Bulgaria cracks down on booze tours

Kathryn Liston
Bulgaria cracks down on 'booze tourism'
Bulgaria cracks down on 'booze tourism'


Bulgaria is black-listing tour operators who offer tours that encourage binge drinking on holiday.

Feb up hoteliers say they will boycott companies which encourage holidaymakers to take advantage of the Eastern European country's cheap alcohol prices.

The crackdown follows several incidents where holidaymakers have fallen to their deaths from balconies in the popular Black Sea resort of Sunny Beach. Drunken British holidaymakers have also featured in documentaries focusing on their reckless behaviour.

Vesselin Nalbantov, Bulgarian Hotel Association member, said: "There should be tougher penalties and a clear message that this won't be tolerated."

According to the Bulgarian newspaper 24 Chasa, local representatives of companies such as Thomas Cook and TUI are backing the initiative.

However, a report in the Mail, said the Bulgarian Tourist Chamber had denied that tour operators were running official trips based around alcohol. A spokesman suggested that they were speaking out following recent negative holiday documentaries.

The call for a ban on mainly British, German and Scandinavian companies follows a similar pledge by hotels to Turkey.

Bulgaria is on target for its best ever summer season with around 6.6 million holidaymakers reported to have visited resorts in the Black Sea region - a 14% increase compared to the same time last year.