Bulgaria's 2011 summer tourist season will most likely end up being the most successful in terms of revenues in the past ten years, various data indicates.
The Institute for Analysis and Assessment in Tourism, a think-tank, estimated that 6.6 million tourists will have visited the Bulgarian Black Sea by the end of the season in August 2011. This means a growth of the number of tourists by some 14% with respect to their numbers in 2010.
Prof. Stoyan Marinov, member of the board of the Varna Tourism Chamber, disagreed with these estimates, as cited by Darik on Saturday.
He believes that the number of tourists will be 10% more than in 2010, while the revenues will be about 6% larger, but that such results would still be very strong and sufficient to surpass the revenues in 2008, which was the strongest year for Bulgaria's summer tourism over the past decade.
Marinov said that Bulgaria's summer tourism sector lost revenues of over EUR 200 M in 2009, as a result of the global economic crisis. In 2010, the sector recovered, almost reaching the 2008 level, which is now set to be surpassed.
According to estimates of the Varna Tourism Chamber, this summer Bulgaria is seeing 20% more tourists from Russia, as well as smaller increases in the number of tourists from Germany, Romania, Ukraine, Moldova, Poland, and Israel. Only the Polish tourists already account for 15% of all bookings.
Marinov has predicted a rise in the numbers of tourists from Arab nations such as Iraq, Syria, and Jordan.
Data of the Varna Tourism Chamber shows that the 55 000 hotel beds in the resorts in the Varna District, which is one of Bulgaria's three Black Sea districts together with Burgas and Dobrich, are almost fully occupied as of mid August.