The latest data from the Bulgarian National Institute of Statistics (NSI) have revealed that Bulgarian and foreign tourists spent a total of 2.4 million overnight stays in tourist accommodations in the country during the period June-July 2023.
Based on these figures, the country has experienced an increase of four per cent compared to the same period in 2019, most of which was urged by Bulgarian tourists.
However, the total number of overnight stays by Bulgarian and foreign tourists remains eight per cent below pre-pandemic levels.
The data further show that Bulgarian tourist registrations exceeded 1.1 million during June-July 2023, marking an increase of four per cent compared to last year. This also reflects an increase of 28.6 per cent compared to 2019.
On the other hand, NSI noted that foreign tourist registrations approached 1.3 million for the period June-July 2023, showing an increase of 20 per cent compared to the same period of 2022.
The same source emphasised that the restoration of tourist flow from abroad stands at 88 per cent for June-July 2023, implying that the number of tourists from abroad is over 12 per cent below pre-pandemic levels.
According to NSI data, the following markets registered the most tourists in Bulgaria during the period of June-July 2023:
- Romania – 348,000
- Poland – 144,000
- Germany – 98,000
- Czech Republic – 75,000
- United Kingdom – 68,000
- Israel – 54,000
The reported growth for the period June-July 2023 compared to the same period of 2022, according to official data of NSI, is Bulgaria nearly four per cent, Romania nearly ten per cent, Poland – nearly 23 per cent growth, Germany nearly eight per cent growth, Czech Republic nearly 13 per cent growth, Great Britain nearly eight per cent growth.
As NSI explains, when comparing these figures with those recorded in 2019, tourist flow from Romania and the Czech Republic have already exceeded the levels before the pandemic. The Polish market has also almost fully recovered to its pre-pandemic level. While there is progress in the recovery of the German and UK markets compared to last summer, the results still need to catch up to those of 2019.
A report released in July 2023 by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) predicted that by 2033, Bulgaria’s travel and tourism sector will experience significant growth, contributing ten per cent to the country’s economy.
The research also forecasts that Bulgaria’s travel and tourism industry will rebound significantly, reaching over 75 per cent of the peak levels observed in 2019 by 2023.