We remind you that last winter the Bulgarian Embassy in Russia extended visa application form with its content being approached to Schengen visa application form. Although it did not affect visa issuing period and a number of cancellations, Russian tour operators are concerned about summer season when the Schengen aspect of the Bulgarian visa policy might lead to negative consequences.
Meanwhile, Vasilev stated as follows: ‘we do not plan to adopt changes to visa application process. Bulgarian Consulates located in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Ekaterinburg and Novosibirsk are aimed at issuing visas for Russian people in 48 hours and a minimum number of cancellations. Besides, we will continue the practice of double entry visa issuing. Thus, we are ready for the increase in tourist flow’.
Furthermore, travel market players make optimistic forecasts for Bulgaria: ‘according to preliminary data, the tourist flow to Bulgaria from Russia will increase by 15-20% that means that around 200, 000 tourists will travel to Bulgarian resorts’, said Valentin Petrov.
Elena Andrievskaya, the Head of Bulgaria Department of ICS Travel Group, agreed: ‘we plan to send 20% of tourists more than last year. The demand for the country is growing’. However, travel industry experts emphasize the weak points of the destination – shortage of advertising support. ‘At the moment we are trying to eliminate this problem. This year around 100, 000 Euro will be allocated for the promotion of Bulgaria. Moreover, we will participate in the most influential exhibitions in Russia and accommodate outdoor advertising’, stated Petrov.