Tourism Minister Says BGN 30 Mln from Disasters and Accidents Fund Allocated for Flood Damage Relief

Tourism Minister Zaritsa Dinkova said BGN 30 million had been allocated from the Disasters and Accidents Fund in flood damage relief after the September 5 flash floods on Bulgaria’s southern Black Sea coast. The Tourism Ministry quoted Dinkova as saying on Sunday that it is important to restore the infrastructure because “there is no tourism without infrastructure”.

The flood damage is still being assessed. “The worst hit hotels can claim insurance. What they cannot do is rebuild the infrastructure and this is where the state will step in to help,” the Minister said.

She said a programme had been launched targeting the municipalities on the Black Sea coast. It addresses a long-standing problem – the way taxpayers’ money is spent on marketing and advertising. “Money intended to attract more visitors has been sinking into the pockets of a certain clique for years,” Dinkova said. In her view, setting up a disaster alert system is another problem that must be solved urgently.

Regarding the occupancy rate this summer, Dinkova said the nights spent were 10% more than a year earlier. “It is good to aim for the 2019 levels, but given everything the industry has faced this year, this is a good summer season.” The Tourism Minister said seawater tests show that this year the water was cleaner than in previous years: “The proof is that the 22 beaches have a Blue Flag.”