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6.4% More Foreigners’ Visits to Bulgaria in December 2019

In December 2019, the number of arrivals of visitors from abroad to Bulgaria was 673.4 thousand or by 8.6% more in comparison with December 2018. An increase in the trips with all observed purposes was registered: ‘others’ (including as guest and passing transit) - by 9.9%, ‘professional’ - by 8.0% and ‘holiday and recreation’ - by 7.3%. Transit passes through the country were 28.8% (194.1 thousand) of all visits of foreigners to Bulgaria.

The share of visits of ЕU citizens was 55.4% of the total number of foreigners’ visits to Bulgaria in December 2019 or by 6.4% more in comparison with the same month of the previous year. An increase was registered in the visits of citizens from the United Kingdom - by 37.3%, Italy - by 13.9%, Austria - by 11.5%, Greece - by 5.7%, Romania - by 4.9%, and etc. At the same time decreased the visits from Czech Republic - by 14.4%, Slovakia - by 10.5%, Belgium - by 6.1%, Germany - by 2.1%, and etc. The visits of foreigners in the group ‘Other European countries’1 increased by 11.9%, as the highest increase was observed in the visits of citizens of Turkey - by 19.3%. In December 2019, the predominant share of the visits with other purposes was 46.9%, followed by trips with holiday and recreation purpose - 34.9%, and with professional purpose - 18.2%.

In December 2019 the most visits to Bulgaria were from: Romania - 143.5 thousand, Turkey - 112.6 thousand, Greece - 111.0 thousand, Serbia - 48.4 thousand, Republic of North Macedonia - 47.4 thousand, Germany - 22.9 thousand, the United Kingdom - 20.9 thousand, Ukraine - 18.9 thousand, Italy - 13.0 thousand, Israel - 11.1 thousand.


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Turkey, Greece and Germany are the Most Preferred Destinations for Bulgarians in December

In December 2019, the number of the trips of Bulgarian residents abroad was 529.3 thousand or by 10.6% above the registered in December 2018. In comparison with the same month of the previous year, an increase was observed in the total number of the trips of Bulgarians to: Serbia - by 28.6%, Romania - by 16.5%, Turkey - by 15.9%, Germany - by 12.9%, Republic of North Macedonia - by 8.2%, Greece - by 2.8%, and etc. At the same time decreased the trips to: France - by 6.3%, Sweden - by 4.3%, Slovenia - by 2.4%, and etc, the National Statistical Institute (NSI) reported.

In comparison with December 2018, an increase in the trips with all observed purposes was registered: ‘holiday and recreation’ - by 14.4%, ‘professional’ - by 12.6%, and ‘others’ - by 7.6%. The trips with other purposes (as a guest, education and visit the cultural and sport events) in December 2019 composed the greatest share of the total number of trips of Bulgarian residents abroad - 48.1%, followed by those with holiday and recreation purposes - 28.5%, and with professional purpose - 23.4%.

In December 2019 most trips of Bulgarian citizens were made to: Turkey - 130.1 thousand, Greece - 91.3 thousand, Germany - 46.6 thousand, Serbia - 46.4 thousand, Romania - 39.9 thousand, Republic of North Macedonia - 35.5 thousand, Italy - 18.1 thousand, Austria - 17.7 thousand, the United Kingdom - 12.1 thousand, Spain - 11.8 thousand


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Minister Nikolina Angelkova: Bulgarian Tourism is Becoming Increasingly More Competitive

“Bulgarian tourism is becoming increasingly more competitive because of its wide variety of high-quality services. Last year saw the bankruptcy of Britain's largest tour operator and other challenges, but the sector continued to make a sustainable contribution to the country's economy," Tourism Minister Nikolina Angelkova said at a working meeting in Brussels with Carles Mosso, Deputy Director-General at DG Competition of the European Commission, said the press centre of the Ministry of Tourism, cited by Focus News Agency.

"Europe continues to be a leading tourism destination in the world, but we need to constantly develop its potential," said Minister Angelkova.

The two discussed the role of the industry in the sustainable development of the European economy – tourism generates 10.3% of EU GDP and creates over 27 million jobs. The important role of new technologies and digitalisation for the tourism industry was also commented. "Very useful tourism applications have been created and they should help more tourists to discover new sites and unfamiliar places," said Minister Angelkova.

She explained in detail the Ministry's mechanism for promoting organised tourism through advertising, which was announced last week. The mechanism aims to maintain and expand Bulgaria's position as a sought-after destination by increasing the efficiency of marketing activities and boosting direct sales of travel packages. Target markets for the project are Russia, the United Kingdom, Germany, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia, and its budget is BGN 15 million with VAT. The results will be reported on the basis of overnight stays at the accommodation establishments included in the Single Tourism Information System, which the ministry has put in place.

Mr Mosso congratulated the minister on the established mechanism and stated his willingness to assist in the implementation of other such initiatives.


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Bulgaria and Greece to Strengthen their Relations and to Deepen Cooperation in the Field of Tourism

The government has approved a draft Joint Action Programme between Bulgaria’s Ministry of Tourism and Greece’ Ministry of Tourism for 2020-2022, said the government press office.

The document reflects the willingness of the countries to strengthen their friendly relations and to contribute to the further development of cooperation in the field of tourism.

The two countries will promote cooperation for the development of tourism with the greatest potential for attracting tourists, as well as in the fields of investment, staff qualification, the establishment and development of destination management organisations, the organisation of joint initiatives to mark the 140th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations, international organisations in the field of tourism, etc.

Greece is one of Bulgaria’s main tourism markets. For the period January - November 2019, Greece ranks second by the number of tourist arrivals in Bulgaria, registering an increase of 5.2% year-on-year. Data from the National Statistical Institute show that in 2018 Greece was second among Bulgaria’s inbound tourism markets.


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Increase in the International Tourism Revenues in Bulgaria

International tourism revenues in Bulgaria over the January-November 2019 period amount to EUR 3.6 billion, the Bulgarian National Bank has announced, BNR reported.

Even though it was a difficult year there is a minimal growth of 0.02 percent compared to the same period of the previous record-breaking year - 2018, the Ministry of Tourism comments. In November 2019 alone, revenues from foreign tourists exceed EUR 153 million, a 6.7 percent increase compared to the same month of 2018. November also saw an increase in tourist visits from abroad by 7.5 percent. 8,832,405 tourist visits from abroad have been registered in Bulgaria over January-November, 2019. 


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