Strange facilities pop up among the guesthouses built under the European Program for Rural Development (RDP), checks in the online search engine that Bivol created based on public and hidden information from the State Fund Agriculture (SFA) reveal.
The main goal of the program is to develop rural tourism, create jobs and livelihoods. Therefore, guesthouses must meet certain criteria: be registered with the local municipality as a tourist accommodation; to have categorization; to appoint staff, and last, but not least – to accept guests.
Guests with a toothache?
One of the projects financed under the program is a Clinic for primary dental care – individual practice – Dr. Martin Blazhev in the town of Veliki Preslav. He received a European subsidy for the “furnishing of a dental office”. The reason why this dental office is in the official list of guesthouses, published by the SFA, remains a mystery.
An enterprising lady from the town of Isperih took money for “construction and furnishing of rooms for accommodation and for car wash equipment”. This is probably an innovative service – providing beds to rest while your car is being washed. In the town of Belitsa, there is something similar – a car service shop was built together with a motel. There, you can relax in the guesthouse while your engine is being fixed, for example.
Restaurants, swimming pools and gyms
Over 20 projects involve construction and renovation of restaurants. Some projects even lack the term guesthouse, but they have received funding. In addition, in 20 projects it is indicated that a pool will be built; they are located mainly in places with mineral waters. There are four projects with gyms.
And VIP Lyubovishte
The project, which has inspired most spicy rumors among SFA employees, is named “VIP Lyubovishte”. This is a guesthouse with swimming pools in the village of Lyubovishte (the root of the word Lyubovishte is lyubov, which means love in Bulgarian – editor’s note), near the southern tourist town of Melnik. There is a rumor floating among locals that the owner has been the driver of the “main fighter against corruption in the country”, former MP Yane Yanev. “VIP Lyubovishte” functions as a guesthouse and the company with same name pays benefits for two people – probably the owner and his wife. The business, however, is not doing well, a reference in the registry system DAXY shows. In 2012, the net sales amounted to 20,000 levs; in 2013 – to 4,000 levs and they were zero in 2014 – perhaps because it is very difficult to make a reservation for the night in “VIP Lyubovishte”. The guesthouse is not advertised and cannot be found in any of the popular sites that list accommodations.
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