ARTICLES 
TOURISM BAROMETER: Skiing legends for Bansko
The Sofia Echo, 28th Nov 2005, photos from www.BulgariaSki.com


AFTER the successful launch of last years snow season in Bulgarias top winter resort of Bansko with Italian Alberto Tomba, another two skiing champs will cut the ribbon this year.

Marc Girardelli from Luxembourg and Rosi Mittermaier from Germany will lead the starting ceremony scheduled for December 17. This was announced on November 18 by Bansko mayor Alexander Kravarov.

Additionally, the resort could soon get a second gondola lift, Kravarov said. The initiative came from Yulen, the company that operates Banskos skiing facilities under a concession agreement.
Bansko municipality has earmarked a three-hectare plot for the construction of the new ski lift. The project would be in development for at least two years, Kravarov said.

The hospitality industry in Bansko expects an increase in tourist visits this winter season due to the inclusion of the resort in the portfolios of new tour operators like UKs First Choice and Thomson. The UK market generates the bulk of foreign visits to the Bulgarian mountain resort.

In related news, Bansko municipality has banned construction work within the resort between December 15 and March 15. Many large-scale construction projects were launched in Bansko this summer, and while their developers are hoping to finish them as soon as possible, some might have to wait till the next season.


Excessive construction in mountain and seaside resorts has been a serious problem for the Bulgarian tourist industry over the past couple of years. Official statistics for the 2005 summer season already showed a reduction in foreign tourists at Black Sea resorts because of the noise and dirt caused by building work, as well as due to the turning of some holiday spots into concrete jungles.

And while the snow has been covering the mountain slopes of Bulgaria for the past week, sector statistics continue to be published on the summer season of 2005. The number of Norwegian tourists coming to the Black Sea had been on the rise each year, including 2005, when the summer resorts were visited by 22 000 of the Scandinavian countrys citizens, Norways consul in Sofia, Per Karlsson, said in Varna on November 17.
He said that the number of tourists from Norway had increased steadily over the years. It was 16 000 in 2003 and 20 000 in 2004. According to Karlsson, Bulgaria also offers excellent conditions for spa tourism.

Norway opened an honorary consulate in the Black Sea city on November 17. The Norwegian honorary consul is Konstantin Daradanov, who has the same status in regard to Sweden.

This is the second time Norway has established a consular post in Varna. The first consulate opened in 1906, but it was closed in the 1940s by a Bulgarian government decision.

Invest in Bansko ski resort

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