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In 2011: Dedicated Eco-tourists in Bulgaria

In 2011, the overnight stays in guest houses in Bulgaria declined between 20-30 %, but the  eco-tourists were more enthusiastic, dedicated and willing to pay the price of the holiday without discussing or seeking discounts.

This is the opinion of Margarita Kaisheva, Chairperson of the Board of Bulgarian Association for Alternative Tourism (BAAT). Established in 1998, the Association unifies around 100 members: national and regional tourist councils, nature parks directorates, tour operators for specialized tourism, family hotels, guest houses and individuals. BAAT is member of EUROGITES representing rural tourism in Bulgaria and also official representative of ECEAT in Bulgaria.

In their vacations and travels the eco-tourists in Bulgaria value mostly the wildlife, the adventures and gastronomic delights.

The advertising for the country goes mainly on the "mouth of mouth" principle and thanks to the efforts of enthusiastic tour operators. According to Kaisheva there is a need for a more powerful promotion by the state and central authorities. Another boost might be enforced with more tv programs.

Vital for the eco-tourism sector is the targeted state policy for advertising Bulgaria as an eco-destination, Kaisheva points out. Another challenge the eco-tourism is facing is the professional service standard for guests. National quality standards must be introduced and the initial steps  are already taken by the state.

The Bulgarian client is underestimated, we talk more about the foreign tourists and don't see that Bulgarians are the potential for the Bulgarian eco-tourism, Margarita Kaisheva adds.

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