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Bulgaria Needs Tourist Information Signs*

8 August 2012 / 18:49; Views: 44673; 5Edit article
Bulgaria Needs Tourist Information Signs*
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We run a tourist camp-site in the south-east of Bulgaria, close to the Turkish and Greek borders, and only 1 km from the E80, the main road from western Europe to Turkey.

The Roads Infrastructure Agency, in Haskovo, have, several times refused to let us put up the internationally-recognised road signs for Camp-sites, in our opinion, in violation of the Treaty of Vienna.

They tell us it is against the law for us to put up these signs, and, when we do, without their permission, they get taken away.

We get scores of visitors who come from western Europe each year, usually with the intention of passing through Bulgaria as quickly as possible on their way to Turkey, or further east, who find, to their surprise, that Bulgaria is really a friendly and safe place, and these people often want to explore the country around us, visiting places like Perperikon.

But it is a sad fact that there is virtually no tourist information available, or road signs they can use.

For Bulgaria to climb out of the immense hole it's in will first require a major change of thinking by those in authority.

It is also questionable whether we would like the place as much as now, if and when the changes do come.

Martin Jeffes
Sakar Hills Camping

*An expat opinion derived from the Forum thread on the "Keys to the Bulgarian Economy"


# 1
Patrick Brigham
Dear Martin Jeffes,
You very thoughtlessly left out your address, because unusually as a resident in both Greece and Bulgaria, I also have a caravan! Since I live near to Svilengrad it sounds as though you might be just what we are looking for, especially when we get fed up with Alexandroupolis.
I notice that ACSI has given up on Bulgaria, but that might be much for the same reason as you have given. Perhaps a small inducement to the Mayor of Haskovo is expected, although they do have their own rubbishy camping place. Perhaps you could run that campsite too?
Patrick Brigham
31 January 2013 12:22:19 Reply Quote
# 2
HI there.

Driving out the other day noticed an international sign for a caravan park near Sevlievo.

I think there are/is a private site near VT as seen on Brits in BG (I think).

Good luck
28 February 2013 19:46:30 Reply Quote
# 3
Geordie Winkle
Never having owned a caravan and viewing them much as I imagine most non-caravaners do I will refrain from commenting on the extent to which I believe caravans and caravanners contribute to the Bulgarian economy.

Brown signs, however, are a subject with which I am very familiar having had a similar experience in the Highlands of Scotland where a local planning chief supported a sign, of a size more suitable for a motorway than a single track Highland road, which pointed the way to the local general store and cafe. He rejected completely the notion that such a sign was equally desirable for the local inn.

Having had years to consider this question objectively since retiring I now take the view that there are too many signs on all roads and those which provide advertising for local businesses are completely undesirable and more often than not completely ineffective.

What is needed is a comprehensive tourism strategy designed to encourage tourists to stay in Bulgaria by marketing her many assets. There is a small benefit to be gained from those tourists who drag their accommodation behind them and they should not be ignored but the marketing effort which will encourage them to stay and stay longer in Bulgaria should be directed more to the media they use to plan trips.

A more important consideration than a sign to direct tourists to a particular site is the own goal of the vignette. There are choices of routes to Turkey these days and the avoidance of the vignette for a trip of one or two days (which could be extended by sensible marketing) is easy - just divert south through Greece which, incidentally has more user friendly border facilities with Turkey than those between Bulgaria and Turkey.
28 September 2013 10:35:21 Reply Quote
# 4
Esmond Knight
Hi Bobby
Any advice on the following; I'm living near Elhovo and in the next week or 2 will drive to Alexandropoulos, any advice on that would be a help.

I have a UK passport and my wife a non-EU with a Schengen visa. We need to take residence in Greece. Have you any experience with that?

Thanks Esmond
19 November 2013 13:12:28 Reply Quote
# 5
Esmond Knight
Hello Patrick
I see you live near Slivengrad, I have much the same idea, to live on that side of the border, between Sliv and Alex. I love forest and there seems to be a big wild-life type one on the way to Alex. I'm a bit starved of a forest and nature. I live the other side of Elhove.

What can you tell me about taking residence in Greece?

Thanks Esmond.
19 November 2013 13:44:10 Reply Quote