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The Port of Burgas is a Starting Point for Cruises Co/84The Port of Burgas is a Starting Point for Cruises In 2015 one of the largest cruise companies in the world, Pullmenter Cruises, selected the port of Burgas as a starting and ending point for cruises. Tourists will arrive by chartered flights and will board the cruise ships in Burgas. For some other tourists Burgas will be the endpoint of their cruise. “In the case of the port of Burgas, this means doubling the traffic of passengers and respectively a serious growth for tourism” said the Executive Director of Burgas Port EAD, Mr. Nikolay Tishev. The port of Burgas has the capacity to accommodate the largest cruise ships sailing in the Black Sea. This will be a benefit for the port and for the tugboat companies, the pilot station, tour-operator companies and the state, said the Executive Director of the port. “Let us not forget that Burgas is the middle point between Nessebar, Pomorie and Sozopol. Through Trakia highway it will provide direct access also to other tourist, cultural and religious landmarks in Bulgaria” said Mr. Tishev. A main advantage of the cruise tourism is the good solvency of tourists and their great interesting in the cultural and historical heritage of the countries they visit. In the year 2013 the number of passengers who passed through Nessebar and Burgas was record-breaking: 55 ships and nearly 27 thousand passengers. For the year 2015 there are more than 60 reservations. The most intensive months were September and October. The main priority of the company in 2014 was the start of the operation of the new passenger port. Five cruise ships landed there with 5670 passengers within two weeks after its opening in October. New projects The port of Burgas started a project for the construction of a building which will be used as a coastal centre managing information services related to navigation. The Port of Burgas company will provide access to the passenger port and the yacht club “Port Burgas”. The company is working also on an investment project “Marina Port Burgas” which stipulates that the terminal Burgas East 1 will have a yacht-service zone facility. The project specifies design of yacht spaces and preparation of technical specification. The investment program of the port for this year specifies also cleaning and protracting of some ship spaces up to the allowed maximum depths. This will facilitate the movement of ships and will provide opportunity to have entry of larger ships in the port. Concession change After the appearance of the company BMF Port Burgas which won the concession for terminal West, the larger cargo units are processed there. "Here we cannot process large ships with grain or heavy loads " said Mr. Tishev. On one hand this leads to lower revenues of the state company but also to a significant reduction of costs. During the second concession of the port and the last year, some 530 people started working for the concession company. 210 people remained and continued working for the state-owned company. This reduced the costs related to salaries, energy costs, etc. During the 11 months of 2013 the costs of Burgas Port EAD amounted to 19.82 million BGN; this was 22.7% more than the figures specified in the business plan. The costs are 72% of the forecasted figure and the net profit of the company during this period was a bit more than 10 million BGN; this represents an increase of 212% in comparison with the preceding year. Due to the BMF Port Burgas concession of Terminal West, the cargo processed by the state company went down in half in comparison with 2012 and the figure reached was 1.036 million. The port of Burgas is closely related to the condition of the Bulgarian business in southern Bulgaria. During the second half of 2013 we saw a slight movement of the business because more cargo passed through the port, said Mr. Tishev. His expectations for the year 2014 are for even better results. The article is a part of the supplement of Kapital Daily – “Regional Business – Burgas”