Kosta Argirov, Director of the Tourism Directorate with the Kavarna Municipality, talks about the tourist season in Kavarna Municipality in an interview for Focus News Agency.
Focus: Mr Argirov, how is this holiday season going in the Kavarna Municipality, so far?
Kosta Argirov: It is the peak of the tourist season. There are almost no vacancies, except for some private accommodations. There are about 480 people in Rusalka holiday resort. A lot of visitors go to Kaliakria resort and the golf course. Although they are pricier, there are customers. The flow of Romanians and Bulgarians is very high, perhaps because there are no vacancies in the resorts on the southern Black Sea coast and the flow of tourists heads to the north, to us.
Focus: Did the terrorist attack in Burgas have any effect on the tourist season in Kavarna, and what is the echo of the attack?
Kosta Argirov: There is no echo, people have even forgotten it to an extend.
Focus: Have you enhanced your security measures?
Kosta Argirov: The security measures are permanent, so it is very calm in our region. The people know this is an isolated case and the guests do not take it as something that might reoccur. The security measures are stepped up at the airports, railway stations, bus stations and others, but everything is calm and the memory of the incident is vanishing.
Focus: Where are this year’s tourists from, and how would you compare this tourist season to last year’s?
Kosta Argirov: The tourists visiting the resort town of Kavarna are about 12-15% more this summer than last year. They are not only Bulgarians and Romanians, but there are also a lot of tourists from Belarus, Russia and Ukraine. Czech and Polish tourists have shorter holidays here – only a few days. They like staying in several towns and tour the entire Black Sea coast. There are Russian tourists who use their holiday not only for recreation, but also for mountain and cultural tourism. They also tour the inside of the country, which is very well for us. This summer, apart from Bulgarians, there are a lot of Belarusians, Russians and Ukrainians in the town of Kavarna.
Focus: Has the trend for these tourists being mainly married couples with children continued?
Kosta Argirov: Yes, it has. Our beaches in the Kavarna Bay are less dangerous than other beaches, which is an advantage for child tourism. We have several locations, which are preferred destinations for families with children.
Focus: Are there any problems for tourists on the beaches?
Kosta Argirov: We do not have any problems with the beaches. The main problem is that the beaches are either rented or given on concession far too late, and we barely have enough time to prepare them for the tourists. The Bulgarian Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works must take the necessary measures and prepare the paperwork for the concession of beaches early in the autumn, so we would not face the same issue next year. You cannot make tender procedures in the end of May or beginning of July, and then start preparing the beaches, which are damaged by the winter. We do not have any other problems. There are no fires or any criminal acts in the region.
Focus: Do you have any problem with providing security on the beaches and the number of lifeguards?
Kosta Argirov: We do not have such problem, for now. There are beaches, which are not guarded. We have placed the necessary signs, which inform the guests that the respective beach is not guarded. We placed these signs in the beginning of May on beaches, which are not rented or given on concession. The beaches without lifeguards are also used by people, but they are aware that there are no medical personnel or lifeguard nearby.
Focus: What does the municipality do, in order to be a more attractive destination with regards to cultural tourism?
Kosta Argirov: Kavarna is becoming a more and more interesting tourist destination each year, not only with its sights, but with the hospitality and the attention paid to our guests. Maybe the more famous resorts have too many guests and the people there do not have enough time to pay individual attention to each tourist. Kavarna is becoming a more interesting destination, as our guests want to receive more attention. We have very interesting objects – not a lot is known about the Yailata Archeological Reserve, but it is becoming more popular each year. We have a picnic place Bivaka, which is a good attraction to tourists, with its folklore dances and fire-dancers. We have constant visits from tourists staying in the Golden Sands and Albena resorts. The very topography of the region is very interesting, and not only for the active summer season. Many larger groups of ornithologists and biologists come to visit us around autumn time, as the region is very interesting to them at that time of the year. We expect the summer season to be extended, as it started on May 1 here, with the celebrations of our town’s holiday. Kavarna will host a Balkan Half Marathon Championships on September 1, and on September 6, 7, and 8 we will have a fish and clam festival, when a lot of concerts will take place. We will also host the World Half Marathon Championships on October 6, which will also attract a lot of tourists and guests to the town. Last year the two candidates for hosting this year’s World Half Marathon Championships were Kavarna and New York, and naturally Kavarna won the elections.
Focus: What are the goals of the municipal administration of Kavarna for this year?
Kosta Argirov: We would like to retain and even improve the level of service we provide. The local tourism council helps us a lot in this regard. We hold monthly meetings, where we discuss all problems. Our only goal is our customers to be satisfied and happy – this is our golden rule. Our guests are our top priority, and as long as they are happy, we will all be happy.