On the Bulgarian seaside, a four-star hotel such as Prestige Deluxe AquaPark allocates, for all inclusive, twice as much money as an Egyptian all-inclusive hotel, for example.
In an interview exclusively granted to AffairsinRomania.com, the hotel’s sales manager, Emine Baldji, told us that they allocate BGN 15/day/tourist for food and drinks. The amount is equivalent to RON 37.7 lei or EUR 7.5.
“The daily budget for a tourist who comes to a four-star all-inclusive hotel is BGN 15, that is the sum we allocate all the food and drinks that a tourist could consume over the course of a day. However, there is also a great deal of food waste, at least on the human side, because if we talk about the all-inclusive food circuit in nature it is tight and, several times a week, the waste is sent to the farms around the resort where food is used as food for animals or fertilizer,” said Emine Baldji.
In contrast, when it comes to the supply of fruits and vegetables, they do not appeal with farmers, because the hotel needs a constant flow of such products and in very large quantities. And those in the Varna region can’t provide that. But it is oriented towards the supermarket chains that can do it and ensures that they receive the best quality of the respective products.
“We want to respect our customers because we come with a reputation that was not very good, in fact, we have to remedy the reputation of the hotel that was not well seen until we bought it. For this reason we are very careful to all the comments and reviews we receive on all social networks and the platforms we are subscribed to. Unfortunately, now, it is increasingly difficult to find a system where we can integrate all the platforms to make the accommodations as precise as possible, especially during the summer when it is overcrowded. For this reason, there were overbookings. There were situations when it was overbooking because some platforms announced that we still had rooms to let, and we were at full capacity,”said Emine Baldji.
We can say that such an incident happened even when we were at the hotel. We wanted to check this and noticed that on the booking platforms, such as Booking or TripAdvisor, the hotel appeared to have rooms to let, but at the reception, there were no room avaiable. the hotel being 100 percent booked.
The price of a room during the extra-season period reaches RON 300 lei for two people per night, which would result in a 7-day stay at RON 2,100 (EUR 440). Something like that you can’t find on the Romanian seaside, in the resorts like Mamaia or Vama Veche. Not the same can be said about the other resorts found between Mamaia and Vama Veche. But those, don’t offer the client the quality you can find on the Bulgarian coast.
The Bulgarian seaside attractiveness is in decline
If 15-20 years ago, the Bulgarian seaside was reshaped with the help of foreign investments, now it is impossible to talk about it. The boom period of the neighboring coast has passed. However, from the point of view of investments, the Romanian coastline has only taken the first steps, but there is still more work to be done.
“I spent the last years in Mamaia and stayed there because I had some business meetings. I did not understand why the Romanians are so attracted by Mamaia because we did not see accommodation conditions worth EUR 100 per night,” said the sales manager.
On the other hand, when talking about the decline of the Bulgarian coastline, it tells that Bulgaria had a lot to gain when it came to the terrorist attacks in Egypt, Turkey and Tunisia, so that the big tour companies had to change their strategies not to lose customers. And Bulgaria was the most appreciated destination. It was a lot cheaper and safer than the ones listed above.
“Just to give you an idea, we were present in the western tourist catalogs with 7-day packages with prices starting from 250 pounds or euros. Europeans consider us too cheap to make a stay here and now they have started to avoid us. Not the Romanians. Now, the Romanians are our main target for tourists. Half of the tourists we had in the last two years were Romanians. And in the offseason their number can increase up to 80percent,” the sales manager said.
It is impossible not to have dissatisfied foreign tourists
Because at an all-inclusive you can never please everyone, in fact, this rule applies throughout the hospitality industry, there have been complaints from tourists.
The sales manager even told us about a hilarious situation related to one of the promotions that they have had throughout the year to attract customers.
At one point they had a promotion in which they announced that in the case of a family, the child will receive free accommodation, with the secification that he or she must be minor.
“A young lady calls us and asks if the promotion is true. Coincidentally I answered that call. She asks me about the promotion and, in return, I ask her a few details about the family. She tells me that this is a family whose parents are 58 and 55 years old, and I also ask what the child is about. How old is she or he? She tells me that she is the child and that she is 28 years old,” said Emine Baldji.
There are some Romanian tourists who want to come with two babies instead of one. There have been situations in which they welcomed them because you cannot let the child or the whole family, but this is not a general practice.
“We also have tourists who come to us with the dishes full as a mountain and they claim that the food is not good, but they have on the plate an mixture of dishes that you cannot combine. And when you put everything on a huge plate you can no longer enjoy those products. For this reason, we try to make special evenings with different foods for our costumers. On the week, we have two days in which we have barbecue, we have an evening with traditional food, and in the rest we try to make a food as close as possible to the tastes of tourists,” said Emine Baldji.
Bulgarian hoteliers try to adapt to the conditions imposed by tourists, for this reason, the season has at least 6 months, while Romanians are struggling to have the hotels open for 3 months. It has become a practice for many families in Romania to come and spend their Easter Holidays on the Bulgarian seaside, so here the season stretches between the fourth and tenth months of the year.
In addition, the Prestige Deluxe Hotel AquaPark is also trying to compensate for the fact that it is not a hotel on the first line of the coast, where you can wake up in the rising sun. For this reason, parking is free and guarded for a greater security offered to tourists.