Tourism in Bulgaria: Wikis

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Bulgaria, a country with a historical and cultural heritage, and attractive natural landscapes, is one of the most visited tourist destinations in Southeast Europe. Tourism, as an industry, has been an important source of economic growth. In 2008 Bulgaria was visited by 5.8 million tourists, measured as outlined by the World Tourism Organization. Tourists from three countries - Greece, Romania and Germany - account for 40% of visitors.[1] The country has historical cities and towns, summer beaches, and mountain ski resorts. New types of tourism, including cultural, architectural and historic tours, eco-tourism, and adventure tours, are expanding the range of visitor experiences.

Arbanasi is one of the main destinations for rural tourism
Sveti Vlas on the Black Sea coast with its marina

Contents

Foreign arrivals by country

Number Country Number of visitors
1 Romania 996 716
2 Greece 843 547
3 Germany 580 381
4 UK 363 671
5 Russia 291 183
6 Macedonia 216 604
7 Turkey 210 079
8 Serbia 188 988
9 Poland 156 939
10 Czech Republic 155 014
11 Slovakia 133 338
12 France 121 996
13 Ukraine 118 566
14 Denmark 115 038
15 Sweden 109 094
16 Israel 105 402
17 Italy 100 996
18 Norway 85 468
19 Austria 79 148
20 Finland 76 437
21 Hungary 76 284
22 The Netherlands 75 817
23 USA 69 887
24 Ireland 66 841
25 Belgium 51 235
26 Spain 39 888
27 Moldova 25 405
28 Belarus 25 374
29 Switzerland 256 210
30 Cyprus 23 232
31 Slovenia 17 880
32 Croatia 17 196
33 Australia 13 537
34 Canada 13 587
35 The Philippines 11 645
36 Portugal 11 263
37 Estonia 10 922
38 Lithuania 10 767
39 Malta 10 720
40 Japan 9 601
41 Iran 9 063
42 Latvia 8 531
43 Republic of Korea 7 967
44 Syria 7 504
45 Iceland 6 609
46 Albania 6 199
47 China 6 092
48 Luxembourg 5 133
49 Georgia 4 983
50 Kazakhstan 4 518

Traditional tourism

Winter tourist centres, such as Borovetz, Bansko, Pamporovo and Vitosha are picturesque and popular ski resorts. The Bulgarian summer resorts along the Black Sea coast, include destinations, such as the summer resorts: Sozopol, Nessebur, Golden Sands, Sunny Beach, Sveti Vlas, Albena and St. St. Constantine & Helena. Some guests, such as the Germans, Russians or Scandinavians favour the summer beach resorts, while winter tourism, and the ski resorts, are the favorites of the British.

Emerging forms of tourism

Tourist activities, such as "ethno-tourism" and "architectural-cultural" tourism, are gaining ground, catering to specialized tastes. These are new types of tours, which involve interaction with and living amongst the local people, in mountain villages.

For the more adventurous, active recreation, involving mountain hiking and bike tourism, provides a close connection with nature. Climbers scale the granite mountains of Rila, Pirin and the Balkan. Hikers enjoy the mountains of Vitosha and the Rhodopes. Mountain biking, and bicycle racing are also recreations, and Bulgaria is one of only six countries to annually host the official 1,200 km Randonnees - ultra-marathon bicycle rides patterned after Paris-Brest-Paris.

Cultural and historical tourism

Situated at the crossroads of the East and West, Bulgaria has been home to many civilizations - Thracians, Romans, Byzantines, Slavs, Proto-Bulgarians, and Ottomans. Although Bulgaria is rich in historical artifacts, many of the museums and monasteries still need to be properly advertised and maintained, and some of the most interesting heritage sites may not be easily accessible, due to poor infrastructure. Yet, some visitors regard such "underdevelopment" as desirable - those who prefer to experience history first-hand rather than look at artefacts behind glass.

Destinations

  • Most picturesque Bulgarian villages (per National Geographic, January 2005)

External links

References

  1. ^ Statistics from the Bulgarian Tourism Agency

http://www.tourism.government.bg/bg/stat.php?menuid=3&id=3

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