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Amended tourism law aims at better quality of service  Sep 15, 2008

After being altered two years ago, the law on tourism is getting ready to undergo another set of amendments after Plamen Mollov, the floor leader of the National Movement for Stability and Progress, one of the junior partners in the three-way ruling coalition, filed a draft bill for Parliament debates, Stroitelstvo Gradut weekly reported.

The changes envision all hotels and other tourist housing facilities to go through evaluation and re-classification every five years. Until now, the law provision stated that once a hotel is being listed in the five-star luxury category, then it should remain as such for unlimited amount of time.

Mollov has motivated his amendment proposal with the fact that periodical evaluation of the services provided will ensure better quality. He has indicated that a hotel’s average "life expectancy" is three to four years, and the facility’s amortisation begins to show at about five years of usage.

Local mayors will be the evaluating and categorising family hotels, hostels, guest houses, single guest rooms and apartments, which all could rank up to three stars in luxury. Other facilities such as lodgings, holiday homes and camp sites could be categorised with either one or two stars.

Bulgarian State Agency for Tourism will have the responsibility to define the service and luxury class of housing facilities with two, three, four and five stars, together with the adjoining bars and restaurants.

The amendments are supposed to increase owners and managers responsibility toward hotel guests and when the customer service suffers, the luxury class would be lowered to match the reality. If there are discrepancies of services provided and the requirements of a specific category, the fines between three thousand and 10 000 leva will be imposed.

The draft also indicates that private apartments will be included within the list of lodging facilities, but could be let out only with the mutual agreement of all building occupants.

To take effect, the proposed amendments need to pass through the Cabinet and later through the Parliament. The tourism guild is not unanimous on the issue.

Amended tourism law aims at better quality of service
Grand Hotel, Sofia, Bulgaria /

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