90% is the growth of foreign tourists in Sofia and 26% of Bulgarian tourists compared to 2021, Ivo Marinov, the director of the capital’s municipal tourism enterprise, told BNR.
Tourism in Sofia is recovering, Ivo Marinov said, pointing out that the average stay of foreign tourists is almost three days, and that of Bulgarians – 2.3 days. The largest number of visitors is from Germany, Israel, Romania, Italy, Great Britain. There is also increased interest from Spanish tourists. Marinov also shared what, in his opinion, could help fully restore interest in tourism in the capital:
“This is to fully restore air connections with the rest of the markets. The second thing is that since the demand of the tourists themselves has changed, to offer products that are more specific and that do not specifically require a connection with a tour operator, to make such products-routes”.
For this purpose, specialized products have been developed and included in the programs of the tour operators, such as the “Know the Birds of Sofia” map, where over 250 species of birds can be observed in three of the city’s parks, the “Map of Street Art-Arts” provides viewing of 20 professional made graffiti. “Sofia Wine Map” presents Bulgarian wine varieties and wines.
Work is also underway to create an Atlas of Bulgarian congress tourism, a map of the architectural heritage from the period after 1945, of centuries-old trees in Sofia and a beer map of craft beers, said Ivo Marinov. He pointed out that congress and event tourism is developing well. It is expected that in the autumn and winter months, if there are no health measures and restrictions related to the coronavirus, the number of tourists will before the pandemic will be reached.
Talks are underway with one of the low-cost carriers together with Sofia Airport and Sofia Municipality to advertise tourism opportunities in the capital.