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Strong Summer to Follow Exceptional Winter in Bulgaria

Strong Summer to Follow Exceptional Winter in Bulgaria

Bulgaria expects a 5% increase in the number of foreign tourists this summer compared to last year, according to a statement made by the country’s tourism ministry.
Last summer saw 5.3 million tourists visit Bulgaria, but as the country becomes more recognised as a go-to European destination, officials hope to see that figure rise to around 5.6 million. The statement pinned its hope on visitors from Germany, Romania, Turkey, Russia, the UK, Israel, Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary. The optimistic forecast follows a successful 2017/18 winter season.
 
Bulgaria’s tourism minister Nikolina Angelkova revealed that the country welcomed the highest number of tourists since it joined the European Union in 2007!  Foreign arrivals were up 12% in the period December 2017 to March 2018, compared to the same time last year. Tourist numbers peaked at 1.6 million as foreigners arrived in droves to enjoy the spectacular skiing  Bulgaria has to offer. Between December 2017 and February 2018, the country’s revenue from overseas tourists stood at almost 796 million leva (approximately €407 million). This marks an increase of more than 11% compared with the previous winter.
 
Commenting on the statistics, Angelkova said:“We had a very successful winter season, with a record number of foreign visitors since Bulgaria’s accession to the European Union. “The results prove the sustainable development of the sector and the establishment of our country as a competitive all-year-round destination.” 
 
Bulgaria is most popular with Greek tourists, with over 318,000 arriving throughout the 2017/18 winter season, a 9.4% growth compared to the previous season. Greece was followed by Romania, with Bulgaria registering 223,000 arrivals, a 29.9% annual growth. Turkey swooped into third position, with over 213,000 holidaymakers making the short journey to Bulgaria over winter, marking a 14.4% increase.
 
With regards to Western European tourists, the UK sent around 63,000 holidaymakers, a 10.9% increase on last year. Meanwhile, the number of German arrivals rose by 11.9%, with 57,000 arriving in Bulgaria’s winter paradise in 2017/18. Relatively untouched by tourists and expats compared to the likes of the Algarve and the Costa del Sol, Bulgaria is an up-and-coming destination for retirees and property investors. With a mild climate, a burgeoning English-speaking expat community and a very low cost of living, Bulgaria is expected to boom in the next few years.
 
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