Bulgaria December Travel Figures Show Continuing Decline


The number of visitors to Bulgaria again fell in December 2009, and Bulgarians themselves made 24% fewer visits abroad during the month. According to data released on Wednesday by the Bulgarian National Statistical Institute (NSI), 557 000 foreigners visited Bulgaria, a drop of 7,3% compared with December 2008. Trips abroad by Bulgarian citizens in December 2009 totaled almost 298 000, or 24,2% fewer than December 2008. In November, the annualized contraction was 21,8%, while in October it was 19,8%. The only increase in trips abroad by Bulgarian citizens in comparison to the same month of the previous year was to Finland (183,8%). The largest decline in travel was to Ireland, which was visited by 98,6% fewer Bulgarians. Spaniards accounted for the largest growth of visits to Bulgaria, at 13,5% of the total. Of the EU member states, Ireland showed the greatest decline, down by just over 25%. Of all the European countries outside the EU, Norway registered the largest drop in visitors to Bulgaria, down by 39,5%, while the opposite trend - the greatest increase of foreign visitors - was by Ukrainians, up by almost 10%.