Tourism Ministry reports increase in spa tourists by 12% in 2023

Between the beginning of the year and August 20, 720,000 spa tourists were registered in the country, which was an increase of 12% compared to the same period last year, said Deputy Minister of Tourism Irena Georgieva. The majority of visitors to spa destinations were Bulgarian tourists, but there were also guests from Israel, Germany, and Great Britain.

Statistics for the summer season, from August 1 to 31, show that there were 3.8 million registrations of tourists, not only along the Black Sea, but also in the rest of the country.

Georgieva was in Pamporovo for the opening of the 10th congress of the Bulgarian Union of Balneology and Spa Tourism. The two-day congress was mottoed: "The growing potential of health tourism - a priority in the national policy of Bulgaria", with a main emphasis on Europe's policies to support the recovery of European citizens due to COVID-19. Attending the opening were President of European Spas Association Thierry Dubois, the ambassadors of Serbia and Egypt and representatives of the Chinese embassy. The Tourism Ministry was the patron of the event.

Siika Katsarova, President of the Bulgarian Union of Balneology and Spa Tourism, commented that the COVID pandemic showed that the most sustainable form of tourism is health tourism, because medical and spa centres did not close their doors in almost all of Europe. She clarified that the congress is not by chance being held in Pamporovo, which was established 90 years ago as a climatic resort. The deposits of mineral waters, complemented by the suitable climate in Bulgaria, are conditions that, according to Katsarova, make it possible to direct efforts to develop this type of tourism. Spa hotels in this country have the best occupancy, from 40 to 80% annually.