BULGARIA MAKES BILLIONS FROM TOURISM
Bulgaria's revenues from tourism for the first seven months of 2005 towered to over a billion euro, official data shows.
According to preliminary data of the Culture Ministry, revenues from international tourism for the period January - August 2005 amount to over EUR 1 B, up by 10.2% over the same period last year.
A total of 3,512,543 foreigners visited Bulgaria from January to August this year, up by 6.33 % compared to the same period last year.
The number of tourists who visited the country in August is 798,306, which is 7.42 % more than last year.
German tourists lead the numbers with 428 200 tourists who visited the country during the first eight months of the year, followed by Greece (426,840 tourists), Macedonia (390,512 tourists), Serbia and Montenegro (372,224 tourists), the UK (285,001 tourists), Turkey (178,162 tourists), Russia (149,131 tourists), the Czech Republic (110,558 tourists), Poland (95,564 tourists), Sweden (82,066 tourists), Israel (74,062 tourists), Finland (65,834 tourists).
The biggest growth is registered by Irish (121.8 %), Dutch (51.48 %) and Turkish (40.69 %) tourists.
The number of EU tourists coming to Bulgaria is growing with accelerated rates compared to the rest of the world. At a 6.33 % growth rate for foreign tourists in Bulgaria, for the period January - August 2005, the EU member countries register an increase rate of 7.18 % in the number of tourists choosing Bulgaria as a destination. This increase rate amounts to 7.15 % for the old EU member countries and to 7.32 % for the new ones.
The EU market strongly stabilizes its positions as a major generator of tourists for Bulgaria, experts note.
For first seven moths of the year, Bulgarians have spent on their travels abroad EUR 438.1 M, 4.7 % more than the same period last year
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