Home Tourism The Balkans join Schengen… What will be the impact on prices, transport and tourism?

The Balkans join Schengen… What will be the impact on prices, transport and tourism?

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Romania and Bulgaria will begin the process of joining the Schengen area on March 31, with the removal of controls at their air and sea borders.

Negotiations regarding the removal of land border controls, which will allow both countries to fully participate in the Schengen area, continue.

Although both countries have been members of the European Union since 2007, unlike many other European citizens, they must present a passport to enter other EU countries.

According to information reported by euronews, border controls between the two countries will be simplified in 2024 and many other issues will probably also change. There is much speculation about whether Bulgaria and Romania will follow in the footsteps of Croatia, which just joined the Schengen area and has been criticized for raising prices since joining.

Bulgaria and Romania are not expected to convert their existing currencies to the euro in the near future, as Croatia has done.


In the news in question, with input from regional experts, the changes that could occur on March 31 are listed as follows:

Elaine Warren, travel expert and founder of The Family Cruise Companion blog, hopes the move to the Schengen area will not lead to a price increase that could scare away potential tourists. “Increased competition could offset the trend of prices rising too much in tourist destinations,” Warren said. “With travelers able to easily compare prices across borders, hotels and other businesses will want to remain price competitive,” he said.

Stating that it seems too early to say exactly what might happen, Warren said: “It is also possible that some costs will gradually become more compatible between Schengen countries. But overall, the combination of effects – more visitors but also fiercer competition – suggests that the effects on prices will not be clear. “Popular destinations could see modest increases, while rural areas and consumer prices could face downward pressure,” he said.

Robert Blaszczyk, head of the strategic accounts department at Conotoxia, a global financial technology company, said the changes are unclear, but there is hope for countries and visitors.

Lucia Polla is a travel expert and founder of the travel blog Viva La Vita. She is a fan of Romania and Bulgaria and hopes that the move to the Schengen area will open these countries to a new generation of tourists. Polla hopes that Balkan countries will take this into account in their efforts to attract more tourists, and believes that this change could encourage a greater appreciation of local cultures and responsible tourism practices, benefiting both the environment and the communities that we visit.


On the other hand, although it is clear that the entry of both countries into the Schengen area will increase tourism and support their economies, there are fears that overtourism, so common throughout Europe, will soon become a issue. Ritesh Raj, COO and CPO of CuddlyNest, an accommodation booking platform, is among those who believe that “inclusion in Schengen could lead to overtourism in popular destinations in Romania and Bulgaria.”

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