Starting the Bulgarian ski season
Starting the Bulgarian ski seasonAFTER much anticipation, the time has come to launch ski season 2005/2006 in Bulgaria and it appears that hosts have prepared themselves to meet their guests properly. Ski legends Rosi Mittermeier, Mark Girardelli and Franz Klammer will ski the Alberto Tomba run near Bansko on December 17 for the launch of the official opening of the ski season in Bansko. The three skiing stars will take part in the ceremony at the invitation of the Bulgarian Skiing Federation, Bansko Municipality, local tourist organisations and the region’s Alliance for the Popularisation and Development of Tourism. The official opening of the ski season will be preceded by a concert at the bottom station of the lift in Bansko, in which noted Bulgarian performers Beloslava, Upsurt, the Karizma duet, the Caffe band, Roushi Videnliev and Gravity Co will take part, with television and music presenter Deo acting as host. Pamporovo, another leading Bulgarian winter resort, expects a 30 per cent growth in the number of tourists this year, according to Nikolai Iliev, head of the company running the resort’s lifts. The ski season there opened on December 10 with fireworks and a cocktail party. The increase in the number of tourists is calculated on the basis of confirmed bookings made by tour operators and the sale of ski packages. Most of the tourists will be from Ireland, the UK, Germany and Russia. Pamporovo opened the season with new hotels that have a total of 1000 beds, three additional garages with a capacity for parking 90 cars, a snow clearing machine and new runs of a total length of five km. More than 55 million euro had been invested in Pamporovo over the past two years, said Georgi Georgiev, chairman of Pamporovo 21st Century, an association of hotel owners and restaurateurs. The hosts have every chance of attracting as many foreign tourists as possible, since, despite the constantly rising prices, Bulgaria continues to be among the cheapest destinations. As internet publication PRWEB said on December 12, accommodation, food, ski passes, equipment rental and “the price of a few drinks in the evening” were quite a lure in this country. “Traditional ski resorts in Europe can be very expensive. France, Switzerland and Austria certainly offer very few bargains for winter sport holidaymakers. People who love their skiing and enjoy a bargain are heading for Bulgaria,” the publication said. Bulgaria is scheduled to become a full-fledged member of the EU in 2007 and Sofia is actively bidding for the winter Olympics in 2014. This has led to increased investment in ski-area developments and property, as the infrastructure is improved dramatically to attract both winter and summer tourists. Ski resorts such as Borovets and Bansko are now among Europe’s top and offer excellent value for money.
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