Bulgaria Set to Record 8-Million Tourist Mark
As many as 8 million tourists will have officially visited Bulgaria at the end of January, counting from February, outgoing Tourism Minister Nikolina Angelkova has said.
Angelkova has told the Bulgarian National Television every month of 2016 was "unprecented" in the number of arrivals to the country.
As many as 5.5 million foreign tourists were in Bulgaria sometime during the four most active months of the holiday season last year, she has added.
The figure "8 million" confirms previous projections that more people have visited Bulgaria over the past twelve months than the size of its population, which is around 7.1 million according to the latest statistics.
As many as 400 000 foreign nationals have spent the Christmas and New Year holidays in Bulgaria, Angelkova has added, citing data that foresees a rise in the number of winter tourists by 5-7%.
Half as many Bulgarians spent the holidays in a winter resort, according to her estimates.
Angelkova on Tuesday is heading to Russia to discuss packages offered to Russian tourists by local tour operators.
Authorities in Sofia have been fearing the EU-Russia spat and the Ukraine crisis could result in a long-term decrease in the numebr of tourists to Bulgaria coming from one of the markets considered crucial for the southeastern European nation.
Bulgaria, on the other hand, is thought to have benefited from the tense security environment in countries such as Turkey and Tunisia, with some tourists having chosen it to avoid potential risks.
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