Buy to let property owners in winter resorts in Bulgaria ought to be marketing their properties to Bulgarian and Romanians if they want to have high rental yields this season.
Reports indicate that the number of visitors from both countries is expected to increase and an increase from Macedonia and Serbia is also expected.
According to Bulgarian tourism industry experts a growth of local tourists is likely to boost the holiday lets industry and the number of people coming to Bulgaria’s winter resorts from Macedonia and Serbia is expected to grow by 10% compared to last year.
Bulgarian resorts are also popular with Russians. The resorts of Pamorovo, Chepelare and Devin in the Rodopi Mountains expect to see 20% per cent more local visitors, officials said.
Those though who want to hike in the mountains and enjoy the scenery are put off by the sheer amount of development in some big resorts such as Bansko. ‘We haven’t been offering Bansko as a destination for hiking tours. West European tourists don’t want to see traces of human intervention in nature such as asphalt roads, power lines and lifts. In Bansko it is impossible to offer what they want,’ said Dimitar Popov, managing director of the Penguin Travel agency.
According to him, the urgent needs of Bulgaria’s winter resorts include an infrastructure improvement, the creation of exact maps of the mountains, the fixing of signs and other route signifiers, as well as to mark routes for various kinds of tourism, such as hiking, mountain biking or ATV tours.
Bulgaria is the most preferred destination for spending the New Year’s holidays, according to Romanian tourism agencies. While last year, Romanians mostly sought winter holiday packages in Austria’s resorts, this year they are headed to Bulgaria due to the economic crisis.
Ski holiday bookings from Romanians have surged, according to Dragos Anastasiu from the Nova Travel tourism agency. ‘Bulgaria is cheaper and it is closer to us. Besides, there are still free spaces available,’ he added.
According to Korina Martin, head of the National Association of Tourist Agencies of Romania, people are spending 20% less on winter holidays and looking for short breaks rather than a longer vacation.