Bulgaria is resettling Ukrainian refugees from resort hotels by the sea to buffer centers in the cities of Sarafovo and Elhovo for further placement in other places of temporary accommodation in the interior of the country, according to the Bulgaria for Ukraine portal.
“We are ending the integration plan for the resettlement of refugees in the interior of the country, with which we sought to meet the needs of the people. All persons who are in hotels and say that they have nowhere to go will be temporarily placed in buffer centers in Sarafovo and Elhovo,” the source was quoted as saying. in the message, Deputy Prime Minister for Effective Public Administration of Bulgaria Kalina Konstantinova.
According to the new plan of the National Headquarters, all Ukrainian refugees will be temporarily placed in buffer centers before being resettled in places of temporary accommodation.
According to the Deputy Prime Minister, the authorities are currently determining the exact number of Ukrainians who have lost their homes at home and intend to take advantage of temporary asylum in Bulgaria.
“I urge those of you who do not need asylum to declare it now. This is the only way we can immediately take care of people who really need it,” Konstantinova stressed.
At the same time, persons who have refused humanitarian resettlement still have the right to free residence in Bulgaria until February 24, 2023, social benefits, the right to work and treatment.
As reported, Bulgaria’s new humanitarian program provides for the resettlement of refugees in lower-class housing, family hotels and guest houses. According to the certificate in the system of the Ministry of Tourism of Bulgaria, the possibility of accommodation in places 1 and 2 stars is 175 thousand beds.
Ukrainian hotels in the Carpathians are expected to be fully loaded for the New Year period; as of the middle of November, up to 50% of rooms have been booked, hotel operators reported.
“The New Year period cannot be taken as a basis in predicting the dynamics of reservations. New Year is a traditional time of travel. All Ukrainian resorts (Bukovel, Drahobrat, Truskavets, etc.) are occupied for New Year. People plan New Year’s holidays in advance, so it is already difficult to find vacant rooms,” Executive Director of Ribas Hotels Group Andriy Marenchuk told Interfax-Ukraine.
According to him, the depth of booking is in line with last year’s indicators, but the number of guaranteed bookings has decreased.
“There was a request from guests for free cancellation of reservations. This is due to COVID-19 restrictions, the political situation and the impossibility of planning,” he said.
According to the hotel operator Reikartz Hotel Group, clients are gradually returning to long-term planning of their holidays: as of mid-November, the occupancy of resort hotels for the New Year and Christmas period is more than 50%. At the same time, the booking period is on average five days or more.
“In Ukrainian Carpathians, they are booked for five or more days. Often such a trip is considered by guests as a full-fledged winter vacation. Hotels for recreation near large cities are more saturated with reservations for 3-4 days,” Head of the resort department at Reikartz Hotels & Resorts Christina Kahuy said.
While hotels in western Ukraine show high occupancy rates, the Black Sea region is facing a difficult period, President of the Ukrainian Hotels and Resorts Association (UHRA) Iryna Sidletska said.
“We are entering a low season, and a difficult period is coming for Black Sea hotels: we predict an average of 25-30% occupancy for the next three months, and only at the expense of a business tourist. At this time, hotels in western Ukraine are gradually recovering due to the New Year holidays and the season of winter holidays,” she told the agency.
As reported by hotel operators, prices for hotel accommodation will rise slightly, based on the increase in utility rates. According to the Reikartz Hotel Group, the price increase for the New Year period averaged 10%.
As reported, the owners of hotels at ski resorts of Ukraine will be fined for the lack of documents confirming the COVID-19 status of tourists (vaccination certificate, negative PCR tests or a certificate of recovery).
Earlier in November, UHRA announced 100% vaccination of employees of most categorized hotels in Ukraine.
The owners of hotels in ski resorts will be fined for the tourists not having documents confirming their COVID status (vaccination certificate, negative PCR tests or a certificate of recovery), Health Minister Viktor Liashko said.
“If visitors or employees do not have the necessary documents, the owner of the establishment may be held liable under the article ‘Violation of the rules of quarantine of people’ of the Code of Administrative Offenses of Ukraine. It regards a fine from UAH 34,000 to 170,000,” he said at a briefing on Thursday.
Liashko said that at ski resorts “only those people who have been checked for the presence of COVID documents are allowed to provide services.”
“Adult visitors and clients on winter vacations must have proof of vaccination against COVID-19 or testing negative or recovery,” he said.
The Minister noted that after consulting with specialized associations, the Ministry of Health recommends checking COVID documents during check-in at a hotel or when buying a ski pass.
Visitors to the resort are advised to assign a unique mark, such as a sticker, to identify that a person’s documents have already been verified. Also, the mark should indicate who exactly issued it.
“This is necessary to avoid repeated checks of documents and to enable the use of related services: cable cars, street fairs and other services,” he said.
Hilton has entered into a franchise agreement with Gefest Group (the real estate developer, Odessa) on the implementation of a hotel project in Odessa, which is scheduled to open in the spring of 2025. According to a press release of Hilton, the hotel near the Arcadia entertainment area will be managed by Cyprus-based Millennium Hospitality. The new hotel will become part of the Hilton Hotels & Resorts chain.“There is clear opportunity for growth in Ukraine, with two hotels set to join our portfolio alongside Hilton Kyiv. Growing international interest in Odessa and robust domestic demand make Hilton Odessa an important addition to our European pipeline. We are pleased to be working with Gefest Group to introduce our flagship brand to southern Ukraine,” Senior Vice President for Development at Hilton Europe, the Middle East and Africa Patrick Fitzgibbon was quoted in the report. According to the report, the project provides for the construction of two buildings in Vanny and Primorsky lanes in Odesa. The hotel will have 145 rooms. The hotel infrastructure will include two swimming pools, one of which is panoramic, four restaurants and bars, a conference center (800 square meters), a banquet hall (300 square meters), a rooftop lounge area, and a spa center (600 square meters). Gefest Group was founded in Odessa in 1997. The company’s portfolio includes more than 40 office, retail and residential real estate projects in Ukraine and Europe at different stages of implementation.
The State Tourism Development Agency recommends that hotels take measures to vaccinate their staff against COVID-19 in the near future. Hotels, whose personnel are fully vaccinated, will be provided with a “safety mark”, head of the State Agency for Tourism Development Maryana Oleskiv told Interfax-Ukraine.
“To organize vaccination, the authorized person of the hotel must provide information to the State Tourism Development Agency (location of the hotel, number of employees for vaccination, contact person). We will transfer this information to the Ministry of Health to ensure priority vaccination of the tourism industry,” Oleskiv said.
The head of State Tourism Development Agency said that after vaccination of all hotel personnel, they will be provided with a confirmation in the form of a “Safety Sign” sticker, and this information will be included in the list of State Tourism Development Agency hotels, the staff of which is fully vaccinated.
“The list of such hotels will be published on the official website of State Tourism Development Agency,” Oleskiv said.
The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine will transfer from its portfolio of assets three hotels in Kyiv, Lviv and Kryvy Rih to the State Property Fund (SPF) for further privatization, Deputy Head of the President’s Office Kyrylo Tymoshenko has said.
He said that these are the hotels Vlasta in Lviv, Kozatsky in Kyiv and Bratislava in Kryvy Rih.
“We thank the Minister of Defense. The letters have already been sent to the Fund, and I hope that in the near future these facilities will go for privatization,” Tymoshenko said at the Ukraine 30. Economy without Oligarchs forum in Kyiv on Wednesday.
According to him, these hotels are non-profit-making.