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Bulgarian, Greek Tourists Replace Brits in Rhodope Resorts

Source: Sofia News Agency (
Published Date: 25 Mar 2010

The resorts in Bulgaria's Rhodope Mountain are increasingly starting to seek Bulgarian and Greek customers as the number of UK and Irish tourists is dropping.

The major Rhodope resort Pamporovo has registered a 15% decrease of clients over the winter compared to the same period of 2009, the BTA agency reported citing data of the Rhodope Tourist Association.

The Association also points out that the major holidaymakers in the resort have been British and Irish tourists with lower income; however, precisely these groups have been hit very hard by the economic crisis.

An additional problem for the Brits coming to Pamporovo for a ski holiday is the fact that a number of airlines have switched from using the closer Plovdiv Airport to using the Sofia Airport for their charter flights which has resulted in a four-hour transfer journey by bus to Pamporovo.

At the same time, however, the entire Smolyan District in the central part of the Rhodope has registered an increase of Russian and Turkish, and especially of Greek holidaymakers. The influx of Greek tourists and shoppers has been brought about by the recent opening of a new border crossing near Zlatograd.

A rising number of Bulgarian tourists visiting the Rhodope region is also making up for the reduction of the number of UK visitors.

A number of hotel-owners have made clear their intention to focus on targeting Bulgarian and Greek tourists, including with new offers for Easter and the summer season.