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We expect a strong tourist season with over 1.7 million. foreign tourists.

"We keep the macro framework of tourism, the interest is great on a European and global scale. The growth for 2023 is 3.7%. We stand well, we saw what happened last winter - growth in December, January, February. We expect the same numbers to be achieved with small growth. There are about 3 million more. trips of Bulgarians in Bulgaria, we will have busy weekends, besides Christmas and New Year. Estimates are for 190,000 weekend trips. In these numbers are not only skiing, but also balneo and SP, visits to relatives, wine tourism is relevant in winter, "said the director of the Institute for Analysis and Assessment in Tourism Rumen Draganov in the studio of "Bulgaria morning".

Bulgaria will expect more than 1.7m euros this winter. Foreign tourists

Analyses show that many of the sites have passed employment levels since the pre-pandemic 2019, and overall we are slightly below the level. Most tourists are expected during the winter season from Turkey, Greeks, RSM, Serbia, Romania. 56% of tourists will be from the EU, some travel with economic interests.

"Bulgarians go to neighboring countries the most - 1.2 Bulgarians go to Greece annually, so many Greeks come to Bulgaria," Draganov said.

He told Bulgaria ON AIR that foreigners come for a longer time - for skiing - they usually have 7 day packages, and Bulgarians in the country most often travel for a weekend with 2 nights.

"The average room is 140 leva. Per night, the cheapest is 47 leva, the most expensive 4 700. It won't be more expensive this year. If you set a goal this winter to earn at the cost of last year - there is a way. We advise - stick to last year's budget. If you want zero, stay at home. For 140 BGN you can take turkey and champagne and invite friends, "said Rumen Draganov.

According to him, students are quite practical and most often rent a villa where they can be 25 people.

Velingrad has emerged again as the most luxurious resort to welcome the holidays.

"Those who spend their money in Velingrad are not wrong and know very well what is in Dubai. It's a matter of preference. We have a great tourist product. Tourists arrive on the same planes as they land in Rome, Tokyo. There are buses waiting for them, the same brands as here. When you enter our hotel - lighting, furniture, carpets, the smell is the same. The difference is that we have good food - they say "what beef, lamb, what portions are served." The French, if they have anything left on the plate, are nervous because they have paid for it and are wondering how to get their money back for these 2-3 bites, they feel slightly cheated, "explained the director of the Institute for Analysis and Assessment in Tourism.

The price of the New Year's cover also depends on whether the table is near the dance floor, next to the toilet, behind a column.

Draganov concluded with a call for the state to participate equally with business in advertising the tourism industry.

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Rumen Draganov

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