Covid-19: Holiday visits to Bulgaria fell 60% in March 2020 – statistics institute

The number of arrivals of visitors from abroad to Bulgaria in March 2020 was 43.7 per cent lower than in March 2019, with a 60.7 per cent drop in holiday visits, the National Statistical Institute (NSI) said on April 30.

Bulgaria declared a State of Emergency on March 13 as a move to contain the spread of Covid-19.

Visits for business reasons dropped by 45.9 per cent and “other” reasons – including transit – dropped by 26.6 per cent.

Transiting the country accounted for 34.7 per cent of visits to Bulgaria in March 2020, the NSI said.

Visits by EU citizens made up 49.7 per cent of the total number of visits by foreigners in March, 42 per cent down on March 2020.

Visits from Germany dropped by 55.8 per cent, from France 54.6 per cent, the UK 45.7 per cent, from Greece 36.2 per cent and Romania 34.6 per cent.

Among foreigners in the group “other European countries” the largest decrease was in visits by citizens of the Republic of North Macedonia, by 55.8 per cent.

Holiday trips made up 27.1 per cent of the visits to Bulgaria in March 2020.

Trips abroad by residents of Bulgaria dropped by 51.8 per cent compared with March 2019, the NSI said.

The largest drop was in trips to Italy, by 96.3 per cent. This was followed by a 79.9 per cent drop in trips to Spain, 55.9 per cent drop in trips to Serbia, 55.4 per cent to Germany, 53.1 per cent in trips to the UK, 53 per cent in trips to Greece and 52 per cent drop in trips to North Macedonia.

(Photo, of empty ski slopes in Bulgaria’s mountain resort of Bansko on March 16 2020: Lance Nelson of

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The Sofia Globe staff

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