With the start of the school year in mid-September ending the summer holiday season for all except those taking advantage of late-season discounts, provisional projections of numbers were coming in suggesting that Bulgaria had enjoyed a stronger summer tourist season.
Projections are that the number of tourists from the very beginning of the season to its very latest point, when the last of the summer clothes are packed away at the end of October, would add up to 1.3 million people.
Continuing the trend of recent years, the largest number of foreign tourists were Russians, with an increase of 30 to 35 per cent year-on-year being expected, local media reports said.
The number of German tourists had increased, to about 500 000. This number is the same as the estimated number of Bulgarians whose chose to take their summer holidays outside Bulgaria, mainly in Greece and Turkey.
Already by the end of August, there was optimism about the final figures, with Bulgarian National Radio reporting expectations of a 4.5 per cent year-on-year increase, and with this optimism further brightened by long-range forecasts suggesting relatively good weather in September, October and November.
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(Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)