Number of foreigner visits to Bulgaria in 2020

Number of foreigner visits to Bulgaria in 2020


How has COVID affected the tourism industry in Bulgaria in 2020? An annual overview in which you will find out how many foreigners visited Bulgaria last year and for what purposes, residents of which countries most often spend their vacation in Bulgaria, how much the tourist flow has grown since 2016 and how it has changed over the past 2020. Data collected from the National Statistical Institute of the Republic of Bulgaria.


The coronavirus pandemic has obviously made its own adjustments to everyone’s travel plans in 2020 - last year, Bulgaria was visited by 1,364,688 tourists, which is 4.4 million (-77%) people less than in 2019. As in previous years, the majority of tourists (84%) in 2020 came from the 10 countries that regularly appear in Bulgaria's tourism statistics.


TOP 10 countries by the amount of tourists visiting Bulgaria in 2020

1. Romania - 22% or 294,544 people
2. Serbia - 13% or 172,262 people
3. Turkey - 10% or 140,007 people
4. Macedonia - 9% or 127 160 people
5. Ukraine - 6% or 86 642 people
6. Greece - 6% or 84,206 people
7. Germany - 6% or 82,777 people
8. Poland - 5% or 65 140 people
9. Israel - 4% or 52,296 people
10. Great Britain - 3% or 40,006 people

TOP 10

Tourists from Romania claimed the top of the list in 2020, which is not surprising - they have always been in the TOP-5. German tourists, the leaders of 2016 (586 794 people), have the 7th place (82 777 people). The largest decline in the tourist flow over the past 5 years was seen from Russia - from 586 348 people to 25 103 - and as a result, the country dropped from 2nd to 12th place.

Dynamics of visits with tourist purposes

In general, 4,973,356 people visited Bulgaria in 2020, which is 60% or 7,578,796 people less than in 2019.

Dynamics of visits to Bulgaria by years

Of these, 1,029,641 people entered the country for work purposes, or -58% less than in the previous year.

Dynamics of visits to Bulgaria by years

All these figures give us valid reasons for concern, because the tourism industry in Bulgaria has always been an important component of the country's economy. It accounted for 7% of GDP, which amounted to 3.5 billion euros. The industry employs about 500 thousand people, of which 150 - 200 thousand are permanently employed.

Of course, the difficult epidemiological situation had a negative impact not only on Bulgaria. At the end of 2020, the international tourism economy contracted by about 80% and the losses of this sector exceeded $ 1 trillion.

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