Foreign tourists in Bulgaria this summer are expected to be 50% more than in the same period last year, said Rumen Draganov, director of the Institute for Analysis and Utilization of Tourism (IAAT). “We have not yet reached the record levels of 2019, when July and August each had more than 2 million foreign tourists. This means that only in 2024 will Bulgaria be able to return to the levels of previous summers across the country.” , Draganov told VTA.
The number of Bulgarians visiting the country’s seaside resorts is expected to be 27% higher. Expected tourism receipts will be 7 to 11% higher than the corresponding period last year, mainly due to higher prices. In 2019, the total number of foreign tourists was 12.5 million, while this year the number will reach 10 million.
One of the main reasons for these positive trends is the restart of charter programs and many regular routes in the Black Sea that become more frequent. An increase in foreign visits is also reported in hotels that offer spa and wellness services. More Bulgarians are traveling to the country and especially to the Black Sea coast, echoing a trend of the past two years, Draganov said.
According to Draganov, forecasts of 25 to 30% price hikes in the cost of holidays on the Black Sea coast this summer due to high energy prices have not come true. Vacations today are 7 to 11% more expensive. “If last summer you were fine with 100 leva in your wallet, this year you will need 111 leva,” the director of IAAT commented.
Although relatively new to the travel industry, food vouchers are becoming more common as an accepted method of payment, especially in hotels with spa and wellness services.