Ski in winter and beach in summer: features of holidays in Bulgaria

Bulgaria has a new Minister of Tourism and Charter Subsidies

For some reason, there is a widespread opinion among Russians that there is a particularly large share of Russian tourism in Bulgaria. Since Bulgaria joined the European Union, the largest number of tourists is, of course, from the EU. For EU citizens there are no borders, no special documents need to be drawn up, the distances here are not Russian, they can just fly over the weekend at sea.

I specifically found statistics on tourism for 2019, in peaceful times, so to speak.

In general, in 2019, the total number of foreigners who visited Bulgaria was 9.11. 81 people. This is even with a slight increase compared to 2018, more by 50 thousand people. By the way, this is 2 million more than the number of Bulgarians who left the country for tourist purposes.

Most of the visitors are, of course, recreation and tourism. The share of such foreigners is 62.9%. This share also increased compared to 2018. Other purposes of travel - business tourism, guest visits, other purposes. Visiting visits decreased, their share was 18.4%, which is 6.7% less than in 2018.

What countries did the tourists come from?

Romania - 1.87.52 people, this is 6.5% less than in 2018 Greece - 1.68.73 people, this is 4.7% more than in 2018 Germany - 761.56 people, this is 10.5% less than in 2018 Turkey - 648.40 people, which is 3.6% more than in 2018 the Republic of North Macedonia - 554.47 people, this is 1% less than in 2018

These are the countries that take the first places in the list. You may be surprised that tourists from countries where there is a sea, seaside resorts go to Bulgaria as tourists. But this does not surprise me. In Russia, a stereotype is widespread that Bulgaria is a vacation by the sea. And of course, as a holiday by the sea, Bulgaria cannot offer the Russians services that compete with the proposals of Egypt and Turkey on the Russian market.

While Bulgaria is balneo tourism, sanatoriums of various profiles, and alpine skiing, hiking in the mountains, up to mountaineering training. Greeks, for example, very often travel to Bulgaria for pilgrimage purposes. On the big holidays there are a lot of tourist buses with Greek numbers on the way to the Rila Monastery. Many monasteries and temples are very revered by the Orthodox, and pilgrimage tourism is also developed here.

But we will see which countries occupy the next positions in the general list.

Ukraine - 471.22 people, this is 24% more than in 2018 Great Britain - 470.49 people, this is 20.7% more than in 2018 Russia - 450.16 people, this is 12% less than in 2018 Poland - 420.80 people, this is 1% less than in 2018 Serbia - 414.46 people, this is 1.7% less than in 2018 year

Bulgarian Tourist Union

Bulgarian Tourist Union - voluntary, regardless.

ⓘ Tourism in Bulgaria

Tourism in Bulgaria is one of the main sectors of the Bulgarian economy. All types of tourism are well developed in Bulgaria - recreational, sports, cultural and others. Bulgaria is a particularly popular tourist destination for health, Black Sea, mountain, cultural, archaeological and speleotourism.

Tourism development in Bulgaria

The background of organized tourism in Bulgaria begins with a pilgrimage to the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem and the Rila Monastery. In addition to pilgrimage, Bulgarians made trade trips to Dubrovnik, Constantinople, Bucharest, Vienna and Budapest.

The birthday of organized tourism in Bulgaria is considered August 27, 1895, when, after climbing the Cherni-Vrah peak of the Vitosha mountain range, the Bulgarian Tourists Club was established - the predecessor of the modern Bulgarian Tourist Union. This happened on the initiative of Aleko Konstantinov.

During the period from the end of World War II to the collapse of the USSR, Bulgaria developed along the socialist path. After the Balkan Federation, which failed due to the gap between Stalin and Tito, Bulgaria, with its access to the southern coast of the Black Sea and the picturesque relief of the Balkan Mountains, turned out to be the most suitable socialist country for tourism. In the period from the 1960s to the 1990s, departmental "rest houses", mountain and sea stations for mass tourism were actively built in Bulgaria, and the tourist infrastructure was developed. The state took care of and actively encouraged all types of mass tourism - tourism of pioneers, Komsomol members, labor collectives, etc., almost always focusing on "the role of the BKP in organizing active recreation for workers." The People's Republic of Bulgaria was a very popular tourist destination for residents of the GDR, Poland, Czechoslovakia and the USSR.

On November 10, 1989, the plenum of the Central Committee of the BCP voted for the resignation of its Secretary General and Chairman of the State Council of the People's Republic of Bulgaria, Todor Zhivkov, who had headed socialist Bulgaria for 37 years. Deep economic and political changes began in the country. During the transition from a planned to a market economy, government funding for tourism has sharply decreased or completely ceased. One of the first cessations of funding for dying state-owned enterprises affected departmental "rest homes" and tourist activities for collectives. Tourist cottages and stations began to be destroyed and plundered. Some of them, like, for example, on Buzludzha, have not been restored to this day. With the general decline in the living standards of the population, the attendance of tourist sites has also decreased. Few wealthy citizens preferred directions behind the newly fallen Iron Curtain.

At the beginning of the 21st century, market production and economic relations improved in Bulgaria, and the Bulgarian economy began to work again. The tourism industry, like most economic industries in the country, has changed dramatically. Instead of large houses and stations for mass tourism, thousands of private hotels and restaurants have started operating throughout the country, and not only on the Black Sea coast. The communities of Bulgaria realized the importance of tourism for the development of the economy of their regions and began to develop their tourism potential - to renovate old and build new museums and attractions; develop the road network; improve tourist routes in the mountains by installing information boards, tourist markings, gazebos, etc. The tourism industry has become a priority at the state level, and the Ministry of Economy and Energy was renamed the Ministry of Economy, Energy and Tourism. State financing of the industry began, and after Bulgaria joined the European Union on January 1, 2007, the European one.

Tourism has also recovered with the increase in the purchasing power of the Bulgarian population. Tourists from Romania, Serbia and Russia began to return to the Black Sea coast, and new ones began to arrive - from Germany and Great Britain. Russian tourists also returned to the resorts in the Balkan Mountains and new ones began to come - from Greece. For residents of Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, it turned out to be cheaper to relax on the Adriatic. Although many of them willingly go to Bulgaria, their number is still lower. Even some residents of the Scandinavian countries come to the Black Sea coast.

Black Sea Tourism in Bulgaria

Beauty Bulgaria has been in constant demand among tourists for a very, very long time. A trip to the Gold Coast was the cherished dream of many Soviet people, but now it has become difficult for Bulgaria to withstand the competition from Turkey and Egypt. And yet, it is often a better choice than distant hot countries. Holidays in the resorts of Bulgaria, where is it better to go, what to see in Bulgaria, how to get there - we will talk about this today.

Quality rest for little money, or getting to know Bulgaria

We know a little about Bulgaria. Older people may remember Bulgarian canned food and vegetables, cosmetics and other scarce goods. The younger generation knows even less. Let's find out what kind of country it is.

In resort towns, there are always 3 types of menus in establishments: for Bulgarians, for tourists and for foreigners who speak Bulgarian well.

Where is

This state is located on the western shores of the Black Sea, south of Romania and north of Greece and Turkey, occupies about 22% of the Balkans. The land borders are outlined by mountains, on which popular ski resorts are located.

Map of Bulgaria

How to get there

You can get to this magical land by the usual ways: by air, by car, by water.

Flights can be either regular or charter. If there is no direct flight from your city or country, you can always get there by transfers. Sometimes this method is even cheaper than a direct flight. If you bought a tour to Bulgaria, then most likely your tour operator will provide you with a charter flight. Airports in Sofia, Varna, Burgas accept planes from all over the world.

There are many buses running along the roads with direct communication between cities in Bulgaria and other countries. Bus routes are organized by both tour operators and regular road carriers. You can also get there by your own transport.

There are also rail links with many countries. It is quite possible to get to Sofia and Varna from the capitals of the CIS states. There are also water routes. From many ports there are ferries by sea or motor ships along the Danube and the Black Sea to Varna.

At the peak of the season in Bulgaria, a new Minister of Tourism has been appointed. The importance of changes in Bulgarian tourism is also evidenced by the higher status of the head of the tourism department: for the first time, the industry will be supervised by the deputy prime minister. Also Bulgaria will finally start subsidizing charters.


Bulgarian tourism has a new leader. Nikolina Angelkova was replaced as Minister of Tourism of Bulgaria by Mariyana Nikolova.

Ms. Nikolova was born on September 16, 1975 in the city of Botevgrad, a lawyer by education, has extensive experience in rule-making work. Since November 2018 - Deputy Prime Minister for Economic and Demographic Policy. Since July 24, 2020, Mariyana Nikolova has been working as the Minister of Tourism of Bulgaria.

According to Ms. Nikolova, the main task now facing the tourism industry in Bulgaria is to ensure the functioning of tourism in the conditions of existing restrictions, barriers and closed borders.


According to Ms. Nikolova, tourism in Bulgaria is now in a "difficult state". So, in June, 99 flights arrived at Varna airport, while last year there were 1000 of them over the same period. The situation is similar at Burgas airport - 203 flights in June against 2000 flights over the same period in 2019.

“There is a danger that almost 70% of hotels in our largest resorts Sunny Beach and Golden Sands will remain closed. Due to the lack of foreign tourists, transport, food processing, agriculture and many service sectors will fall into a financial crisis. In addition, the economy of many settlements in Bulgaria is based solely on tourism, ”emphasizes Mariyana Nikolova.

Together with representatives of the tourism business, Ms. Nikolova intends to update the National Strategy for Sustainable Tourism Development and adapt it to new conditions.

There are also plans to stimulate domestic tourism to compensate for the outflow of foreign tourists, actively promote Bulgaria as a year-round destination in international markets, diversify the Bulgarian product through the development of ecological, cultural, historical, rural, wine, SPА- and balneological tourism.


Mariyana Nikolova began her activity as Minister of Tourism with meetings with leaders of resort cities, hoteliers and restaurateurs.

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