Bulgaria Sees More Foreign Tourists Already, High Hopes for Summer
The number of foreign tourists who visited Bulgaria in the first two months of 2011 grew by 6%, year-on-year, a senior official announced at the opening of the Cultural Tourism Expo in Veliko Tarnovo.
According to Ivo Marinov, Deputy Minister of Economy, who is in charge of tourism, in January-February, Bulgaria saw more tourists from Greece, Romania, Serbia, Turkey, Macedonia, the UK and Russia. The visas issued to Russian tourists in January were 50% more than in the same month of last year.
Marinov also announced that Bulgaria's revenues from foreign tourists in the first two months of 2011 amounted to EUR 109 M, a 5% increase year-on-year.
He, together with Deputy Culture Minister Todor Chobanov, opened the 8th annual Cultural Tourism Fair in Bulgaria's medieval capital Veliko Tarnovo, featuring 80 participants including a number of Bulgarian towns and cities and foreign destinations.
The organizers revealed data showing that in the first quarter of 2011, a total of 32 683 tourists, both Bulgarian and foreign, have visited the cultural landmarks of the country compared with 28 245 in the first quarter of 2010.
The participants in the Veliko Tarnovo cultural tourism expo expressed optimism about the prospects of Bulgaria's tourism in 2011.
According to Blagoy Radin, head of the Bulgarian Association of Hotel and Restaurant Owners, 10%-15% more foreign tourists will visit the country over the summer than during the 2010 summer season.
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