Bulgarian Tourism
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Tourism in Bulgaria

Bulgaria is one of the Balkan states in south-eastern Europe. It is bounded by Romania to the north, the Black Sea lies to the east, Turkey and Greece to the south, North Macedonia to the southwest, and Serbia to the west. Tourism is a rapidly growing industry in Bulgaria as its beautiful architecture, mountains and beaches attract many tourists from around the world. Between 2015 and 2018, number of tourists from the UK to Bulgaria rose significantly from 250,038 to 424,384 with an increase of 69.7%.

There are currently ten UNESCO World Heritage sites. One of them is the Pirin National Park, which is located to the south of Sofia. Bansko is a town at the foot of the Pirin Mountains and is a popular ski resort. The tourism sector is steadily rising, and increasingly competes with French and Swiss ski resorts as it allows visitors to enjoy high quality ski holidays for lower costs. In February 2019, the Audi FIS Ski World Cup was held in Bansko, proving its growing popularity as a ski resort. Another UNESCO World Heritage site in Bulgaria is Rila Monastery, which is Bulgaria’s largest and most famous Eastern Orthodox (Orthodox Catholic) monastery. It was founded in the year 927 by a hermit, Saint Ivan of Rila. In 2017, the numbers of tourists and pilgrims the monastery received exceeded 1 million. When I visited the monastery during February, there was a group of Chinese tourists of around 40 people, which I was surprised to see. Bulgaria has 400 km of Black Sea coastline and its largest and liveliest resort is Sunny Beach. There is 8 km stretch of fine golden sand, and the amount of sunshine between May and October averages about 1700 hours. If you fly from London Stansted Airport to Sofia Airport during June 2019, it may be as cheap as £248 per person for 7 nights all inclusive. Bulgaria has benefited from the currency uncertainty which has been caused by Brexit and it has seen a significant rise in the number of holiday bookings from the British holidaymakers as more families are looking at Bulgaria as an alternative holiday destination for this summer. There is more information about this in this article from The Guardian.

Eri Kamada (D)