Tourism in Bulgaria

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Bulgaria is a country with a historical and cultural heritage, and attractive natural landscapes, one of the most visited tourist destinations in Southeast Europe. Tourism, as an industry, has been an important source of economic growth. In 2008 Bulgaria was visited by 8.9 million tourists[1], measured as outlined by the World Tourism Organization. Tourists from three countries - Greece, Romania and Germany - account for 40% of visitors.[2] The country has historical cities and towns, summer beaches, and mountain ski resorts. New types of tourism, including cultural, architectural and historic tours, eco-tourism, and adventure tours, are expanding the range of visitor experiences.

Contents

Tourist attractions

Hiking and skiing

Winter tourist centres, such as Borovetz, Bansko, Pamporovo and Vitosha are picturesque and popular ski resorts.

Sea resorts

The Bulgarian summer resorts along the Black Sea coast, include destinations, such as the summer resorts: Sozopol, Nessebur, Golden Sands, Sunny Beach, Sveti Vlas, Albena and Saints Constantine and Helena. Some guests, such as the Germans, Russians or Scandinavians favour the summer beach resorts, while winter tourism, and the ski resorts, are the favorites of the British.

Night life

Bulgaria is popular with its night and disco clubs attracting tourist in the sea resorts and also in the capital Sofia (to which Vitosha mountain is near).

Ethno, cultural and historical tourism

Tourist activities, such as "ethno-tourism" and "architectural-cultural" tourism, are gaining ground, catering to specialized tastes. These are new types of tours, which involve interaction with and living amongst the local people, in mountain villages.

For the more adventurous, active recreation, involving mountain hiking and bike tourism, provides a close connection with nature. Climbers scale the granite mountains of Rila, Pirin and the Balkan. Hikers enjoy the mountains of Vitosha and the Rhodopes. Mountain biking, and bicycle racing are also recreations, and Bulgaria is one of only six countries to annually host the official 1,200 km Randonnees - ultra-marathon bicycle rides patterned after Paris–Brest–Paris.

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