The number of Belarusian tourists in Bulgaria has doubled in May-June 2012 year-on-year, the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry announced.
According to the Ministry, in May and early June 2012, the Bulgarian consular service in Belarus's capital Minsk issued a total of 18 500 visas compared with only 8 000 visas in the same period of 2011.
The Bulgarian Foreign Ministry has sent 6 more employees to Minsk in order to boost its consular staff in the Belarusian capital for the period between May 13 and August 31, which is the peak of the, summer tourist season.
As of June 11, 2012, all Belarusian tour operators that have accreditation with the Bulgarian Embassy in Minsk are able to submit visa requests electronically.
Meanwhile, the Association of Tour Operators in Russia (ATOR) has send a letter of gratitude to the Bulgarian Embassy in Moscow, thanking it for the fruitful cooperation in the issuing of tourist visas for Russians, the Ministry press service reported.
ATOR has also praised the new visa regime introduced by Bulgaria for the holders of the so called Schengen visas who can travel to Bulgaria without specially applying for a Bulgarian visa.
Bulgarian officials have already stated they expect some 600 000 Russian tourists in Bulgaria over the summer, which is supposed to be a some 30% increase, up from the 455 000 Russians who visited the country in 2011.