Tourism Minister: ‘Significant’ increase in foreign tourists at Bulgaria’s winter resorts

Bulgaria’s winter resorts have seen a significant increase in foreign tourists, caretaker Tourism Minister Stella Baltova said on February 11.

At Bulgaria’s major winter ski resorts Borovets and Bansko, the increase was 19 per cent in December 2016, Baltova said in a radio interview.

The number of tourists from Poland was up by 58 per cent, there were 46 per cent more Germans, British tourists had increased by 33 per cent, while the number of Greek tourists was up by 27 per cent and from Turkey, 15 per cent.

Baltova said that she expected a very good summer tourism season in Bulgaria in 2017.

“We expect about nine million tourists,” she said.

Baltova said that she saw her role in the caretaker government as persuading everyone that tourism should be a national cause, the largest contributor to GDP.

“Among my priorities is that quality service and care are provided, both by administration and in the private sector.”

Commenting on a global trend towards short-stay tourism, Baltova said: “We must be ready to meet such a tourist in the best way, as he will be staying in Bulgaria for a short time. We should encourage him to return.

“Such visitors are interested in another type of tourism. Not necessarily to come on holiday at the seaside or to ski – they want to see cultural and historical sites, opera, ballot. This is radically different from what we offer,” she said.

The concept for advertising Bulgaria as a tourist destination in 2017 should be ready in May, Baltova said. There would be a focus on cultural tourism, she said.

As for the tourism logo of Bulgaria, an issue that in recent years has led to serious disputes, Baltova said that in her view it would be best to develop the symbol based on the rose, that could be used by other industries, such as transport, food and related industries.

(Photo: Via the Facebook page of Bansko Blog)




The Sofia Globe staff

The Sofia Globe - the Sofia-based fully independent English-language news and features website, covering Bulgaria, the Balkans and the EU. Sign up to subscribe to's daily bulletin through the form on our homepage.