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 HOW ARE BOOKINGS THIS YEAR?

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hoseman
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PostSubject: HOW ARE BOOKINGS THIS YEAR?   Sat Mar 31, 2012 7:51 pm

We have been letting our seaside apartment near Varna for the past six years (for short holiday lets) and this year is noticeably slower to get off the ground than any previous year. We are doing the same marketing as before, charging much the same prices (reduced them 2 years ago), and have first-class reviews from previous renters. Early days yet, but this is not looking very promising from where I am sitting! How are others finding things ?
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Rakiaplease
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PostSubject: Re: HOW ARE BOOKINGS THIS YEAR?   Sun Apr 01, 2012 9:46 am

The Russians are the buyers and renters at the moment on the Black Sea. Not sure where but could you advertise to that market ?
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hoseman
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PostSubject: Re: HOW ARE BOOKINGS THIS YEAR?   Sun Apr 01, 2012 11:01 am

In each of the past 3 years we have had several enquiries from Russia;
not one has turned into a booking. We have had all sorts of apologies for this from those who could be bothered to communicate: change of job, family issues, flight problems, passport problems.... They seem to be a most unfortunate group of people!
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Andy
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PostSubject: Re: HOW ARE BOOKINGS THIS YEAR?   Sun Apr 01, 2012 8:35 pm

I don't let any property but a friend of mine that does (Holiday lets) has said his booking are down by about 70% this year compared to to the same time over the last 2 years. I would assume its the same in most place around the world? but maybe in Bulgaria the time has come to its end as far as tourists are concerned? lets be honest Bulgaria as a country only welcome those who have money and in most cases that all they are interested in and it doesn't take long for any tourist to recognize it.
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oddball
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PostSubject: Re: HOW ARE BOOKINGS THIS YEAR?   Sun Apr 01, 2012 10:51 pm

Yes indeed have had several people say the same to me so I guess times are hard everywhere people are certainly feeling the pinch.

Oddy s

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Esta
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PostSubject: Re: HOW ARE BOOKINGS THIS YEAR?   Mon Apr 02, 2012 10:40 am

My mum was talking to her next door neighbour (in the UK), she (the neighbour) has always fancied trying out Bulgaria. But for a family of 5, the flights to turkey were much, much cheaper. Decision made.

It seems, unless you are happy to go on a package holiday to Sunny Beach, Bulgaria is too expensive.
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hoseman
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PostSubject: Re: HOW ARE BOOKINGS THIS YEAR?   Mon Apr 02, 2012 11:04 am

Hi Esta,

Yes that has been the case for a few years now (we could argue about the actual differences, but let's not...)

Turkey, like most of the other possible alternatives, is not a new contender for the holiday market, and people make their decisions on more than one basis;
in your friends' case it was price, others might want to explore the heritage of a particular country, or visit a special attraction, or whatever.

I can see that the Bulgarian tourism office has started to improve its marketing: hopefully in the longer run the image of Bulgaria will change from being on the whole a cheap and cheerful sun spot, to a multi-faceted place of interest to all kinds of holidaymaker.

Those who have stayed at our place have genuinely enjoyed the experience, and some have let us know that they have recommended friends and colleagues, though few of these seem to have translated into bookings as yet.

Oddie, I agree: people all over are feeling the pinch, whether it is from higher air fares, unfavourable exchange rates, or just general household expenditure back home. In the context of the global economic situation it is not surprising that people are having to be more careful about their holiday planning.

We will struggle on!
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willowsend
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PostSubject: Re: HOW ARE BOOKINGS THIS YEAR?   Mon Apr 02, 2012 12:02 pm

How are bookings this year, WHAT BOOKINGS ??? but like you hoseman, we will struggle on
On the positive side, click on our banner (link) and read the ten reviews, all 5 star ratings g
On the negative side look up all the trash, lies and disgusting postings on various sites and I think you have the answer
T
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PostSubject: Re: HOW ARE BOOKINGS THIS YEAR?   Mon Apr 02, 2012 12:18 pm

hoseman wrote
Quote :
I can see that the Bulgarian tourism office has started to improve its marketing: hopefully in the longer run the image of Bulgaria will change from being on the whole a cheap and cheerful sun spot, to a multi-faceted place of interest to all kinds of holidaymaker.

To be honest, I think it is more than the marketing that has to change. (I don't let anywhere). I think the whole customer service regime in this country has to change first, as was mentioned by another poster on this thread, all the BG's are after is your money, which of course is fair enough, but at least smile or be polite when ripping people off!!!!!!, after all that's what other countries do too, but better!!

I have posted about this before elsewhere, but BG logic is to get ur money today and forget about tomorrow. Totally wrong and basically cutting their own throats, cos all the people with money need somewhere to go tomorrow, and it seems like they are voting with their feet.
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Rakiaplease
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PostSubject: Re: HOW ARE BOOKINGS THIS YEAR?   Mon Apr 02, 2012 12:40 pm

Everytime I fly back from Varna or Bourgas there are holiday makers saying they will never go back to BG. This is often because they find the Bulgarians rude and abrupt (Please don't shoot the messager I am only repeating what I hear).

There is a cultural difference but I think that if you are dealing with tourists in the resorts then a thanks etc makes a difference. Last year in Sunny Beach beer was on sale for a lev and the businesses were moaning that trade was down. Maybe a smile and a please would make all the difference and the workers there might get more tips!

Saying that, the way some Brits behave on holiday, I'm not surprised they get a cold reception.

Anybody want to join the 'Rakiaplease Monday moan society' please get in touch g
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hoseman
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PostSubject: Re: HOW ARE BOOKINGS THIS YEAR?   Mon Apr 02, 2012 3:54 pm

Rakiaplease - put me down for lifetime membership! Maybe we are lucky but in our little neck of the woods everyone seems exceptionally pleasant, polite, welcoming and laid back, while rogues and chancers go elsewhere on the whole (no names no pack drill!).

Spantrout - hi there - you are quite right about "
fast buck"
attitudes needing to change, and you know as well as I do that there are holiday spots the world over where the customer can get a raw deal, or badly treated, or worse. If a person's experience is a rip-off taxi at Sofia airport or railway station (been there, done that!), pickpockets (nearly, but we created merry hell and they stopped!), worthless counterfeit cash from street touts (not been caught by that one), overcharging (boutique hotel in Varna where 10 leva was the "
usual"
(expected) tip for carrying a suitcase up 2 flights of stairs (not from me, mate), then they won't be looking to come back in a hurry, even if they risk the same thing somewhere else next year!

Some good news just in: someone who was disappointed last year when we were already booked, has just contacted me for this year. And some other people who have come back for the past 3 years have also decided to revisit "
because we were so well looked after"
.

So, there is now some light at the end of the tunnel. g
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Rakiaplease
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PostSubject: Re: HOW ARE BOOKINGS THIS YEAR?   Mon Apr 02, 2012 3:59 pm

Hoseman...your life time membership is in the post
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Andy
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PostSubject: Re: HOW ARE BOOKINGS THIS YEAR?   Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:24 am

All I can add here is that a friend of mine is only getting bookings from 40% of those who had booked in the past and nothing coming forward that is new so all in all it's looking bleak for him.
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ABC Property Surveyors.BG
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PostSubject: Re: HOW ARE BOOKINGS THIS YEAR?   Sun Apr 22, 2012 2:12 pm

Far worse places in the world to go.Gambia was an experience! Whilst standing at the counter in the bank to change travellers cheques there was a guy with his hand next to the cash slot at the desk held out for some begging money.Got invited into a school then asked to contribute to the building of a new school.When leaving the complex I looked down the hill for a guy milling around the complexes in a wheelchair begging.Was 200 metres away down the hill one day and before I could get into a taxi on the other side of the road he was with us.Most people couldn't run up that hill as quickly as he wheeled up it! India is much the same with beggars.Ok,The service is mostly poor on the coast but most of them work for tips only so no doubt they want to turn you around quickly.But yes BG has a long way to go.If the season was longer I'd open a restaurant.I'd make a killing.
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hoseman
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PostSubject: Re: HOW ARE BOOKINGS THIS YEAR?   Tue May 29, 2012 1:52 pm

Well, I hexed that one: our 3-times-previous guests have actually pulled out! We have got a couple of odd weeks sold and more enquiries coming in (including from the UK - does this mean that the £ / lev exchange rate has now reached a tipping point?).
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