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Visiting Bulgaria

Discussion in 'Europe' started by pwarbi, Oct 2, 2015.

  1. pwarbi

    pwarbi Member

    In the last few years Bulgaria as become a large tourist destination for a lot of Europeans. The two main resorts of golden sands and sunny beach at the side of the black sea are getting busier every year, with more and more travel companies investing in these two resorts to cater for the influx of tourists.

    Outside of these resorts though, Bulgaria still seems to be a relatively poor country, and even though tourism as increased, the money generated doesn't seem to be having any positive effect on the people that live there, so were is the money going?

    As anybody been to Bulgaria? And if you have, is it a country that you would go back to, and what is your take on the poverty that still plagues the country outside of these two resorts
  2. vinaya

    vinaya Member

    I don't know much about Bulgaria; Bulgarian history, geography, politics everything are unknown to me. When you say Bulgaria is relatively poor country, do you mean to say it is one of the poorest European country? Compared to Greek economy, how bad is Bulgarian economy? If I am to spend a week in the country and see the major landmarks, much much money do I need? What are the major landmarks in the country, are there ancient monuments?
  3. pwarbi

    pwarbi Member

    Bulgaria is a beautiful country and is full of many landmarks and interesting towns and villages.

    And when I said poor, I mean as soon as you step outside of the two main tourist resorts and in to the surrounding towns, the streets are full of beggars, and its clear to see the economy isn't great for the everyday working men and women.

    The contrast between the tourist resorts and the surrounding areas are clear for all to see, but with the amount of money coming in to the country, it doesn't appear to be going to the people that need it the most.
  4. Benoit W

    Benoit W New Member

    Sоfiа is а соlоrful, vibrаnt сity with thоusаnds оf yеаrs оf histоry bеhind it. Rоmаn аnd Byzаntinе аrtеfасts аbоund in thе сity сеntеr. Thеrе аrе саsinоs, bаrs, аnd nightсlubs саtеring tо еvеry tаstе. Thе thеаtеr distriсt is оn Rаkоvski Strееt, аnd just оff it аrе thе Sоfiа Philhаrmоniс аnd thе Nаtiоnаl Оpеrа. Yоu саn wаlk just аbоut аnywhеrе in thе сеntеr, аnd thе publiс trаnspоrt systеm - busеs, trоllеys, trаms, thе rесеntly соmplеtеd subwаy - will gеt yоu thеrе if yоu саn't. Thеrе аrе tоns оf hоstеls аnd inеxpеnsivе hоtеls. Thе pаrks аnd trаils аnd ski runs оf Mоunt Vitоshа, оvеrlооking Sоfiа frоm thе sоuth, аrе just а fеw milеs аwаy. Аs аn еxpаtriаtе Аmеriсаn whо hаs livеd in Sоfiа fоr mоrе thаn 20 yеаrs, I hаvе nеvеr bееn rоbbеd оr muggеd оr fеlt pеrsоnаlly аt risk, but Sоfiа IS а big сity, аnd yоu shоuld tаkе thе sаmе prесаutiоns thаt yоu wоuld in аny lаrgе mеtrоpоlitаn аrеа.
    JusApee likes this.
  5. JusApee

    JusApee New Member

    Thanks! I live in Romania and Bulgaria is really close by. Many of my friends went there and told me that I really have to pay a visit. This is a really helpful mini guide and I'll consider it if I decide to actually go to Bulgaria as well this summer.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 16, 2016
  6. crimsonghost747

    crimsonghost747 Active Member

    Bulgaria is one of those countries where you have a massive tourist industry (though it's still in the early phase) around the black sea. Good weather, the sea and relatively cheap prices... basically the place where a lot of the "beach vacation" people go instead of Spain, South of France, Greece etc.

    But yeah, that's not really Bulgaria is it? Even if that beach vacation is your goal I'd highly recommend traveling around the country a little, at least take a day or two to see what the local way of life has to offer.
  7. pwarbi

    pwarbi Member

    The same can be said I think for most countries though. Where the tourist hotspots are, and what the tourist sees from that country, isn't really what that country is like.

    In a way that can be a good thing though, as when people go on holiday, they want it to be a bit special. You don't want to go and do the same things as what you could have done at home.
  8. GenevB

    GenevB New Member

    I have been to Bulgaria myself countless times as I live about 50km away from the border. They are really nice people, I wish we've had their management in my country, as we also have an opening to the Black Sea, but compared to their beaches, our looks like trash. People from my country often go to vacancies in Bulgaria, mostly because of their offers, which often turns out to be cheaper than in our own country, even though you can't get as much as you can get at the Golden Sands for example, in the same money.

    I also can't understand how their economy isn't improving yet, there must be some kind of big leaks in the budget, someone is stealing hard from their government, because the economy simply can't stand still with all the tourists which have been there in the last couple of years.
    pwarbi likes this.
  9. Coco

    Coco Active Member

    I have never been to Bulgaria but I would love to go there someday. Just look at these:


    Those pictures are truly inviting. With regards to its economy, I know that it has grown 6% from 2004 to 2008 and although that's not a lot, it still is a major improvement as compared to the former years. I would say that corruption in the government is the main culprit as to why the country won't fully grow and progress, much like my country. If the government system is weak, then really, no matter how much taxes or laws we abide by, it won't help.

    Despite the poverty in this country, I'd say that it won't stop me from going there. The truth is, every country has its flaws and that's what makes it unique. And as much as we wish that there should be no poverty in the world, there still is, even in the most developed countries. That shouldn't be enough reason to stop us from travelling to that country.

    Besides, I have read that Bulgaria is a pretty much safe country to travel to. Although there are crimes, there's not much involving tourists. Just make sure to be on the safe side and avoid travelling at night.
  10. crimsonghost747

    crimsonghost747 Active Member

    My point exactly, though I see it in a very different way. If I want to be in a good quality hotel, take a bath in the spa, or eat in a fancy restaurant.. I can do that within a 30 minute drive of where I live. I can just speak in English and everyone will reply in English so it really is almost exactly the same as you would get in any of the regular tourist destinations, except for the weather. So if that is what I want, then why go halfway across the continent to find it?

    When I go abroad it's because I want to be in a different place and see and experience things I cannot do in my own country. I feel like holiday resorts are like bringing your culture and way of life with you instead of going to experience the local way.
    pwarbi likes this.
  11. pwarbi

    pwarbi Member

    One reason could be that the resorts of Sunny Beach and Golden sands are privately built and ran? I'm sure that the government will take it's cut out of whatever they make, but most of the money will be taken by the private investors, or re-invested into the resort.

    When we was there, one bar owner even mentioned that the Russian Mafia had a big stake in the building of a lot of the hotels, so if that is the case then I guess they'll be wanting their cut of the profits first.
  12. pwarbi

    pwarbi Member

    I do take your point but depending on where your going though, you also have to think about the safety aspect of it aswell.

    Going to the resorts in Bulgaria there's armed security on the entrances so you know you're protected in there. Of course you can go outside to the local towns and villages, but even when we was there a tourist got robbed and stabbed on his way back to the resort.

    He's just been to the local market because he wanted to experience what the real Bulgaria was like! Now I'm not saying that wasn't a one off, but as a tourist you have to be extra careful if you want to wander round a country like that.

    A lot of people won't be clued up or street smart, so for those then I think that staying in the resort is a must.
  13. Quazi

    Quazi Member

    Bulgaria is starting to become the new Spain for Brits buying holiday/second homes.
    It's cheaper than Spain and now easier to get to than ever.

    My colleagues friends have sold their holiday home in Turkey to buy 3 propertise in Bulgaria.

    OK, non locals are going to end up owning more and more of the nice areas and drive up prices, but at least some of the locals will be able to provide services, hopefully generating jobs.
  14. crimsonghost747

    crimsonghost747 Active Member

    Well you could say he definitely experienced the real eastern europe then! :D Not a particularly nice experience though, I would assume.
    I really don't consider Bulgaria to be a dangerous country though but I'm sure there are areas where you might not want to wander around if you have no idea where you are and look like a tourist. It's always a bit dodgy when you are richer than the people around you and the security forces aren't that trustworthy.
    pwarbi likes this.
  15. pwarbi

    pwarbi Member

    I wasn't saying that Bulgaria is particularly dangerous, but it was just an example of what happened when we was there one time. It's the same in places like Mexico aswell, and if your in the holiday resort it's a beautiful country and you'll have a great time, step out of it and your family could be receiving a ransom note for your safe return if your not too careful!
  16. crimsonghost747

    crimsonghost747 Active Member

    Yeah I know what you mean. And you are right, in places like Bulgaria where the locals are very poor compared to the tourists, there is more risk of crime. And bad things can happen but taking the right precautions also goes a long way in preventing that.
    pwarbi likes this.
  17. pwarbi

    pwarbi Member

    I think that though then brings us back round to the money being made from the tourist trade, and why it isn't being divided out evenly amongst the Bulgarian people.

    There's crime everywhere, but the most crime is committed by the poor ad its their only way to survive sometimes. Concentrate on raising the poverty line, and that itself would go some way to making the country safer.
  18. crimsonghost747

    crimsonghost747 Active Member

    Because the hotels and tourist resorts are privately owned. When someone stays at a hotel in your country, you won't be seeing any of the money either! :p
    Of course these hotels help in a way that they bring work for the locals and a bit of money to the government in the form of taxes but that alone isn't enough to reshape the whole country. Especially in these "resort" type places where the majority of the guests use the services of that resort, whether it's getting a tour around the area or eating in a restaurant, that money too will go to the ones who own the resort instead of the smaller local companies.
  19. djordjem87

    djordjem87 Member

    Bulgaria is beautiful. I have been several times and I have friends from there. I also know some people who do not like to go there, my parents included, because of the food. It is too spicy and they use some blends of herbs and spices that many people do not appreciate. Other than that, everybody seem to enjoy themselves there. I have friends from Varna and Plovdiv. Absolutely amazing places.
    Varna is especially nice in summer.
    pwarbi likes this.
  20. pwarbi

    pwarbi Member

    While I understand obviously that the hotels are privately owned, the resorts in question would surely need permission off the government to build there, and then if granted they'd have to inject some amount of money into the economy?

    It's hard to believe that Bulgaria would allow companies to come along and buy up masses of land to build hotels, resorts or theme parks on, without getting something back in return for the country.
  21. crimsonghost747

    crimsonghost747 Active Member

    They are already injecting money into the economy by hiring local people to work and by (possibly) paying taxes based on their profits. The tax thing is a bit dodgy as we all know how international taxation is filled with loopholes. Then there is the whole thing with indirect ways of improving the economy such as bringin more traffic to the airport and it's services, taxis, buying the items the resorts need (food etc) from local suppliers, just the amount of people that were employed in constructing those hotels in the first place helps. Indirect is what usually makes the economy better but in the case of resorts where people spend most of their time in that resort (including eating there) then the effects are somewhat limited.

    So they are getting something back... certainly more than they would have if the beaches were empty. But even though the tourist business is starting to improve there, it alone is not enough to turn a poor country into a rich one.
  22. pwarbi

    pwarbi Member

    I guess that Bulgaria is in the same bracket as the other tourist destinations that are considered poorer than most other countries. While if you work in that resort you'll see millions go through the tills every year but then return home to your own less than luxurious lifestyle every night and I'm sure it would make you wonder just what's going on for your government to let that happen.