News & Analysis

Number of foreign tourists visiting Bulgaria tops nine million

Almost 9.3 million people visited Bulgaria in 2018, a 4.4 per cent increase on 2017. NSI, the country’s statistics institute, released the figure – an all-time record – on January 28.

“For the first time foreign tourist visits to Bulgaria have exceeded nine million, exceeding even the record levels of the last two years,” said Minister of Tourism Nikolina Angelkova.

Romanians were the most numerous visitors to Bulgaria’s cities, beaches and ski resorts, accounting for almost 15 per cent of all tourists, just under 1.4 million people. There were sharp increases in the number of visitors from Poland (up eight per cent to 425,000), Serbia (up seven per cent to 421,000, the UK (up 15.2 per cent to 390,000) and Ukraine (up 24.4 per cent to 379,000).

Tourism now accounts for more than five per cent of Bulgaria’s GDP.