Bulgarian Travel Trends: More Outbound Trips, Moderate Inbound Visits

Photo: Stella Ivanova

In April 2024, the number of trips made by Bulgarian citizens to other countries increased by 4.9% compared to the same period in 2023, according to recent data from the National Statistical Institute (NSI). Conversely, visits to Bulgaria by foreigners rose by 1.1% during the same timeframe.

Last April, Bulgarian citizens embarked on a total of 707.9 thousand trips abroad, marking a 4.9% uptick from the previous year. Meanwhile, Bulgaria welcomed 793.3 thousand foreign visitors, representing a modest 1.1% increase compared to April 2023. Notably, transit crossings through Bulgaria accounted for 35.6% of all foreign visits, totaling 282.6 thousand.

Despite the upcoming summer tourist season, passenger traffic both outbound and inbound remained relatively subdued. However, there was a notable rise in comparison to the previous year's figures.

In terms of the purpose of travel, the majority of trips made by Bulgarian citizens abroad in April were for various activities such as visiting, studying, cultural, and sports events, comprising 40% of total trips. Trips for leisure and excursions accounted for 38.2%, while those for official purposes made up 21.8%.

Among the top destinations for Bulgarian citizens' trips abroad in April were Turkey, with 195.0 thousand visits, followed by Greece (149.4 thousand), Romania (58.3 thousand), Serbia (54.6 thousand), Germany (34.8 thousand), North Macedonia (32.5 thousand), Italy (29.1 thousand), and Austria (22.8 thousand).

Regarding visits to Bulgaria in April 2024, nearly half (48.7%) were made by citizens of EU countries, totaling 386.3 thousand. Romania and Greece accounted for the highest proportion of EU visitors. Additionally, visits from "Other European countries" constituted 29.6...

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