Monday, July 16, 2007

Romanians’ interest in Bulgaria

The Sofia Echo
Mon 16 Jul 2007 - Elitsa Grancharova

Since Bulgaria and Romania joined the EU, the number of Romanians spending their summer holidays on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast is drastically increasing. This is especially noticeable in the northern city of Balchik where most of the tourists there at the beginning of the summer season were from Bulgaria’s northern neighbour. Most of them were looking only to rent a room for the duration of their holiday but there are also some who want to buy property there because, as established by The Sofia Echo, the Romanian Black Sea coast is, according to the locals, more polluted and not appropriate for tourism because of the Danube delta, which throws “all the dirt from Europe into the Romanian area”.

Elena Cherkez, manager of the Balchik based Royel Properties real estate agency spoke to The Sofia Echo. She said that before 2007, all of their clients were from England. Then, from April 2007, they began to get clients from Ireland and Romania, the latter are the third largest group of clients. They are looking for new apartments for sale in the Balchik region. In addition, most of the regular tourists this year who only want to rent a room for their holiday are Romanians, according to Cherkez. “After Easter, we have seen Romanian clients almost every day,” she said.

As observed by The Sofia Echo, some Romanians were also offered agricultural land by the company to build houses on, about six kilometres from the Romanian border, near the sea. Another real estate agent, Goran Raykovski of BulgariaPropertySearch, told The Sofia Echo that they also had no Romanian clients before April 2007. Since then they started to receive requests from Romanians for information about properties in the regions of Slunchev bryag (Sunny Beach) and Zlatni Pyasutsy (Golden sands). However, according to him, they are only conducting market surveys for now.

The company had not yet concluded any deals with Romanian clients. In Raykovski’s opinion, the reason for the Romanian interest in the Bulgarian Black Sea coast is that their salaries are slightly higher than in Bulgaria, therefore it is cheaper for them to spend their holidays in Bulgaria, as well as it being warmer here. A representative from the Bourgas based British Properties agency told The Sofia Echo that they had not had any interest from Romanian clients. Real estate agency BlackSeaProperties who are based in Slunchev bryag and sell apartments there and in Varna and the winter resorts also had not had any deals with Romanian clients yet. partners.

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