LETTER TO THE MINISTER OF TOURISM CONCERNING ARISING PROBLEMS IN THE CONCESSION OF BEACHES
MRS. NIKOLINA ANGELKOVA
MINISTER OF TOURISM OF
REPUBLIC OF BULGARIA
Subject: Problems with the concession of beaches
DEAR MRS. ANGELKOVA,
The members of Bulgarian Industrial Capital Association (BICA) are deeply worried about the uncertainties over how farmers will be secured this year on the seaside beaches whose concession contracts are expiring.
Several months before the start of the active summer season, there is a legal vacuum, as from January 2019 the concession procedure for beaches has to be carried out according to the Concessions Act, but it does not regulate the existing situation with the already concession procedures under the Law on Concessions a device on the Black Sea coast. On the other hand, the Concessions Act does not have a deadline for finalizing the procedures, and in practice and the new concession procedures initiated on sea beaches can be delayed very much.
The regulation on the monitoring, management and control of concessions, which should regulate the procedures under the Concessions Act, was suspended by the Supreme Administrative Court, the court will consider its substantive legality in June 2019. The finalization of the administrative case will be long after that date. Thus, in practice, the summer season of 2019 is put at risk, as the provision of farmers at sea beaches guarantees the security of tourists with water-saving activities, medical facilities and strip cleaning. Otherwise, beaches are declared unprotected, which degrades the quality of the tourist product. There is also a double negative effect for the state – once it is deprived of serious concession revenue, it has to devote a lot of money to the mandatory activities for unguarded stripes.
BICA notes that tourism and its accompanying activities provide about 12% of GDP in the country and the summer season provides additional employment for hundreds of thousands of Bulgarians from within the country. The lack of long-term investments for the sea beaches creates uncertainty in the international tour operators that lead tourists in our country.
In view of the above, and given that record results have been achieved in the past year in attracting foreign tourists, we believe that the urgent subsequent adaptation of the legislation to the needs of the tourism business to achieve a timely and relaxed concession procedure is appropriate.