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News 16 Jan 18

UK Holiday Bargain-Hunters Urged to Try Bulgaria

Survey pronounces Bulgarian Black Sea resort the best-value vacation destination in Europe.

Marcus Tanner
The Sunny Beach resort in Bulgaria. Photo: Andrei Dan Suciu/CC BY 3.0

Cash-strapped Britons are being advised to head for Bulgaria this summer, after a survey declared Bulgaria’s Sunny Beach resort the winner among 42 destinations in terms of value for money.

The 2018 Holiday Money Report survey, carried out by the UK Post Office, a major supplier of holiday insurance, looks at a basket of eight must-have items that the average couple would need on vacation on an average day. They include a three-course evening restaurant meal for two with wine, a beer from a beach bar, bottle of sun lotion and so on – and totted them up.

Bulgaria won out after the survey concluded that these items came to about 38 pounds sterling [43 euros] in the Black Sea resort, well below the cost in nearest European rival Algarve in Portugal and substantially below the price in Spain, Turkey and Cyprus [55 to 57 pounds], Croatia [61 pounds] let alone Corfu and Malta [77 to 78 pounds].

The UK Telegraph, which published the survey, gave Bulgaria a mildly cautious thumbs-up, having dispatched its travel editor there, who recalled Sunny Beach as “cheap and cheerful” but also marred by “communist-era constructions”. However, the article did say nearby Varna boasted a cathedral, gardens and a museum.

The newspaper sounded a warning note about the survey, however, noting that it relied on only eight random items that did not include flights and hotels.

It suggested that savvy holidaymakers might also want to check other sites that considered a much bigger range of costs, such as the World Economic Forum Travel Report or the global consumer price database, Numbeo. This uses 50 prices of items and has listed Moldova and Romania as the two cheapest destinations in Europe.

The significant fall in the value of the UK currency since the Brexit referendum, especially against the euro, has spurred interest among Britons in non-euro holiday destinations.

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