December 2018 maintained the trend of every single month of the year seeing higher numbers of arrivals of visitors to Bulgaria compared with the same month of the previous year, going by figures released on January 28 by the National Statistical Institute (NSI).
The figures compiled by the NSI cover different categories of arrivals of visitors from abroad – for holidays, business, and “other”, which covers guests and people transiting through the country to another destination.
According to the NSI, the number of arrivals of visitors from abroad to Bulgaria was four per cent higher than in December 2017. Arrivals of people coming to Bulgaria on holiday were up by close to five per cent.
In December 2018, citizens of other EU countries made up 56.6 per cent of the total number of visits by foreigners to Bulgaria.
Increases were registered in the visits of citizens from the United Kingdom (46.3 per cent), Germany (14 per cent), Italy (11.5 per cent), Romania (8.5 per cent), Poland (7.2 per cent).
At the same time, there were decreases in visits from the Czech Republic (by 12.6 per cent), Austria (by 4.7 per cent), Greece (by three per cent), and Belgium (by 2.9 per cent).
Visits by foreigners from other European countries that are not EU members increased by 1.6 per cent in December 2018, with the highest increase in visits by citizens of Serbia, by 6.4 per cent.
In all, 35.4 per cent of visits to Bulgaria by people from abroad in December 2018 were for holidays, the NSI said.
These are the figures for increases per month in 2018, each compared with the same month of 2017, with the percentage of the visits that were for holidays in brackets: January 19.7 per cent (43.4 per cent), February 4.9 per cent (42.2 per cent), March 10.5 per cent (42.2 per cent), April 10.8 per cent (39.4 per cent), May 8.4 per cent (39 per cent), June seven per cent (50.9 per cent), July 6.5 per cent (57.2 per cent), August 5.4 per cent (57.2 per cent), September 4.2 per cent (46.6 per cent), October 3.8 per cent (34.9 per cent), November 3.4 per cent (31.9 per cent), December four per cent (35.4 per cent).
(Photo of Rila Monastery: Raggatt2000)