Tourism is one of the fastest growing sector in the Bulgarian economy with excellent opportunities for foreign investment with high return on investment ratios. In 2000 privatization of almost 85 % of the assets in the tourist sector was completed. The number of foreign tourists grew, according to preliminary assessments, with more than 25%. Exceptional interest is expected in relatively new but promising fields like historical and culture tourism etc. The legislation provides good opportunities for investment in Greenfield projects, JVs etc. on the Black Sea coast and on mineral water resort sites..
Tourism is one of the key sectors in Bulgaria due to the excellent geographical location, remarkably rich nature, diverse relief and moderate continental climate. In the last three years Bulgarian tourism has been advancing progressively. According to statistical data, the number of foreign tourists (excluding children up to 16 years old) that visited Bulgaria in 2001 is over 2.7 million which is a 17.6% increase in comparison to 2000. The number of foreign tourists who came to Bulgaria for the first nine months of 2002 only is 2.4 million. Tourism (international and domestic) has traditionally been our no. 1 export sector, accounting for about 13% of GDP in 2001.
Summer Tourism in Bulgaria
The Black Sea Coast offers attractive
seaside resorts. The sunshine record is exceptional with an yearly average of nearly 300 days of sunshine. Tourists enjoy various opportunities for climate-treatment and balneo-treatment, yachting, surfing, water skiing, diving, underwater fishing, other aquatic sports and diverse entertainment opportunities. There are special itineraries combining see tourism with active tourism and providing opportunities for hiking, cycling, riding, photo-tourism, and eco-tourism, as well as visits to natural, archaeological and cultural places of interest.
Rila, Pirin, Vitosha, the Rodopes, and the Balkan Mountains offer good possibilities for
ski and mountain tourism. In the international resorts of Pamporovo, Borovets and Bansko one can enjoy some of the best skiing in Europe with snow covers lasting from Christmas until Easter and ski tracks for beginners and professionals at all levels. There are many ski schools providing individual and group lessons.
Bulgaria has more than 600 hot, warm and cold mineral springs of varied physical and chemical contents, mineralization, curative gases, biologically active trace elements, temperature and curative properties that create excellent conditions for development of
balneology tourism. A number of hotels with state-of-the-art equipment and skilled staff offer talasso-therapy, pearl baths, underwater massage, phyto-therapy, curative mud, inhalations, manual therapy, paraffin treatment, acupuncture, helio-prophylaxis, ozone and oxygen therapy, slimming procedures, and balneo-cosmetics
Cultural Tourism in Bulgaria
Bulgaria has over 30,000 historical monuments from different historical epochs, 36 culture reserves, 330 museums and galleries that form an impressive base for the development of
A network of three national and nine nature parks, a number of reserves and natural places represent a significant potential for the development of
ecological tourism. Ecological routes are special itineraries across exceptionally beautiful landscapes, including a system of facilities for reaching the most inaccessible beauty spots: gorges, steep rocks, and waterfalls.
hunting tourism in Bulgaria relies on a large variety of game: red deer, fallow deer, roe deer, wild goat, bear, boar, grouse, hare, partridge, pheasant and many others. Bulgaria ranks second in the world in terms of the quality of shot trophies.
For several decades now, under UNESCO aegis, attempts have been made to preserve the planet's most valuable cultural and natural heritage. The UNESCO List of World Heritage now features over 300 landmarks. Nine Bulgarian wonders - seven cultural and two natural sites - are included among them.