Bulgarians Favor Card Payments Abroad, Especially in Restaurants

This year, 44% of Bulgarians will vacation abroad, with 92% of these trips occurring within Europe. Greece is the top destination for 40% of travelers, followed by Italy at 22% and Turkey at 20%. Germany ranks fourth with 13% of respondents planning to visit. These insights come from the "Visa" survey "Intentions for Travel and Payments 2024," which includes data from seven Central and Eastern European countries, including Bulgaria.

Bulgarians most frequently use their cards for payments in restaurants (78%), grocery stores (75%), and museums (65%). Public transport (54%) and amusement parks (47%) complete the top five categories for card payments. Similarly, transactions via smart watches and phones are common, with 71% paying in restaurants, 64% in grocery stores, and 60% in museums. More than half (58%) use smart devices for public transport payments, and 48% use them in clubs.

The survey reveals that Bulgarians plan to spend an average of around 735 euros per person on their longest planned trip abroad. Convenience (69%), risk of losing cash (64%), and speed of payment (38%) are the top benefits of using cards. Other advantages include increased control over expenses (36%) and favorable exchange rates (33%).

Regarding information sources for travel, 47% of Bulgarian respondents rely on family and friends. Travel sites like TripAdvisor are used by 36%, while 34% turn to travel agencies and brochures. Social networks such as Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok inspire 24% of travelers.

More than half of Bulgarians plan their vacations independently (56%). For these trips, online bookings are preferred for accommodation (63%), transport (44%), and entrance tickets or excursions (20%). In all these services, the payment card is the most...

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