Bulgarian Sunny Beach Resort May be Blocked by Hotel Owners' ProtestsSource: Sofia News Agency (www.novinite.com)
Published Date: 19 May 2011
The Bulgarian Black Sea seaside resort of Sunny Beach may end up blocked by protests of hotel owners in the peak of the summer season.
Sunny Beach, the biggest and one of the most popular Black sea resorts in Bulgaria, is currently 75% state-owned and 25% owned by minority shareholders.
Following an extended extraordinary meeting, many hotel and bar owners in Sunny Beach accused the state-owned joint-stock company of racketeering, threatening to stage protests unless talks on the transfer of the complex' infrastructure to the Nessebar Municipality started in two weeks.
Hoteliers in Bulgaria's biggest sea resort want to stop paying fees both to the municipality of Nessebar and Sunny Beach JSC.
"At present, Sunny Beach JSC charges hotel owners with an infrastructure fee for implementing an access regime and stationing checkpoints for that purpose, for placing advertisements, for video surveillance, and a number of other activities that they have never requested from the company," commented Sava Choroleev, concessionaire of the beach.
Sunny Beach Hotel owners refuse to pay the total sum of BGN 3 M per season, stressing that they are not related with the joint stock company.
They demand that the ownership of the streets and the alleys in the complex be transferred free-of-charge to the Nessebar Municipality to avoid double taxation.
The hotel owners also insist that the municipality assume ownership responsibility as soon as possible in order to solve the problem with the infrastructure that has dragged on for around 10 years.
"Today Sunny Beach chooses to stand apart from Minister Traycho Traykov, assuming that he is not a minister for the entire tourist sector of the country", stated Elena Ivanova, Chairperson of the Union of Hotel Owners at Sunny Beach. In her words, the minister applies double standards, hurting the interests of the resort .
Ivanova demanded that tourism be spun off from the Ministry of Economy, Energy and Tourism.
On May 18, Ivo Marinov, Deputy Minister in charge of Tourism, announced that Bulgaria's national resorts would be declared "settlements with particular status" with unified urban planning and management.
These settlements would include the summer resorts of Sunny Beach, Golden Sands, Albena, Duni, and the winter ones of Bansko, Borovets, and Pamporovo, among others.
Currently, ownership of the infrastructure varies from resort to resort, with Sunny Beach being 75% state-owned and 25% owned by minority shareholders.