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Bulgarians Travel Figures Down by 17 % in Sept y/y

Date: 29.10.2009

The number of Bulgarian visits to foreign countries slumped by over 17 % in September year-upon-year, official figures show. Visits abroad by Bulgarian residents totaled 451 500, while the number of foreigners arriving in Bulgaria was 944 700.

While Bulgarian trips registered an increase to a few destinations last month, as compared to September 2008, there is a fall in visits to many other countries, according to figures released Tuesday by the Bulgaria National Statistical Institute (NSI).

Visits to Portugal, Macedonia and Turkey were up significantly, by between 15 and 25 %. Serbia as a destination registered a modest increase of 2,5 %.

But Bulgarian visits to many other countries fell, in some cases dramatically: travel to Japan fell by almost 77 %, while trips to Malta dropped by over 70 %.

Destinations in central and western Europe also registered falls from 56 % (Sweden and Slovenia), to Germany and Belgium (34 and 33 %, respectively), while visits to Israel fell by 44 %.

Most Bulgarian trips were for business (44 %), followed by vacation or excursion trips (27 %) and guest visits (22 %).

In the same month, total visits of foreigners to Bulgaria showed a negative overall trend of 1.9 %. Within this slight slide, there are two distinct groups.

Visits by some nationalities rose, others fell. Visits to Bulgaria from Romania fell by 41 %, from Malta by 80 %, and Cyprus, Portugal, and Sweden dropped by between 67 and 49 %. The numbers of visitors from Serbia, Turkey, Russia and Ukraine also fell between 18 and 30 %

On the other hand, Bulgaria received an increased number from France (87 %), Austria (85 %), Spain (78 %), the Czech Republic (78 %), Italy (74 %) and Slovakia (64 %).

Visitors to Bulgaria came primarily for vacation and excursion trips, accounting for almost half the total. Of the remainder, a quarter were transit visits, with business trips at 13 % of the total.

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