Bulgaria welcomed more than 3.6 Million Tourists in the first Half of 2018
By Maria Thermann

Bulgaria welcomed more than 3.6 Million Tourists in the first Half of 2018

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Nikolina Angelkova, Bulgaria's Minister of Tourism, confirmed that over 3.6 million tourists visited the country in the first six months of this year. She said that the Ministry expected a growth of 5% for the period June to September.

Revenue derived from overnight stays rose by 6.5% in a year-on-year comparison with 2017. The total revenue was 200.2 million levs or 102.4 million euro in June alone, according to NSI, the National Statistical Institute of Blugaria. This was down mostly to expenditure by foreign visitors, who spent 6.4% more in June than in the same month in 2017, while revenue from domestic tourists rose by 7.2%, compared to the same month last year.

The largest growth in overnight stays was recorded by three-star hotels, which accounted for 24.9% of the total number of overnight stays by international visitors and 31.8% of the domestic market, a 9.5% increase on the previous year.

In June 2018 a total of 988,800 tourists stayed in holiday accommodation, a 6.7% rise compared to last year. The number of domestic tourists also went up by 6.9%, compared to 2017, while the number of international visitors rose by 6.5%.

One of the reasons Bulgaria is seeing an increase in tourism is the fact that Buglgaria is the cheapest country in Europe and has some amazing beaches to offer. Sunny Beach resort is one of Bulgaria's most popular destinations on the Black Sea coast. The resort has been named Europe's cheapest getaway four years in a row by the Post Office. Comparing a number of holiday essentials, such as a three-course meal for two with a bottle of wine, came to only �19.53 in Bulgaria's Sunny Beach, making the resort far cheaper than the Algarve, which came in second place after Sunny Beach.

The Bulgarian coastline spans some 378 kilometres of beautiful sandy beaches, one of them being Nessebar, one of the most charming resorts and a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Further inland, Bulgaria has a wealth of culture and historic towns and villages to offer, as well as stunning mountain scenery such as the Rila Mountain Range. The city of Plovdiv is well worth a visit. It was already a tourist attraction in ancient Roman times. The Romans left behind a well-preserved 1,800-year-old stadium that can be viewed from the main pedestrian street because it runs just below it. Glass panels protect the ancient amphitheatre which is today used for concerts and operas, not mortal combat. Plovdiv's Old Town is charming and picturesque with cobbled streets and a wealth of Renaissance-style buildings. Here visitors will find excellent restaurants, boutiques and art galleries. The city lies within an easy distance of the Rhodope Mountains, a popular destination for wildlife enthusiasts and hikers.

Plovdiv is Bulgaria's second largest city with a permanent population of around 340,000. The town is an important economic and cultural centre in Bulgaria and is one of the oldest cities in Europe. Plovidiv was selected as the Bulgarian host of the European Capital of Culture 2019, which should see tourism flourishing even more. The city occupies the banks of the Maritza River, and enjoys a favourable climate.

Property isn't cheap in the modern part of the city, but 50 kilomometres outside of Plovdiv, at the foot of beautiful Sredna Gora Mountain range, it is possible to find a newly renovated house with a garden in a village setting for just 35,500 euros. For investors in buy-to-let property Plovdiv still offers plenty of choice. Just 5 kilometres outside the city centre houses with views of the city and the Rhodope Mountain range cost just 186,000 euros and apartments start at around 85,000 euros.

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