Health and spa tourism are part of the formula for a year-round season, says the entrepreneur from Nessebar
– Mr. Dashev, you are the chairman of the “Forward Nessebar” association. It was established last year, but it appears more and more often in the public life of the municipality. What is its main activity and purpose?
– “Forward Nessebar” is a non-governmental organization for public benefit, which gathered and continues to unite active local people who love their hometown. There I am first among equals. We were also joined by many young people with bold ideas and enthusiasm. We all categorically want the Nessebar region to become a year-round destination for tourism. The increasingly shorter summer seasons are a prerequisite for depopulation, low incomes, lack of personnel and all the negative consequences of the facts listed above.
The main livelihood of the people in our region is tourism, we have a wonderful base, history and incomparable natural features. Therefore, this industry must be urgently removed from the state in which it is. There are such good examples of how this is done – even neighboring Pomorie welcomes tourists in winter with the formula of spa tourism.
– Have you taken concrete actions on these topics?
– There are things that need to be done very quickly before the warmer months and others that are strategic and require time. We are currently preparing a proposal to the Municipal Council of Nessebar regarding municipal paid parking lots. We think that for local small and medium-sized businesses it will be useful if they are paid only in the two peak months – July and August. Why do I need to collect fees in the remaining months? If the information about free parking becomes public, it will attract tourists from the region – why shouldn’t the citizens of Burgas come for a walk, lunch or dinner in Nessebar? We have great restaurants, but access to them is difficult.
We are also preparing meetings between business representatives from the municipality of Nessebar and students from the Tourism High School in Burgas. Correct employers will have the opportunity to see each other face to face with the future top personnel in the industry. We want to attract them to us, to be motivated and to stay here after their internship. Because of the short season in Nessebar, it is increasingly difficult to find staff and this is one of the big problems.
We also held a first working meeting with Fra Port management. We have already informed businesses when and from where the first flights will be in April. They are more than last year, but this is not enough.
– And what are your long-term goals?
– Bulgaria and in particular the Nessebar region must be advertised, as all our competitors in Greece, Turkey, Croatia do… Even Albania has a state policy in this direction and is present as a destination in all Western media. Nothing for us. We are looking for different options to hear about Nessebar, Obzor, Sveti Vlas, Ravda – we have wonderful beaches combined with a mountain and a thousand-year-old city that is a world cultural monument. That’s why we insist on quick actions from the relevant ministry, local authority, we have also put our demands before Fra port.
– And how will you get people to come to Nessebar in winter?
– We notice a future trend related to health tourism. In Burgas, new hospitals are being actively built and equipped with the latest generation equipment. This will soon make the city an attractive place to get health services. Hundreds of doctors and their families already live in Burgas. This can also happen in Nessebar. It sounds strange, because now there are mostly small medical practices here, but the people of Burgas also looked for health care in other cities until recently. However, things are changing and those who have been proactive and attracted investors are winning.
In addition, I see no reason why our settlements should not also become spa destinations – we have lye, sea water next to us. The air in Saint Vlas is proven to be the best for people with lung problems. In “Nepred Nessebar” we are of the same opinion on this issue – the region can be saved, but we must all work together for this.
And in the end, if you allow me, I want to express the deep sympathy of the members of the association for the innocent people who suffered in Turkey and Syria. Our thoughts are with them in these difficult days.