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Bulgaria’s Capital Sofia Welcomed Over 900,000 buTourists Last Year

Over 900,000 tourists visited Bulgaria’s capital Sofia last year, marking about a 57 per cent increase compared to 2021 figures, the Mayor of Sofia, Yordanka Fandukova has said.

Last year’s numbers were approaching those before pre-pandemic, accounting for a significant and quick recovery noted after the pandemic, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

The majority of visitors who chose to visit Sofia last year came from Israel, Germany, Italy, Romania and Turkey, according to statements provided by Sofia municipality and Bulgaria’s Tourism Ministry.

Bulgaria’s Caretaker Tourism Minister, Ilin Dimitrov, has confirmed that the 68th session of the World Tourism Organisation’s Europe regional commission will be held in the Bulgarian capital 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 pointed out.

The Minister considered that cities recover faster than resorts after the pandemic due to good event programmes. Dimitrov said that the capital of Bulgaria is attracting visitors again, adding that the growth is comparable to that of Istanbul.

The statistical office revealed that the country’s revenue from tourist overnights increased to 74.9 million levs (38.3 million euros) in December last year, from 40.8 million levs registered in the same period in 2021.

Revenue from domestic tourists in December 2022 was 47.4 million levs. The statistical office noted that visitors from other countries contributed 27.5 million levs in December, while the total number of tourist overnights increased by 57.1 per cent, accounting for 968,028, in December.

Bulgaria’s National Statistical Institute showed that in December, the number of tourists who stayed in the country’s accommodation facilities surged by 62.6 per cent on the year, to a total of 472,607, while of them 122,841 were international visitors.

The spread of the Coronavirus and the preventive measures imposed to halt its further spread, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and inflation have negatively impacted the country’s travel and tourism sector, still last year, the country managed to welcome a large number of foreign tourists.

Last year, the Ministry of Tourism said it expected the summer season would finish with just over 80 per cent of the results registered in the summer of 2019, before the pandemic.

The Ministry noted that from June 1 until the beginning of August, the number of visitors to accommodation facilities surpassed 1.8 million.

The largest number of visitors were Bulgarians or over 990,000, followed by tourists from Romania (over 260,000), Poland (98,000), Germany (70,000), Czech Republic (56,000) and the United Kingdom (50,000).

In order to further help the tourism sector recover and welcome a larger number of visitors, the Tourism Minister, Ilin Dimitrov, said that emphasis was placed on the upcoming visits to the country of more than 300 influencers from Turkey, Germany, Romania ad Poland who will be eligible to get to know the tourist routes in Sofia.

Source : Schengenvisa