31.9% Growth of Tourists’ Numbers in March Compared to 2022 Reported by National Statistical Institute (NSI)

11 May 2023

Nearly 5% more tourist registrations were reported compared to the pre-pandemic year 2019.

According to official NSI data, 453 thousand tourist registrations in accommodation establishments were recorded in March 2023, with a growth of 31.9% compared to March 2022. The results are again above the pre-pandemic level, with a 4.7% increase compared to March 2019.

In March 2023, the highest number of registrations of Bulgarian tourists — 327 thousand and an increase of 31.2% compared to March 2022. Interest from abroad is also increasing, with 126 thousand foreign tourist registrations and 33.7% growth compared to March 2022.

Within the month of March 2023, the reported registrations of foreign tourists from our main markets [sic] as follows:

  • of British tourists — over 15 thousand, with an increase of 21.5% compared to March 2022;
  • of Israeli tourists — over 14 thousand and an increase of 61%;
  • of Romanian tourists — over 10 thousand and an increase of 55%;
  • of Turkish tourists — over 9,800 and an increase of 48%;
  • of Greek tourists — over 8,800 and an increase of 29%;
  • of German tourists — over 8 thousand and an increase of 73%.

The total number of overnight stays by Bulgarian and foreign tourists in March 2023 is over 1 million and an increase of 29% compared to March 2022, and the revenue from overnight stays is BGN 79.6 million, which is an increase of 53%.

Expectations for the summer season

For the upcoming 2023 summer season, the forecast is for at least 4.5 million tourist registrations and an improved summer season compared to summer 2022. It will bring in at least BGN 4.5 billion in revenue, experts at the Ministry of Tourism predict. Traditionally, most Bulgarians will make trips with a stay in accommodation — more than 2 million tourists, there are also good forecasts for tourists from the Romanian market — more than 600 thousand. The situation on the Polish and German markets is also developing very favourably. Strong interest from the UK (over 150 thousand tourists) and the Czech Republic is also expected.

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