Number of foreign tourists in Bulgaria up 85% m/m in June.

By bne IntelliNews July 30, 2012
The number of foreign tourists visiting Bulgaria turned to growth in June after falling y/y in the past two months, the statistics office data showed. Foreign tourist arrivals went up by 5.5% y/y in June, which is the highest annual growth reported since the start of the year. Foreign tourist visits also surged 85% in monthly terms, in line with the seasonal pattern and the start of the active tourist season. In June, both business and vacation trips stayed above their year-ago levels (up by 8% y/y and 7.4% y/y, respectively). Visits with other purposes (including visiting relatives, transit arrives, etc.) inched up 0.8% y/y. Tourists from the EU visiting Bulgaria, which constituted 57% of all tourists during the month, were by 3.6% y/y lower in June mainly due to contraction of foreign visits from Greece and Great Britain. The number of tourists from other European countries rose by 24.7% y/y in June. Russia was with the highest contribution to the positive result. The number of Bulgarians travelling abroad added 3.7% m/m and 9.9% y/y to 361,250 in June. Some 35% were on vacation travels and some 25% - on business trips. This year's tourism revenues are expected to exceed last year's and to reach BGN 3bn, as compared to around BGN 2.8bn in 2011, according to government's estimates. Some 5-8% more foreign tourists are expected by year-end, mainly due to higher number of tourists from Russia and Ukraine (up by 15-20%). Although the terrorist attack in Bulgaria in July against Israeli tourists is likely to result in a higher number of cancellations, especially in July, we do not expect it to result in massive withdrawals from local resorts and therefore to cut tourism revenue this year.

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