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Exotic holidays and festive season in Bulgaria

Anita Valentinova, source:, 21.12.2010

The popular Bulgarian TV channel BTV has recently broadcasted a report which focuses on Bulgaria’s SPA holidays. It turns out that a holiday in Velingrad, the SPA capital of the Balkans, and Stara Zagora Mineral baths costs not more than a vacation in Tunisia and Antalia. It is expected that about 85 000 foreign tourists would spend their Christmas and New Year vacation in Bulgaria. However, the number of Bulgarian tourists prevail and it is believed to be nearly 250 000 holidaymakers. In this sense, Bulgarian tourists tend to choose Bulgaria for the festive season instead of a holiday abroad. One of the main reasons is the dramatic change of the prices for holidays abroad which are more expensive due to the increased demand.

Tunisia is one of the most preferred holiday destinations for Bulgarian holidaymakers. The bearable price for an exotic vacation is one of the major reasons for this trend. Moreover, popular SPA resorts in Bulgaria are fully occupied for the festive season. For instance, a holiday in Velingrad may cost about 350 EUR. However, a vacation in Tunisia is only 400 EUR, inclusive of the airfares. Experts claim that the demand is the factor which defines the price. In other words, the market specifies the price and the hotelier cannot affect this situation. The logical conclusion is that the market is not affected by the crisis and this is the reason why hotels are fully occupied for New Year’s Eve. Thus, even a few vacancies are not filled, the price tends to increase in order to corresponds to the demand.

Travel experts clarify that this is not a one-time occurrence in Tunisia, because recognized alpine destinations such as Austria, Switzerland and Germany can also offer prices which compete with those in Bulgarian resorts. Furthermore, sometimes foreign tourists can benefit from better promotions. Even in this case, however, Bulgarian tourist chooses most popular resorts in the country due to the distance and the relatively short break this year.