Abstract: The nature of developing tourism as a business depends largely on the objectives pursued and on the demand of the tourists it attracts as customers. To determine the nature of the modern tourist business in Bulgaria, this article focuses on the quality and characteristics of its realisation as an industry. The aim is to determine whether best examples or negative practice prevails in the tourism business in this country. The presented formulation implies a comparative analysis of tourism in Austria and Bulgaria, based on criteria that reveal its core characteristics from the perspective of market competition and the principles of sustainable development. Parallels are sought between the impact of economic reforms in Bulgaria in the period of transition and the present tourism business in the country.