Minister Angelkova before the start of the active season on July 1: From June 26 we expect the first charter flights with foreign tourists

17 June 2020

With the support of the charters we expect tourists on the Black Sea coast for balneal and SPA until the end of October, the focus of the advertising campaign is the low spread of COVID-19 in our country.


We expect the first charters with foreign tourists on June 26 at Bourgas Airport from Amsterdam, the others will be from different cities in Germany. On June 27, TUI and Der Turistick flights from Germany will follow. The first flights to Varna will be also from Germany, but on June 29. This was stated by the Minister of Tourism Nikolina Angelkova during a briefing before the start of the active summer season on July 1 in Bulgaria.

At the moment, the planned flights at our sea airports until the end of September are about 10,600 in Bourgas and 6,400 - in Varna, she said and recalled that Bulgaria was the first to open its borders without quarantine for foreign tourists on June 1, and from June 15 there are already 34 countries with access. We have maintained continious communication with my fellow ministers and the leading tour operators that work with the Bulgarian market, and I expect a gradual restoration of the flight program from our main tourist markets, said the Minister. The anti-crisis measure for subsidizing 35 euros per seat in the charters is positively accepted among our partners. This allows charters with tourists for health, balneo and spa tourism to extend the season until the end of October. The flights are expected to be confirmed in mid-July for October, she clarified.  

Preliminary meetings have already been held with all control bodies and local authorities to ensure the safe stay of tourists in the new situation. I appeal to every representative of the sector to make every effort in their work. It is important to follow the laws, because any illegal action leads to damage to the image of the country. The control will be uncompromising, the minister warned.

I would like us to be positive despite the unusually difficult situation. We had a good season last year and that's why I focus on flights. It is difficult to make a comparison. The fact is that there is a decline at the airports, and in early January we expected 10 percent growth in the sector. The hotels that will open for the season are currently about 60-70% according to information from the business in Sunny Beach and Golden Sands, but the situation is dynamic, the minister stressed. Another important point, which she drew attention to, is the epidemic situation in the respective countries, which we must take into account when receiving their tourists and pointed out as an example one of our important markets, Russia.

There is still a movement in the tourism and this is shown by the data of Uniform Tourim Information System. From May 22 until today, more than 91,000 tourists have spent the night in accommodation places, of which 93% are Bulgarians, said Minister Angelkova. The ministry has been working continuously on the anti-crisis advertising campaign for Bulgaria. The first events started at the end of April on social networks and other channels. A campaign is being implemented for the neighboring countries, Germany, the Visegrád Four and others for one year. An important focus is the balneo and spa tourist services. A separate campaign for our country is being conducted under the signed agreement with the German health insurance funds. We hope that these contacts will greatly support the charter program in October with tourists for health and spa tourism. Our integrated campaigns will start for all target markets on Monday. The focus of the campaign is that Bulgaria is one of the countries with the lowest spread of COVID-19 and this is reported by the international community. Our country has received and can now use the Safe Travels stamp, adopting the health and hygiene protocols of the World Travel and Tourism Council WTTC. This initiative makes it possible to globally identify destinations with enhanced standards for safe travel, the minister stressed.

She also spoke in detail about the measures related to liquidity and employment taken by the government and the ministry to promote businesses. The 60:40 measure should be transformed to 80:20, as the ministry suggested, and the details of the change are currently being analyzed with the European Commission and the Ministry of Labour and Social Politics . BGN 50 million will be allocated for tourism to attract the unemployed registered in the labor offices thus, the employers will be additionally supported. A grant scheme for medium-sized enterprises in the sector will also start operating with specific assistance from BGN 30,000 to BGN 100,000 for faster overcoming of the crisis.

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