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Tourism in Bulgaria   
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Bulgaria is one of the most visited tourist destinations in Southeast Europe. Tourism has been an important source of economic growth. In 2008 Bulgaria was visited by 8.9 million tourists, as outlined by the World Tourism Organization. Tourists from three countries - Greece, Romania and Germany - account for 40% of visitors. New types of tourism, including cultural, architectural and historic tours, eco-tourism, and adventure tours, are expanding the range of visitor experiences. The tourist industry, especially on the seaside, continues to suffer from construction works, poor handling of visitors, poor advertisement and low bed occupancy.

 

Hiking and skiing

Winter tourist centres, such as Borovetz, Bansko, Pamporovo and Vitosha are picturesque and popular ski resorts.

Sea resorts

The Bulgarian summer resorts along the Black Sea coast include destinations such as the summer resorts: Sozopol, Nesebar, Golden Sands, Sunny Beach, Sveti Vlas, Albena and Saints Constantine and Helena. Some guests, such as the Germans, Russians or Scandinavians favour the summer beach resorts, while winter tourism, and the ski resorts, are the favourites of the British.

Night life

Bulgaria is popular with its night and disco clubs attracting tourists in the sea resorts and also in the capital Sofia (to which Vitosha mountain is near).

Ethno, cultural and historical 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.

Situated at the crossroads of the East and West, Bulgaria has been home to many civilizations - Thracians, Romans, Byzantines, Slavs, Proto-Bulgarians and Ottomans. Bulgaria is rich in historical artefacts, but museums to upkeep them are still to be built (central historical and art museum is now being developed in Sofia). 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.

 

Top 10 International Visitors in Bulgaria

Data Source

Rank

country

2010

1

 Romania

917,950

2

 Greece

905,083

3

 Germany

713,980

4

 Russia

378,382

5

 Macedonia

309,906

6

 United Kingdom

289,156

7

 Poland

253,962

8

 Serbia

205,796

9

 Turkey

204,103

10

 Czech Republic

166,395

 

Destinations

Summer Resorts

Albena, Ahtopol, Balchik, Dyuni, Elenite, Golden Sands, Kiten, Lozenets, Nessebar, Obzor, Pomorie, Primorsko, Riviera, Rusalka, Sinemorets, Sozopol, St. Constantine, St. Vlas, Sunny Beach, Tsarevo

 
Winter resorts
Bansko, Chepelare, Borovetz, Pamporovo, Uzana, Vitosha
 
Cultural tourism
Veliko Tarnovo, Nessebar, Sozopol, Plovdiv, Bansko, Ethnographic museum Etara, Koprivshtitsa
 
Rural tourism
Elena, Arbanasi, Ribaritsa, Bozhentsi, Kumani, Ethnographic museum Etara, Shiroka Laka, Tryavna, Zheravna, Orehovo, Madzharovo, Dragoynovo
 
City tourism
Plovdiv, Veliko Tarnovo, Sofia, Varna, Burgas, Rousse, Vratsa, Pleven, Vidin, Lovech
 
Hiking
Balkan Mountains, Pirin Mountains, Rila Mountains, Rhodopi Mountains, Strandzha Mountains, Sakar 
Montains, Vitosha Mountain
 
Paragliding
Central Balkan Mountains
 
Monasteries
Rila Monastery, Bachkovo Monastery, Rozhen Monastery, Dryanovo Monastery, Sokolsky Monastery,
Troyan Monastery, The Assumption Monastery in Kardzhali town, Pomorie Monastery
 

 

 

Most picturesque Bulgarian villages (according to National Geographic, January 2005)

Orehovo, Narechen, Dragoynovo

 

 

 



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 Source: Wikipedia



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