Bulgarian Minister of Tourism, Zaritsa Dinkova, has announced that Bulgaria’s upcoming partial integration into the Schengen Area by air and sea is expected to attract a higher number of visitors to the country. Starting from March 31, 2024, Bulgaria will no longer conduct checks on travelers entering from Schengen Member States via air and maritime borders.
According to Minister Dinkova, Bulgaria’s accession to the Schengen Area is anticipated to boost travel and tourism, as well as alleviate inconveniences faced by travelers entering the country. The minister emphasized that the removal of border checks will reduce waiting times for tourists and increase their interest in visiting Bulgaria.
Despite Bulgaria not yet being a full member of the Schengen Area, the country saw an increase in the number of visitors last year, particularly during the winter season, thanks to its popular winter destinations. In December 2023, the number of tourists visiting Bulgaria exceeded pre-pandemic levels, with a notable 4.9 per cent increase in visitors.
A significant growth in the number of Italian tourists by 48 per cent and a 22 per cent increase in Turkish guests staying in the country in December of the previous year were also reported by Minister Dinkova. Additionally, the European Associations of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (ECTAA) have named Bulgaria as a “Preferred Destination” for 2024, further reinforcing the country’s growing popularity as a travel destination.
In collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism of Bulgaria and the Association of Bulgarian Tour Operators and Travel Agents, ECTAA aims to promote Bulgaria as a must-visit destination. The Secretary General of ECTAA expressed confidence in Bulgaria’s potential to emerge as one of the continent’s most competitive countries, offering holidaymakers unique experiences. ECTAA also plans to organize online information desks and increase the country’s social media presence to support this initiative.
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