Foreign tourist arrivals in Bulgaria up 24% year on year in July

SOFIA (Bulgaria), Aug 30 (SeeNews) – The number of foreign visitors to Bulgaria increased by 24% year-on-year in July, reaching 1.53 million, of which 35% were transit trips, the statistical office said. .

At 816,400, citizens of other EU member states accounted for 53% of total outbound visits in July, the National Statistics Institute (INS) said in a monthly report on Monday.

Romania was Bulgaria’s largest grocery market in July, accounting for 26% of the total, followed by Turkey and Germany.

In July, holiday travel and business travel accounted for 49% and 6.9% respectively of all international visitor arrivals, with increases recorded in all categories of visits tracked.

During the January-June period, the number of foreign visitors from Russia in tourist or private accommodation amounted to 47,590, compared to 17,784 during the same period of 2021 and 175,649 in the first half of 2019 , the Department of Tourism said in response to a SeeNews inquiry earlier this month. .

The forecast for the number of Russian tourists for the 2022 summer season is generally unfavorable, given that flights from Russia to Varna and Burgas have been canceled, the ministry noted.

Bulgaria halted flights from Russia under an EU-wide ban implemented as part of sanctions in response to Russia’s war in Ukraine.

EU foreign ministers will this week discuss a proposal made by a number of member states, including the Baltics and Finland, for an EU-wide suspension of tourist visas for Russian citizens.