Tourism Ministry: Bulgaria’s membership of Schengen will increase foreign tourists’ interest in country

Bulgaria’s Schengen membership will increase foreign tourists’ interest in the country, the Tourism Ministry said on January 17 after minister Zaritsa Dinkova held an online meeting with Bulgaria’s tourism attachés in Germany, Poland and Türkiye.

Bulgaria’s airports and seaports are to join the Schengen zone on March 31 2024, while the date of inclusion of the country’s land borders is to be negotiated.

Tihomir Patarinski, Bulgaria’s tourism attaché in Germany, said that the inclusion of the airports and seaports would have a direct positive effect on 80 per cent of the passenger flow from Germany to Bulgaria, which depends to a large extent on air travel.

Patarinski said that the abolition of border control and increased security measures have a long-term image effect on the perception of Bulgaria as a European tourist destination.

Along with the German market, the Polish one also offers exceptional opportunities for development, after Bulgaria’s entry into the Schengen area, the statement said.

Nikolai Kostov, Bulgaria’s tourism attaché in Warsaw, said: “The expectation is that about 300 000 Polish citizens will feel the positive change from our entry into Schengen during the upcoming summer season.

“This will contribute to increasing the trust in Bulgaria as a tourist destination. Our country is the closest destination to Poland by air, where Polish citizens travel for their summer holiday,” Kostov said.

He said that the feedback in Poland from the easing of travel to and from Bulgaria was extremely positive.

After Bulgaria’s admission to Schengen, it is expected that foreign tourists holding Schengen visas, visiting Türkiye, for whom there will be no other visa restrictions, will also take advantage of the opportunity to visit Bulgaria, Teodora Taskova, Bulgaria’s tourism attaché in Türkiye said.

“More than 80 000 Turkish citizens who have been issued Schengen visas will have the right to visit Bulgaria for tourism,” Taskova said.

To this number can be added theholders of Schengen visas arriving in Türkiye from countries outside the EU, who, if they wish, can take advantage of the opportunity to visit Bulgaria as part of joint tourist packages, given the proximity of Türkiye to Bulgaria, she said.

(Photo: Sofia Airport)

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