32 Bulgarian tour operators will be eligible for state aid of €4.8 million, of which €35 will be paid per seat. As highlighted by the Ministry of Tourism, the aim of the grant is to help the tourism sector recover after nearly two years of inactivity due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the press release issued by the Bulgarian Ministry of Tourism, the total amount of state aid amounts to 9.8 million euros, for which 139 applications have been submitted, of which 32 have been approved and 73 others have rejected, reports SchengenVisaInfo.com.
In addition, two applications were withdrawn before the committee had a chance to examine them, as the latter were prepared in accordance with the requirements of the state aid regime regulated by the European Commission.
“The funds allocated after the decision of the Council of Ministers amount to BGN 9,571,588 [€9,892,426] and are within the budget of the measure previously approved by the European Commission from March 22, 2022. The allocated funds are based on 139,825 verified foreign tourists who used charters for organized tourist trips from June 1, 2021 to June 14, 2022. May 2022”, says the press release.
The Ministry of Tourism will provide tour operators with a valid operating license to operate charter flights for tourism purposes using air carriers, a state subsidy of €35 for each seat of the aircraft’s maximum passenger capacity for each flight.
Assistance is granted for each seat occupied by a person with a tourist service in the country, only for flights with a capacity of 100 seats or more.
Tourism Minister Hristo Prodanov previously revealed that Bulgaria is expected to welcome nearly six million tourists in the summer of 2022, with new arrivals coming mainly from Poland, Romania, Hungary, Germany, Serbia, Turkey. Israel, the Czech Republic and the United Kingdom.
The country, which has access to the Black Sea, has been rated Europe’s most affordable holiday destination for 2022, with a basket of eight items considered essential for tourists coming to Bulgaria costing Sunny €31.52 Beach.
The UK Post Office reveals that the price of a three-course meal for two with wine, beer, a glass of wine, a can of soda, water, coffee, sunscreen and a insect repellent costs less than €32, putting Bulgaria second for the most affordable items, after Turkey (€31.45).
Other countries ranked as the cheapest in Europe are Algarve in Portugal, Costa del Sol in Spain, Cape Town in South Africa and Paphos in Greece.