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Bulgaria and Greece to Strengthen their Relations and to Deepen Cooperation in the Field of Tourism

The government has approved a draft Joint Action Programme between Bulgaria’s Ministry of Tourism and Greece’ Ministry of Tourism for 2020-2022, said the government press office.

The document reflects the willingness of the countries to strengthen their friendly relations and to contribute to the further development of cooperation in the field of tourism.

The two countries will promote cooperation for the development of tourism with the greatest potential for attracting tourists, as well as in the fields of investment, staff qualification, the establishment and development of destination management organisations, the organisation of joint initiatives to mark the 140th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations, international organisations in the field of tourism, etc.

Greece is one of Bulgaria’s main tourism markets. For the period January - November 2019, Greece ranks second by the number of tourist arrivals in Bulgaria, registering an increase of 5.2% year-on-year. Data from the National Statistical Institute show that in 2018 Greece was second among Bulgaria’s inbound tourism markets.

Increase in the International Tourism Revenues in Bulgaria

International tourism revenues in Bulgaria over the January-November 2019 period amount to EUR 3.6 billion, the Bulgarian National Bank has announced, BNR reported.

Even though it was a difficult year there is a minimal growth of 0.02 percent compared to the same period of the previous record-breaking year - 2018, the Ministry of Tourism comments. In November 2019 alone, revenues from foreign tourists exceed EUR 153 million, a 6.7 percent increase compared to the same month of 2018. November also saw an increase in tourist visits from abroad by 7.5 percent. 8,832,405 tourist visits from abroad have been registered in Bulgaria over January-November, 2019. 

17.4% More People Spent their Vacation in 4 and 5 Stars Accommodation Establishments in November 2019 in Comparison with November 2018

In November 2019, 1 838 - accommodation establishments - hotels, motels, camping sites, mountain chalets and other establishments for short-term accommodation with more than 10 bed-places were functioned in the country. The total number of the rooms in them was 53.7 thousand and the bed-places were 108.7 thousand. In comparison with November 2018, the total number of accommodation establishments (functioned during the period) decreased by 0.3%, and the bed-places in them - by 1.0%, according to a National Statistical Institute (NSI) data publishe in a press release

The total number of the nights spent in all accommodation establishments registered in November 2019 was 762.9 thousand, or by 11.4% more in comparison with the same month of the previous year, as the greatest increase (by 17.4%) was observed in 4 and 5 stars accommodation establishments.

In November 2019, 71.4% of all nights spent by foreign citizens and 40.0% of all nights spent by Bulgarians were realized in 4 and 5 stars hotels. In 3 stars accommodation establishments were spent 19.8% of all nights by foreigners and 29.1% of all nights by Bulgarian residents, while in the rest of accommodation establishments (with 1 and 2 stars) they were 8.8% and 30.9% respectively. 

In November 2019, the number of arrivals in all accommodation establishments increased by 11.5% compared to the same month of 2018 and reached 413.6 thousand, as an increase for both Bulgarians and foreigners by 12.0% and by 10.0% respectively was registered. Bulgarians spent the nights in accommodation establishments in November 2019 were 305.9 thousand and spent 1.8 nights on the average. The arrivals of foreigners were 107.7 thousand, and had on average 2.0 nights, as 73.1% of them spent nights in hotels with 4 and 5 stars. 

In November 2019, the total occupancy of the bed-places in accommodation establishments was 23.9% and increased by 2.5 percentage points compared to November 2018. The highest was occupancy of the bedplaces in 4 and 5 stars accommodation establishments - 31.4%, followed by 3 stars accommodation establishments - 23.3%, and with 1 and 2 stars - 16.5%.

The total revenues from nights spent in November 2019 reached 42.8 million BGN or by 12.0% more compared to November 2018. An increase in revenues for both Bulgarians by 17.4% and foreigners by 5.1% was registered.

Eurobarometer: Over Half of EU Passengers are Unaware of their Rights

The European Commission today released the results of a Eurobarometer survey on passenger rights in the European Union (EU). According to the survey, 43% of EU citizens who have travelled by air, long-distance rail, coach, ship or ferry in the previous 12 months (‘travellers') know that the EU has put in place rights for passengers.

The survey was conducted between 19 February and 4 March 2019, and involved interviewing 27,973 EU citizens.

Commissioner for Transport Adina Vălean said: “The European Union is the only area in the world where citizens are protected by a full set of passenger rights. However, these rights need to be better known and easier to understand and enforced. Our rules should also provide more legal certainty to passengers and the industry. This is why the Commission proposed to modernise air and rail passenger rights.We now need Council and the European Parliament to swiftly reach agreement on them to ensure that people travelling in the EU are effectively protected."

Passenger rights are defined at EU level. They are applied by transport providers and enforced by national bodies. Disparities between national practices can make it hard for passengers to get a clear picture of what to do and to whom to turn, especially as passengers often move across EU borders.

The Commission has already stepped up efforts to make passenger rights clearer, and to raise awareness about these rights. The Commission has done so through legislative proposals for air and rail passenger rights, through guidelines, and through regular communication about relevant case law. The Commission also launched an awareness-raising campaign.

The information was published by the European Commission press corner.

The full results of the Eurobarometer survey on Passenger Rights

Information on EU passenger rights is available on the Your Europe web pages.

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