In February this year, several amendments to the Tourism Act were adopted.
The more important ones are:
- A more comprehensive listing of tourist activities
- Expansion of the existing accommodation facilities by creating a new C class – guest rooms and guest apartments (so far the rooms/guest apartments were in Class B – family and other hotels.
- Caves and ski schools will also be considered tourist sites
- Restrictions on membership in tourist associations of political parties, trade unions, religious institutions and legal entities registered under the Religious Act
- Changes in registration procedure of associations in the National Tourism Register, for example, one of the new conditions is “an activity related to the development of tourism, which the association has carried out at least three years after its registration under the Law on Non-profit Legal Entities.“
- National resorts regulation
- New terms and conditions for conducting tour operator and tourist agency activity – “there are no established obligations for taxes and mandatory social security contributions, including interest on them, unless the competent authority has allowed deferral or deferral of the obligations.”
- Travel package contracts and related tourist services – “The tour operator is obliged to keep on durable medium contracts for package tours concluded by him or through a travel agent for two years as from the completion of their performance”
- Hotel and restaurant activity – Hotel or restaurant business may be carried out by a person who owns, rents or otherwise uses an object under Art. 3, para. 2, items 1 and 3, in which the hotel business will be conducted.
- Persons performing hotels and / or restaurants in tourist sites provide tourist services in a categorized or registered tourist site or in a facility to which a temporary certificate for an open categorization procedure has been issued;
- Registration for activity in guest rooms and guest apartments – will be regulated by an ordinance of the Council of Ministers
- Change in the definition of the categories of tourist sites and the registration of guest rooms and apartments. The mayor of the municipality or an official authorized by him shall register rooms and apartments for guests (which according to the new classification are class “C”), in which hotel activity is carried out, by an entry in the National Tourist Register. Guest rooms and apartments can be registered, including when located in the building or on the premises of an apartment tourist complex (apartment/studio apartment/studio apartment/room or room provided to tourists for an overnight stay by a hotel management company, or ), but are not part of its capacity. There is a fee for registered sites and a certificate of registration is issued
- The requirement for a document with signatures of more than 50 percent of the owners in the building, certifying their agreement to carry out the tourist activity – in the categorization of “guest rooms” and “guest apartments” is abolished.
- Application-declaration of registration of rooms/apartments for guests must meet the following requirements:
- at least the following shall be declared in the declaration application:a) the name of the person as well as the name of the accommodation – guest rooms, guest apartment (spelled in Bulgarian and Latin letters), and address; telephone/fax and e-mail address, if available; otherwise, the name of the authorized person and his / her telephone/fax and e-mail address shall be entered;(b) that the person has the right to carry on an activity on the site, if that person is different from the owner of the site, specifying individual data on the document of use according to its type, and if the latter is subject to entry, an act, volume and year and registry office in which it is entered;
- the following shall be attached to the application-declaration:
a) a copy of the document for use of the site if it is not owned and is not subject to registration;
(b) an explicit power of attorney when an application is filed by a proxy.
- Completely new regulation of the ski schools is being created – The provision of training services for tourists in snow sports is carried out by ski schools registered in the National Tourist Register by the Minister of Tourism or an official authorized by him. For this purpose, a registration procedure is required, for which fees are due. Registration is indefinite. A tourist activity as a ski school may be carried out by a person who:
- is registered as a trader under the Commercial Law or under the legislation of another Member State of the European Union and a State party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area or of the Swiss Confederation, or is a non-profit legal entity entitled to provide sports services under the Physical Education and Sports Act;
- is not in bankruptcy or liquidation proceedings;
- has training staff for snow sports.
- Snowparks and children’s ski areas are separated from the ski slope types.
- New requirements for swimming pools
- A National Register of Tourist Attractions, Festivals and Events is created
- Numerous amendments in the sanctions’ volume and fines for violations of the law and its regulations.
There are significant changes in the definitions of the law:
- The definition of “Swimming Pool” is created – an artificially created and segregated facility intended for public use with one or more water areas intended for swimming or other physical activities related to water. The swimming pool is a stand-alone or adjacent site for accommodation or to balneological (medical SPA) centers, SPA centers, wellness centers, and thalassotherapy centers and is entered in the public register of the objects of public purpose under Article 36, paragraph 3 of the Health Act.
- Definition “Tourist Festivals and Events” is created – those are initiatives that have emerged to promote elements of the intangible cultural heritage related to customs, ceremonies, celebrations, and others that carry a historical memory and national identity and may have a scientific or cultural identity They may be organized by public or private organizations, individuals or legal entities.
- The definition of a “tourist” changes – A tourist is a person who visits a destination beyond his or her usual place of residence for less than one year for recreation, sports, medical procedures, business, pilgrimage, participation in a cultural, congress, conference event or other tourist purpose: The tourist may make the round-the-clock visit (overnight) or for a stay of more than 24 hours normally, which includes at least one overnight stay in the destination visited (overnight tourist).
- Changes to the definition of SPA and Wellness Center, Hospitality, Hotelier and others.
The proceedings for registration of tourist associations, which have been initiated and not completed before the entry into force of amendments shall be completed under the previous regime.
The procedures for categorization and certification, which have been started and not completed before the entry into force of amendments shall be completed under the previous regime.
Certificates for the categorization of guest rooms and guest apartments issued before the amendments shall remain in force until their expiry.
Within one year of the entry into force of the amendments, persons pursuing activities like a ski school, adjust their activities in accordance with the Tourist Act requirements and submit to the Ministry of Tourism the relevant documents for their entry in the National Tourist Register.
Within one month from the entry into force of the Tourist Act, the persons under Art. 163a, para. 1 are obliged to award to the manufacturer/designer of the pool or other persons with the necessary competence and competence to design and / or production, and / or construction / installation, preparation of non-swimming pool manuals equipped with operating and repair manuals under Art. 163a, para. 2 or the manuals do not specify requirements and measures for their proper and safe technical operation and maintenance of the components for the installation, filtration and pumps to them.
Contact our team for more details on the amendments.