By 2033, travel and tourism is expected to grow so much in Bulgaria that ten per cent of the country’s economy will be supported by this industry, the new 2023 Economic Impact Research (EIR) report by the World Travel & Tourism’s Council (WTTC) forecasts.
The research also predicts that the travel and tourism industry will reach over 75 per cent of 2019’s peak in 2023.
The WTTC President and CEO, Julia Simpson, said that Bulgaria’s travel and tourism industry has proven an impressive resilience in improving the difficulties that arose during the COVID-19 pandemic, regardless of continuous regional clashes.
“The country’s commitment to creating a safe and welcoming environment has not only supported its own recovery but also contributed to the sector in the region overall,” Simpson stated.
Travel & Tourism Industry to Add BGN 11.4BN to the Economy of Bulgaria in 2023
This year, the industry is projected to expand by more than 14 per cent in Bulgaria while contributing BGN 11.4BN to the country’s economy, bringing it closer to the BN 11.8BN pre-pandemic peak reached in 2019.
The GDP contribution of the travel and tourism industry increased by 25 per cent last year, reaching BGN 10 BN or 6.5 per cent of the Bulgarian economy, growing closer to the 2019 peak of 9.9 per cent of the economy.
Number of Workplaces to Increase by 17k in Bulgaria in 2023
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many workplaces in Bulgaria have been lost. In 2022, the travel and tourism industry created approximately 18,000 new workplaces compared to the previous year, thus reaching 270,000 jobs or one in 13 across Bulgaria.
According to the global tourism industry’s report now a third of the workplaces lost due to COVID-19 have been restored.
WTTC predicts that this year the travel and tourism industry will establish 17,500 workplaces, reaching over 287,000 in total, employing one in every 12 workers in Bulgaria.
For the next ten years, it is projected that this industry will support 364,000 workplaces all over the country.
31% Increase in International Travellers to Bulgaria
Foreign visitors returned to Bulgaria last year with their expenses increasing 31 per cent yearly to roughly BGN 6.5BN.
Meanwhile, domestic visitor spending increased by 21 per cent in 2022 to reach BGN 1.3BN, just five per cent below the pre-pandemic high of BGN 1.4BN, and it is expected to be almost completely recovered by 2023.
The WTTC President said that coastal locations in Bulgaria, including Sunny Beach, have seen a rise in popularity, drawing more tourists looking for new places to visit. The country’s majestic mountains, which provide good chances for skiing and other winter activities, are another example of how beautiful the nature of Bulgaria is.
Just earlier this month, it was reported that Bulgaria will continue to pay for the accommodation of Ukrainians until the end of September 2023. All individuals who have been staying in Bulgaria beyond November 16, 2022, will benefit €7.67 per person as a daily accommodation.