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TUI enters southern Bulgarian coastline with aparthotel

Date: 14.11.2005

German travel agency TUI AG is building an aparthotel in the beautiful resort village of Tsarevo on the Southern Black Sea coast, to be opened in June 2006.

The project includes 158 apartments and 62 studies.

The construction of the four-category aparthotel began in September 2005, to serve the demand for self-catering apartments, said Dieter Semmelroth, Senior Manager Structured Finance in TUI AG. He spoke at the Eighth Real Estate & Investment Forum RINFOR, which opened Wednesday at Sheraton Sofia hotel.

A SWOT analysis of Bulgaria's tourist market found a fragile balance in the Balkan country. Among the key needs of the sector, the systematic evaluation of the factors affecting it, singled out limited season, with an expansion potential from 160 to 180 days, and image deficit as an attractive tourism destination.

In its assessment of Bulgaria as a tourism destination, TUI stressed the massive capacity constraints and worn-down infrastructure at Bulgaria's two coastal airports Varna and Burgas.

The Germans remain the biggest part of foreign tourists in Bulgaria, accounting for 49% of all visitors.

According to a survey, conducted by TUI among German tourists, who have visited Bulgaria, it is preferred because of the high purchasing power they have here, German speaking locals and convenient family destination.

TUI customers' satisfaction in Bulgaria is below average but with an excellent TUI service.

The increase in prices in real estate properties along the Black Sea coast lags behind the increase in servicing them, shows the survey.

The increase in prices per square meter increased by 25% in the region of Varna for one year against 29% in the expenses for maintaining them, Dieter Semmelroth said.

The largest integrated tourism group in Europe forecasts that oversupply of beds capacity is very likely, while hotels will be losing clients to apartments and fighting increase in cost.

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