Bulgarians Plan to Travel more in 2019
Bulgarians plan to travel more in 2019, which is an increase of 8% compared to 2018. According to this year's Masterindex poll, 66% of respondents plan to travel outside the country.
It also reveals the reasons why Bulgarian cardholders travel the most - 50% of them travel for holidays, 15% for work, and 10% of them for family or friends visits - a trend that continues from the past year. Most often Bulgarians use payment cards for shopping (60%) and accommodation (59%).
Many of the payments made with a card abroad are for gifts to family and friends (48%) and visits to dining establishments (46%). For entertainment, cultural sights, clubs and more. Bulgarians spend 27% of their budget on card payments.
Main reasons for traveling
According to data from the National Statistical Institute (NSI), Bulgarians made 6 698 526 trips abroad in 2018. The most preferred destination is Greece (1 402 560 trips), followed by Romania (523 058) and Germany (422 268). Greece is the most preferred destination not only for holidays but also for work. It is followed by Romania, Turkey, Northern Macedonia and Serbia for the same purposes.
Preferred methods of payment abroad
Bulgarians do not rely heavily on cash payments when traveling abroad, the survey shows. Cash is the preferred payment method among only 33% of the population, and in Macedonia and Serbia the percentage is almost double - 57% and 60% respectively. When it comes to cash or card payment preferences, 80% of respondents believe that the main advantage of card payment is convenience, and 37% prefer not to take cash when traveling. 36% of Bulgarians who use both methods of payment when traveling, prefer not to take cash.
They identify several major benefits of paying with cards abroad - more convenient to use (79%), valid worldwide (43%) and safer (49%). Consumers who rely mainly on card payments feel comfortable when they have extra cash (31%) or think that using cards can monitor their costs more effectively (30%).
Card payment security
65% of those surveyed trust the transactions made with a card abroad, only 9% think the opposite and 29% are unsure of their answer. Compared to Serbia and Macedonia, where the trust in card payments is 50% and 60%, respectively, Bulgarians have once again shown high confidence in this type of payment method.
"Bulgarians are among the most active users of innovative paying methods across Central and Eastern Europe. The results of this year's larger-scale survey show that they are becoming more confident in determining their travel costs, which is a very positive trend that we have seen in recent years. “, commented Vanya Manova, Mastercard Regional Manager for Bulgaria, Northern Macedonia, Kosovo and Albania.
Mastercard's annual report sheds light on Bulgarians' perceptions of using payment cards abroad. The survey was conducted among 1000 Bulgarian citizens in 28 cities. Conclusions have been made on issues that relate to people's preferences for the type of payment cards, their attitude to card payments abroad, and the level of confidence in card payment security.
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