Arab World Unrest Already Boosted Bulgarian Tourism by 10% - Expert

23.03.2011

The bookings for vocations in Bulgaria's Black Sea resorts have increased by 10% because of the unrest in the Middle East and North Africa.

These statistics were announced by the director of the Burgas Regional Tourism Chamber (BRTC) Ivan Ivanov, as cited by BTA, even though Ivanov did not announce how he came up with them.

Bulgaria's tourism sector now has the chance to cover from its financial and economic crisis losses as millions of tourists traditionally preferring North Africa can now take advantage of Bulgaria's tourism services.

Ivanov is convinced that the situation in the Middle East and the lower prices offered in Bulgaria will help the tourism sector recover.

Two days ago, echoing Ivanov's forecast, the chair of Black Sea capital Varna's Tourism Chamber, Martin Neshkov said Bulgaria's tourism will enjoy a summer growth as a result of the ongoing North African turmoil.

Ivanov said that in 2008 the number of Russian tourists in Bulgaria grew by 36% year-on-year, while the number of tourists from the four Nordic countries dropped by 47%.

In 2009, the tourism sector was fueled by "last-minute" bookings over the continuing financial and economic uncertainty, he noted.

In 2010, Bulgaria had 6% more tourists in terms of numbers but this did not correspond to an increase in revenue.

Ivanov believes that the tourism sector in Bulgaria is stabilizing, and that even though the 2008 number of UK tourists will not be restored, there are rising numbers of Russians, Israelis, Czechs, Finns, and Kazakhstan and Moldova tourists.

He did say he was concerned with the decreasing numbers of Irish, Slovak, Swedish, and Dutch clients on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast.

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