Ordinance on the requirements for accommodation, catering and entertainment establishments from 08.2015

The new Ordinance on the requirements for accommodation and catering  establishments and the procedure for determining the category, the refusal, reduction, suspension and termination of the category is already a fact. This is one of the main normative documents in the field of tourism, the adoption of which has been delayed by almost 2 years.

The Ordinance divides the types of tourist sites into two categories:

Class A – including hotels, motels, apartment tourist complexes, holiday villages, tourist villages and villas

Class B – family hotels, hostels, boarding houses, holiday resorts, guest houses, guest rooms, guest apartments, bungalows and campsites; restaurants, fast food restaurants, drinking establishments, coffee shops and bars.

The formal requirements for Class B accommodation are simplified and reduced, which creates better opportunities for developing a family or small business. At the same time, the requirements for high-class hotels are increasing in order to provide comfort for the tourist. The new Ordinance fixes the dimensions of the TV sets in the rooms for overnight stays in the highest class hotels, the number and type of pillows, the contents of the mini-bar, the number and size of towels in the bathroom, the offer of “Turn Down” service and others.Special rules are also introduced for the construction, furnishing and equipment of hotel rooms and apartments, containing appliances and devices for servicing people with reduced mobility. For the first time, requirements are set for the breakfast menu, for the all-inclusive service, for the content of the room service, etc.

The ordinance creates a mandatory requirement for the introduction of a single internal telephone number 9 for connection with hotel receptions. The purpose of this new requirement is to make it as easy as possible for the tourist, especially if he has to seek emergency or urgent help.

The Ordinance pays special attention to the campsites, as well as to the separate territories in them, intended for caravans / campers, tents or for built bungalows. Minimum requirements have been introduced for this type of tourist service – the presence of electrical installation and power supply for each camping unit. The required area for a tent is 50 m2 (for a three-star camping category), 40 m2 (for two stars) and 32 m2. (for one star). The caravan site must also be marked and equipped with water and electricity outlets.

The new Ordinance also introduces clauses regarding the services offered in the catering and entertainment establishments. For example, the duration of the order will depend on the stars of the place. An order for cold appetizers and salads must be fulfilled within 10 minutes in the 4 and 5-star restaurants, up to 15 minutes in the 3-stars and 2-stars restaurants. For certain types of fast dishes and dishes with more complex technology, the waiter is obliged to warn that their serving will be delayed. For all categories will be required to open bottled beverages – soft drinks, beer and wine – in front of the customer when serving them.

All sites and categories have written requirements for education, professional and language qualifications, which should be met by the key figures of the staff of the site.

After the entry into force of the ordinance with a decree of the Council of Ministers № 217 of 17.08. 2015, operating places for accommodation and restaurants have a 6-month gratis period to ensure their activity is in accordance with the requirements. All newly created sites, after the date of entry into force of the ordinance, will be categorized according to the new requirements.

The expected results from the adoption of the Ordinance are the creation of clear rules for work and the offer of high quality tourist services. This is a prerequisite for increasing tourism revenues and increasing the number of tourists visiting Bulgaria (both Bulgarian and foreign).

Check out the full Ordinance (in bulgarian)