Drop in Russian, Ukrainian Visitors Worries Bulgaria

Bulgarian tour operators are concerned by a possible drop in the number of Ukrainian and Russian tourists this summer.

According to the newspaper Capital Daily, another reason, besides severe tensions between the two countries, is the fall in value of the Ukrainian hryvnia and the Russian ruble to the euro – by 46 and 20 per cent respectively.

According to the newspaper, no tour operators have given official data on how much numbers may have dropped, but the average is about 10 to 12 per cent. Considering that Russians are the most numerous tourists in Bulgaria and Ukraine is in the top six, the numbers are considerable.

“The Russian market is on hold,” Valentin Yosifov of TUI told the daily. “People are affected by the depreciation of the ruble.”

Meanwhile, Bulgaria’s bTV channel reported, that in spite of an unusually mild and snowless winter, the ski season in Bulgaria was fairly good and posted a 2-per-cent rise in tourist numbers.

The sector was expecting much higher figures – between 30 and 40 per cent growth.

The results, however, are different. The winter resorts were visited by 1 250 000 tourists. Those from Turkey posted an 8% increase, while those from Serbia and Macedonia dropped by 10 per cent. The number of Russians remained the same.

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