1-2% INCREASE OF RUSSIAN VACATIONERS EXPECTED
The number of Russian vacationers in the summer of 2002 will increase by just 1-2%, the Chairman of the Bulgarian Chamber of Tourism Tsvetan Tonchev forecast after his return from Moscow, where he attended the traditional tourist bourse. Turkey will be visited by the greatest number of Russian holiday-makers - about 700,000, some 400,000 will be resting in Italy, and another 450,000 - in Spain. Guests from Russia and the CIS countries in Bulgaria during the 2002 summer season are pre-estimated to slightly top 212,000. The visa regime, introduced for citizens from Russia and CIS in October 2001, is pointed out as the major reason for the reflux of these vacationers from Bulgarian resorts. Only two consulships - in Moscow and Saint Petersburg - are presently issuing visas for Bulgaria (which cost USD23), Mr. Tonchev specified. Two more diplomatic missions will be opened - in Ekaterininburg and Kislovodsk.