Tourism is a priority sector in Bulgaria and in 2018 directly contributed 3.1% to GDP, generated 2.9% of employment, and directly supported approximately 93 000 jobs.
The total number of international arrivals was 12.4 million in 2018, an increase of 6.7%, compared to the previous year. International leisure visitors grew by 5.5% reaching 5.8 million while international business visits numbered 1.7 million, an increase of 10.6% over 2017. EU markets continued to be the most important for inbound tourism with a share of 61.4% and a total of 5.7 million arrivals.
The top three inbound markets in Bulgaria were Romania (1.4 million arrivals), Greece (1.1 million) and Germany (850 000).
A forecast shows the estimated international tourism receipts in Bulgaria until 2025. It is projected to reach 5.16 million (in millions) U.S. dollars by 2025. Receipts denote expenditures by inbound tourists from other countries. Domestic tourism expenditures are not included. The forecast has been adjusted for the expected impact of COVID-19.
This statistic shows the number of tourist arrivals at accommodation establishments in Bulgaria from 2006 to 2018. In 2018, the number of arrivals in travel accommodation (including both international and domestic tourists) amounted to approximately 7.8 million.