One of the sectors of the economy most affected by the coronavirus pandemic in our country undoubtedly remains tourism. Even with the first cases of infected people in Bulgaria in March, hotels, restaurants and cafes had to close their doors in order to reduce the risk of infecting with the virus. The situation has led to a high unemployment rate and losses that businesses will find difficult to overcome. As the summer season approaches, many of the industry representatives ask themselves the question: "Will there be a summer season in our country, despite the pandemic and if so - how and when will it start?"
There will still be a summer season as the Ministry of Tourism is developing a strategy for the 2020 season
Many of the anti-pandemic measures began to drop out in the first days of the summer. From the series of orders issued by the Minister of Health, it has already become clear that the restaurants and cafes can accept clients indoor and outdoor, and the wearing of protective masks there is not obligatory. The employees must strictly follow the prescribed sanitary and hygienic norms, and there must be a distance of 1.5 m between the tables. The same rules will apply to hotel guests when using common areas.
The Ministry of Tourism has developed a strategy for the summer season 2020. In order to promote domestic tourism, there was a proposal in May for the free usage of umbrellas and sunbeds on the beach. On May 14 this year in Sunny Beach was held a working meeting with representatives of the tourism industry in our country and the Minister of Tourism Nikolina Angelkova. It became clear that the above mentioned measure with free beach chailounges and umbrellas can only be applied to 17 out of a total of 132 Bulgarian beaches. Amendments to the Health Law will provide reductions in the fees of concessionaires and tenants in order to offer tourists prices that are at least 50% lower than the last summer season.
It can be said that the summer season started on June 1-st this year, which means that domestic tourists can now visit the hotels on the Black Sea coast. The active summer season will start on July 1-st, and the tourism industry hopes to be able to welcome many foreign tourists, it became clear from the meeting.
We accept foreign tourists only with a declaration that they are not sick with coronavirus.
The Bulgarian Black Sea coast and business is ready to accept tourists from abroad only with a declaration, without a preliminary test for coronavirus. The purpose of this measure is, if it turns out that a foreign tourist has been infected with coronavirus, then the funding for his treatment to be covered by personal health insurance or personal funds. Thus, the claims that he was infected with the virus in a hotel in our country become invalid.
According to the regional health inspectorates in the two big seasite cities - Varna and Burgas, the hospitals are prepared to take care of patients with symptoms of coronavirus infection. Tourists who show symptoms of the infection, whether Bulgarians or foreigners, will be redirected by hotel staff to the relevant hospitals. In one of her interviews for Nova TV from the end of May, Angelkova also shared that from June 15, when all measures fall, except for the social ones, charter flights from countries with a similar epidemic situation will start. According to her, these countries are Germany, Austria, the Scandinavian countries, Poland, the Czech Republic and France. She added that talks have already been held with them about the arrival of tourists in our country.
With the aceepted package of measures, the local government aims to promote Bulgarian tourism, because after the ongoing crisis in the industry, the economy will be very difficult to stabilize.