Minister Angelkova: We expect more than 1.2 million tourists during the 2015/2016 winter season

11 December 2015

During the last winter season our country was visited by 1.2 million tourists, and we expect this winter to have an increase and to make this figure even higher. This is what Minister of Tourism Nikolina Angelkova said in an interview for Nova TV this morning.

The reason for her visit to the television was the opening of the 2015/16 winter season in Bansko, which will be attended by Minister Angelkova. The official ceremony will be held tomorrow (12 December) at 18.00 on the N. Vaptsarov square in the town. The celebration ceremony will be attended by the ski legends Marc Girardelli, a five-time World Cup Champion, Marcus Vasmayer, the double Olympic Champion, and the multiple Champion of Bulgaria and FIS, Peter Popangelov.

“The outlook for a strong winter season has been confirmed by the data provided by the Bulgarian airports”, said Nikolina Angelkova. According to the data presented by her, Sofia airport alone has over 80% increase in flight bookings and their total number reached 178. There is a considerable growth in one of our most important markets for winter tourism – the United Kingdom; flights from London have increased from 24 of 69. Nearly seven times more seasonal flights from Kiev have been requested and Copenhagen has been included as a new destination. Optimistic is also data from Plovdiv airport where they expect a greater number of flights and passengers from Israel (14 new flights), the Netherlands (13 new flights), Great Britain (5 new flights), as well as from Russia. The two seaside airports have also reported growth – planned scheduled and charter flights during the winter months show an increase of 25% of the flights to Varna Airport and an increase of over 40% of those to Burgas Airport.

“This shows that Bulgaria has become not only a recognizable tourist destination for winter tourism, but also a popular one”, said Minister Angelkova. This is confirmed by a study of the consulting company to the European Travel Commission, which ranks Bulgaria among the top 6 of the most popular European destinations for winter tourism.

According to the outlooks of the Ministry of Tourism for the 2015/2016 winter season, an increase in tourist numbers can be expected from near and adjacent markets such as Greece, Turkey, Macedonia and Serbia. Bulgaria will be attractive for tourists from the United Kingdom, for whom the country has traditionally been an advantageous ski destination. An increase in the tourist flow from Israel, Moldova, the Netherlands, Finland, Norway and Switzerland is also expected. The domestic market is also expected to achieve growth, continuing the trend of the last winter season, when all three major ski resorts registered an increase in overnight stays of Bulgarian citizens.


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