As part of a general investigation into the Bulgarian tourism sector, the Competition Protection Commission investigated the services offered by different categories of hotel (eg, seaside hotels, spa hotels, ski lodges, business hotels and city break hotels). During the investigation the commission considered certain market characteristics, including:

  • supply and demand;
  • price dynamics; the respective market shares of hotels within each category in different municipalities;
  • the contractual relationships between hotels and tour operators; and
  • the role of trade associations.

The commission found that some provisions in the agreements between certain hotels and tour operators (eg, exclusivity provisions) might have a negative effect on the competitive environment in the sector. However, after considering the characteristics of the market as a whole, the commission concluded that, in general, operators in the sector had not engaged in anti-competitive behaviour. Furthermore, the commission established that some of the trade associations' practices relating to pricing policy exceeded the cooperation requirements of the competition rules.

For further information on this topic please contact Ilko Stoyanov at Advokatsko Druzhestvo Andreev Stoyanov & Tsekova in cooperation with Schönherr Rechtsanwälte GmbH by telephone (+359 2 933 1072), fax (+359 2 986 1105) or email (i.stoyanov@schoenherr.bg).