The number of foreign tourists visiting Sofia has increased by 82 per cent in the past 10 years, mayor Yordanka Fandukova said on April 23 at the sixth annual meeting of the National Tourism Board.
Fandukova said that Sofia was steadily developing as a tourist destination with a clear vision.
“Sofia is not only the administrative centre of Bulgaria, Sofia is a young capital, but also an ancient city with a thousand-year history. In its history, it ranks alongside the ancient European capitals of Rome and Athens, tourists see it,” Fandukova said.
She said that Sofia has huge potential to develop as a destination for congress tourism, as well as for weekend tourism, which is also helped by low-cost flights from many European capitals.
The largest numbers of tourists visiting Sofia come from Germany, the United Kingdom, Israel and France, Fandukova said.
Citing official figures, she said that last year, for the first time the number of tourists visiting Sofia exceeded the number of residents of the city. This was the result of very good flights, accessible accommodation, good cuisine, an interesting cultural programme, among other factors, Fandukova said.
Tourism Minister Nikolina Angekova said that revenue from foreign tourism in the first two months of 2019 was 425 million, about 4.8 per cent higher than in the first two months of 2018.
Revenue from foreign tourism had risen by 34 per cent in the past three years, Angelkova said.