Goodbye and Good Riddance to 2020!

Our end-of-year letter to you!

In the last days of the year, we typically write our end-of-year letter giving thanks and appreciation to partners, customers, friends and supporters. We detail what has happened during the year and look towards the next year, which usually looks promising with new tours coming up, new wineries, new wines and so much more.

Needless to say, 2020 has not been a typical year and this will not be a typical end-of-year letter.

In March 2020, Bulgaria went into a lockdown until June 2020. All our tours for the entire year were cancelled or postponed.

As Bulgaria started to open up in June, the country actually opened up more compared to many other European countries and we had a summer that almost felt like things were back to normal. Restaurants and bars were open and full. Outdoor festivals and concerts were a weekly occurrence.

Understandably, our international visitors were not able to make the trip due to travel restrictions and concerns.

We were lucky enough to host a few wine tastings and wine tours for locals and expats living in Bulgaria during the summer and into the autumn. We managed to have a good time while navigating a new way to approach tours. Following the national guidelines, masks were required in public areas, hand sanitizer was offered regularly, and social distancing was encouraged by spacing out tables and seats.

At the end of the year, we find ourselves in another semi-lockdown until 31st January 2021.

The tourism industry has been one of the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and it has been tough for both us and our fellow colleagues in the wine and food travel field as we are all small and medium-sized enterprises. Many of us are small family businesses and we suspect that many of us are holding our breath and crossing our fingers that 2021 is a better year.

You might be asking yourself how can you support a small business such as wine tour operator?

First of all, many wine tour operators are offering virtual wine tastings or tours. Find them on social media or check out their websites, and consider signing up for one of their virtual offerings.

Secondly, many wine tour operators have a wine club or partnership with wine merchants. Consider purchasing wine using their promotional codes or partners if delivery is possible in your area.

Thirdly, many wine tour operators are offering tour vouchers for future tours – as are we. Why not book a voucher for a future tour when it is safer to travel?

2020 has been a tough year for many of us including many of our partners such as wineries, hotels, restaurants, tour guides and other important actors in the tourism industry that make and create travel experiences. We send our thoughts to our partners who are struggling and wish them positive times ahead.

We hope that everyone stays healthy, keeps up a good spirit and is meeting 2021 with hope for a better year.

Wishing you all Happy Holidays and a Prosperous New Year!

Best regards,

Zina & Vasil