Impoverished, Bulgarian tourists eat a pie for breakfast, have lunch on the beach, and shop at the store in the evening

There is no mention of umbrellas and deckchairs that are cheap during the pandemic

Abroad, they do not consider how strong the season is by the number of vacationers, but by how much they spent, say hoteliers

Inflation made the sea more expensive by at least 20%, which affected the prices of overnight stays and services. The lifting of the COVID restrictions has brought back the old – higher, prices for the shade and sunbed on the beach.

If during the pandemic most concessionaires cut prices in half, and on 11 beaches the shade was even free, this summer the prices returned to the time before the hysteria with the coronavirus.

Thus, the average price of an umbrella along the native sea in the south is about BGN 7-8, as is the sunbed. This means that for two sunbeds and an umbrella you have to spend between BGN 25 and BGN 30, and in the VIP areas the fee varies between BGN 60 and BGN 80. But the price includes the use of a tent with two deckchairs and a table.

At the same time, in places mainly in the Burgas region, you can find accommodation, although not particularly attractive, for BGN 15-20 per person.

In part of the northern beach in Burgas, an umbrella plus a sunbed costs BGN 3.60. On the central beach, there are 20 free umbrellas provided by the municipality, as no tenant was found. There are more expensive umbrellas on the beach, but they include drinks and have different prices.

Hoteliers in the region explain that

vacationers got used to the lower prices from the COVID summers and now everything seemed very expensive

In addition, the native tourist south of Burgas was noticeably poorer.

Renting beach equipment is twice as expensive this summer in Varna. Prices returned to the levels of 2019, and somewhere they jumped even more.

The good news for vacationers in Varna is that the prices for the city beach remain at BGN 5 for an umbrella and BGN 5 for a sunbed. “They have not been changed for 10 years,” said Andrey Vasilev, representative of the concessionaire company.

At the moment, many of the umbrellas, especially on weekdays, remain unoccupied, because the city beach is mostly visited by residents of Varna and people from nearby areas, who stay with relatives or in lodgings and bring an umbrella. “I hope that August will be a stronger month for tourism, but our entry into the red zone is worrying and the situation is very dynamic”, added Andrey Vasilev.

North of Varna – in St. St. Constantine and Elena, an umbrella with a sunbed costs BGN 10, and can be found up to BGN 8. In Golden Sands, however, an umbrella and a sunbed are between BGN 10 and 12, and on the central beach, two deckchairs with sunbeds and an umbrella are BGN 42

“What kind of tourism are we talking about, people don’t have money and can barely afford a vacation,

but far below standards. In the morning they have breakfast with a pie, at lunch they eat on the beach, and in the evening they shop at the store and have dinner on the hotel terrace. All this will have a detrimental effect on the industry”, believes Zdravko Vasilev from Primorsko, who runs a family hotel.

His colleagues are convinced that low service prices will attract the quality of native tourism and more and more Bulgarians will prefer the beaches and standards in neighboring Greece and Turkey.

“For a long time, outsiders stopped taking into account how strong a season is in terms of the number of tourists, but in terms of how much they spent,” Vassilev believes.

Otherwise, from the middle of July, the Southern Black Sea coast is crowded with tourists. There are almost no vacancies in Sozopol, Primorsko, Kiten, Tsarevo. In these towns, an overnight stay in a guest house or family hotel varies from BGN 15 to BGN 50. The vacationers are mostly Bulgarians, but there are also Czechs and Poles who traditionally choose the Southern Black Sea Coast.

The British, who returned to the Bulgarian market after a 2-year absence, Romanians and Israelis are filling Sunny Beach, where the opposite trend was observed this season – tourists are, with one idea, more solvent than those in 2020 and 2021, says Elena Ivanova by the Owners Union.

“This year we are working with slightly higher prices, the colleagues have raised the services by about 10-15% and accordingly the users are a little more solvent”, explains Ivanova.

About BGN 220 is the night’s stay per person in an ultra all-inclusive hotel

in our largest seaside resort. Because of the war in Ukraine, there are almost no Russians, but here and there tourists from northern Ukraine arrived. In Sunny Beach, the season opened sluggishly and until the end of June there were almost no reservations, but for July and August almost everything is booked, hoteliers say.

“In Varna this year, city tourism is stronger than vacation tourism. All the hotels in the city are full, there is pilgrimage, cultural and wine tourism,” said Pavlin Kosev, chairman of the Varna Association of Restaurateurs and Hoteliers.

Busloads of Italians, Americans and disabled people from Romania arrive at a well-known hotel in the city.

“We have been welcoming guests since February, Varna is about to have 4 seasons of tourism”,

the expert thinks.

In the complexes around the maritime capital, tourists are about 10% less than last year. In 2021, there were more affluent tourists, and also rich Bulgarians. The observations are that now the guests are less able to pay.

Despite the war, quite a few rich Ukrainian tourists can be seen in the resorts near Varna. Otherwise, the picture is mixed – Czechs, Poles, French, guests from Israel are also expected to come. For the Romanians and Ukrainians, it cannot be said whether they are on tourism or live in the city.

In Albena, until July 20, they reported a 25% increase in tourists compared to last year. The number of Scandinavian tourists who were absent in the last 2 years – from Sweden, Denmark and Norway – has also been restored. Some of the Ukrainians accommodated under the state refugee program are employed.

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