Bulgaria’s Tourism Ministry: 2022/23 winter season ‘going successfully’

Bulgaria’s 2022/2023 winter tourism season is developing successfully, the Tourism Ministry said on February 27.

The ministry said that between December 1 and February 17, close to 1.1 million tourists had been registered in the Unified Tourist Information System.

It said that at this stage, the overall growth in tourist figures was about 28 per cent, though it did not say compared with what period.

There was an increase in tourists mainly in large cities and spa resorts, the ministry said.

According to the ministry, for the December 1 to February 17 period, the largest number of registrations was of Bulgaria tourists, about 800 000, followed by Greeks, 43 000, Romanians, 38 000, Turks, more than 29 000, Israelis, 28 000, tourists from UK 28 000 and tourists from North Macedonia, 20 000.

The ministry said that an important factor this winter season was the return of tourists from Greece, who for a long time had not travelled extensively, as a result of travel restrictions during the pandemic.

It said that results in Bulgaria’s mountain resort of Bansko were “quite good”. More than 120 000 tourists had been recorded by the municipality between December 1 and February 17. It looked as if this winter season in Bansko would end with results above last year’s, the ministry said.

Bulgarians made up about 35 per cent of tourists in the municipality of Bansko. Of the remaining 65 per cent, foreigners, there were more than 22 000 Greeks, more than 14 000 Romanians, more than 9000 tourists from the UK and more than 9000 from Israel.

The municipality of Samokov, which includes the mountain resort of Borovets, had recorded close to 65 000 tourists between December 1 and February 17, while the municipalities of Smolyan and Chepelare – in which Pamporovo resort is located – recorded close to 58 000 tourists.

In Pamporovo and Borovets, most visitors were from elsewhere in Bulgaria, but there was also “interest” from Romania, Greece, Serbia, the UK and Ireland, among other countries, the ministry said.

It said that there was an increase in interest in spa tourism.

“According to the currently available data for the period December 1 2022 – February 17 2023, the municipalities of Velingrad, Razlog, Hisarya, Sandanski, Pavel Banya, Garmen and Sapareva Banya welcomed a total of 216 000 tourists, an overall increase of more than 40 000 compared to same period of last winter season,” the Tourism Ministry said.

Separately, the National Statistical Institute said on February 27 that in January 2023, the number of visits by non-residents to Bulgaria was 60 per cent higher than in January 2022.

(Photo: Lance Nelson of Bansko App)

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