Bulgaria’s Embassy in Moscow Expects 30% Rise in Russian Tourist Numbers

The number of Russian tourists visiting Bulgaria in 2016 is expected to increase by 30% compared with last year, a Bulgarian diplomatic official has said.

“A bigger increase is also possible,” RIA Novosti quoted tourism attaché at Bulgaria’s embassy in Moscow, Katya Zhekova, as saying at a news conference held at a regional tourism conference in Samara.

“I think that the biggest Russian tour operators who work in Bulgaria will be able to reach that level of increase.”

About 480,000 Russian tourists visited Bulgaria last year, Zhekova added.

An estimated 700,000 Russian tourists could visit Bulgaria this year, according to Sergey Tolchin, deputy director-general of Russia’s Intourist travel agency.

“Looking at the number of early bookings, Bulgaria shows an increase of 50% compared with the same period last year,” RIA Novosti quoted Tolchin as saying.

He attributed the increase to the relatively low prices of Bulgarian travel packages, the country’s geographical proximity to Russia which makes air travel affordable, and similarities in the cultural background of the two nations.