Minister Prodanov: The control on the beaches is more intensive and stricter

14 July 2022

The COVID hysteria and the disinformation are obstacles for tourism

The control on the beaches is more intensive and stricter. The inspections are sudden and none of the concessioners and the people renting the beaches know when they will be inspected. Only for the first two weeks after the beginning of the active season, more acts for violations have been drawn up than the last summer. This was said by the Minister of Tourism Hristo Prodanov in the show called Questions on TV1.

“The violations are most often related to the non-implementation of the concession contracts – larger area for the paid zone compared to the free-of-charge area, no warning signs, no lifeguards or medical teams. It is very important for us to have clean beaches, lifeguards and specified areas in accordance with the signed contracts”, said the Minister.

The assigned inspections of the concessions of the beaches have shown that “for over 90% of the concession procedures, there are ongoing legal proceedings and the court has issued a verdict that everything is right”. Since the beginning of the mandate, the Government has not signed any concession contracts but only lease contracts.

The officials dealing with the concessions at the ministry have been changed and we have reformed the structure because one and the same directorate used to conduct both the procedures and the inspections. We split the activity into two directorates in order to guarantee transparency”, added Minister Prodanov.

There are signs indicating the recovery of tourism, people have started travelling more and more after the elimination of the restrictions, based on the statistics of the Ministry. “The season is currently better than the summer season of 2021”, said the Minister.

In his opinion, we will have to learn to live with COVID and the hysteria related to this subject and the disinformation impede tourism: “I truly hope that the COVID pandemic will not be so severe. We are causing a damage to the business and we are also damaging people’s minds because they are tired of constantly being informed about the number of sick people and the number of hospital beds”.

With reference to the reservations for the season, Minister Prodanov explained that the war in Ukraine has mostly reflected the northern Black Sea resorts owing to the lack of Ukrainian and Russian tourists. “The Ministry of Tourism is doing its best to compensate for the smaller number of tourists from Ukraine and Russia by redirecting the funds for advertising to other markets. This has had a beneficial effect and we expect a substantial increase in the number of tourists coming from Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic”, added the Minister. Bulgaria is advertised on all leading European markets and we have also participated in fairs and Bulgaria is advertised as a destination in 25 countries.

Most of the institutional facilities have been vacated and the officials working in the institutions can spend their holidays in them. At present, about 25 000 Ukrainian citizens continue to reside at the places for accommodation, as 3 000 of them are still at the institutional facilities, said the Minister. Some of those seeking shelter because of the war in Ukraine have already found jobs and, according to Minister Prodanov, there are experienced specialists who have successfully socialized in Bulgaria.  

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