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Bulgaria’s Travel, Tourism Sector to Grow 14% in 2023

Bulgaria’s travel and tourism sector is forecast to grow more than 14% this year to 11.4 billion levs ($6.45 billion/5.8 billion euro), or more than two-thirds of the 14.8 billion levs recorded in 2019 prior to the coronavirus pandemic, the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) said.

The sector is expected to contribute 19.1 billion levs, or 10% of Bulgaria’s real economy by 2033, WTTC, a body representing the global travel and tourism private sector, said in its 2023 Economic Impact Research (EIR) report presented on Tuesday.

Last year, Bulgaria’s travel and tourism sector contributed 6.5% of the country’s real economy after growing by a quarter to reach 10 billion levs. By comparison, in 2019 the sector’s contribution to that year’s gross domestic product (GDP) amounted to 9.9%, the WTTC added.

Over the next decade, there will be 364,000 jobs linked to travel and tourism in Bulgaria. This year alone, 17,500 new jobs are expected to be created, bringing the total jobs in the sector to more than 287,000.

In 2022, with 18,000 more jobs created compared to 2021, Bulgaria’s travel and tourism sector accounted for one in 13 jobs in the country. The sector has managed to regain a third of the jobs lost during the pandemic, according to the annual research report.

“Bulgaria’s Travel & Tourism sector has shown remarkable resilience in recovering from the pandemic’s challenges, despite ongoing regional conflicts,” WTTC president and CEO Julia Simpson said.

Spending by domestic visitors almost fully recovered in 2022, growing by an annual 21% to 1.3 billion levs, close to the pre-pandemic high of 1.4 billion levs. Over the same period, spending by foreign visitors jumped 31% on the year to reach some 6.5 billion levs, the WTTC report showed.

The research was carried out in partnership with Oxford Economics and with data sourced both nationally and through the UNWTO and Oxford Economics.

Source : Seenews