizens to ensure their holiday abroad.
“However, the Russians will not be deprived of vacation, but will go where the conditions are most favorable – visas and high-quality levels of. This will determine the choice of Russians. In this context, Bulgaria should make efforts to ease the visa regime. Bulgaria tourist visa costs 50 euros and is the most expensive in Europe, excluding visas to USA, UK and Australia. Bulgaria should pay attention to this, as well as the validity of the visa, because there are many Russians who have properties in Bulgaria. For them, the procedure for issuing visa takes a long time and it is a major financial burden. If Bulgaria review the policy in this direction and there are relief for people, they will return and interest in real estate will resume” said the Consul. He comments also it is too early to predict the tourist activity during the summer.
“I can’t say, however, that the season will be ruined. The decline will probably 15-20 percent” – commented Lukyanchuk. He added he believes that within a year and a half or two, Russia will emerge from the crisis and the interest of Russian citizens to Bulgaria will recover in the parameters before the crisis. “However, the pricing policy and quality of services are those that determine the choice, because the tourists have to be earned” – said the diplomatist.