Tourism numbers in Bulgaria’s capital city Sofia are recovering quickly after the pandemic, according to statements by Sofia municipality and the country’s Tourism Ministry.
Sofia municipality quoted mayor Yordanka Fandukova as saying that in 2022, Sofia was visited by more than 900 000 tourists, about 57 per cent more than in 2021, and numbers were approaching those before the Covid-19 pandemic.
The largest numbers of visitors to Sofia came from Israel, Italy, Germany, Romania and Turkey.
Fandukova said that from April 19 to 22, an international conference of the City Destination Alliance is to be held in Sofia.
More than 200 delegates representing more than 100 cities are expected to attend the conference.
Sofia has been a member of the organisation since September 2021.
Sofia municipality will also develop routes along the paths of memory related to the 80th anniversary of the 1943 prevention of the deportation of the Bulgarian Jews to the death camps of the Holocaust, the municipality said.
The route will include Sofia Synagogue, the Jewish community headquarters and the house where Dimitar Peshev, one of those who played a key role in the prevention of the deportation, lived.
Caretaker Tourism Minister Ilin Dimitrov said that the 68th session of the World Tourism Organisation’s Europe regional commission would be held in Sofia at the end of May.
“We are expecting more than 30 ministers of tourism, this is a unique chance to show not only Sofia, but also Bulgaria in the best light, in order to attract even more tourists,” Dimitrov said.
He said that cities recover much faster than resorts after the pandemic years because of good event programmes.
“Sofia is attracting tourists again and the growth is comparable to that of Istanbul,” Dimitrov said.
Fandukova and Dimitrov discussed opportunities for advertising and better transport connectivity of the capital for more visits by foreign tourists.
Emphasis was placed on the upcoming visit to Bulgaria of over 300 influencers from Germany, Turkey, Romania and Poland, who will have the opportunity to get to know the tourist routes in the capital, the Tourism Ministry said.
(Photo of Sofia Synagogue: Nikolai Karaneschev)
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