Travel agencies are reporting the cancellation of scores of reservations for vacations in Bulgaria. "All the Israelis who bought a holiday package in Burgas, and were due to depart today, have cancelled their trips. Everyone has been offered an alternative package in Greece," Gulliver Travel CEO Uri Alon told "Globes" today.
Kavi Hufsha also told "Globes", "All the Israelis who were due to fly today have cancelled. We've offered all of them alternatives on the Greek island of Kos."
49,000 Israelis took vacations at the Bulgarian Black Sea resort of Burgas in July-August 2011, and a similar number were due to vacation there this summer. The port city has been a major tourist center for Israelis, thanks to its vistas, beaches, casinos, and low cost - averaging $500 per person for three nights and four days four a double room at a five-star hotel, including the flight. All flights to Burgas are by charter.
Yesterday's terrorist attack killed seven people, including the local bus driver and a suicide bomber, and wounded scores.
"We're a nation with thousands of years of history, but the memory of a single day," Israel Tourist & Travel Agents Association director Yossi Fattal said today. He says that routine quickly returns after a terrorist attack, especially in July-August, when everyone wants to go on vacation. "Look at Sinai, for example. Although there are countless travel warnings about the peninsula, thousands of Israelis vacation there every year," he says.
Fattal believes that the cancellations of Burgas vacations will not extend beyond a few days. "Israelis will return to Burgas, especially the young. The younger the audience, the less sensitive it is to warnings, and Burgas is a destination for the young: the beach parties, the booze, cheap accommodations, and everything that the young look for."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on July 19, 2012
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