More than six million foreign tourists visited Bulgaria in January to August 2016, while the number of foreign visitors to the country between April and August was an “absolute record”, Tourism Minister Nikolina Angelkova said on September 30.
In all, 6 054 539 foreign tourists visited Bulgaria in the first eight months of 2016, compared with a figure of 3 716 193 from January to August 2006. This represented an increase of more than 60 per cent.
“Although there are no official figures for September, we can say that this was the most successful summer season,” Angelkova said in a television interview. This meant the most successful summer tourism season since 1992, she said.
The number of foreign tourists who came to Bulgaria from April to August 2016, more than 5.1 million, was an absolute record, she said.
This year had seen large increases in the number of tourists who came to Bulgaria from Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia.
“Now it is important to achieve sustainability of these results. In all the conversations we have with major tour operators, they tell us that they are negotiating large numbers for next season, so the industry must take the necessary measures such as investment in infrastructure and personnel,” Angelkova said.
There was increased interest in cultural tourism. The most-visited places in Bulgaria are Rila Monastery, Veliko Turnovo, the Plovdiv Old Town, and the Etura museum complex near Gabrovo, she said.
(Photo of Rila Monastery: Raggatt2000)