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Increase in Tourism

Holidays in Bulgaria are becoming increasingly popular. Initial data reported by the State Tourism Agency's chairwoman, Anelya Krushkova, shows that over 4.3 million foreign tourists visited Bulgaria from January to August this year. This represents a 15% increase on the same period last year.

Foreign tourists spent more than 1.5 billion euros during this time, representing an increase over last year of 12.1%. As Bulgarians themselves become wealthier, in the same time period, nearly 4 million travelled abroad, spending 911 million leva in the process. This is a 25% increase compared with the first eight months of 2007.

Despite the poor sterling to euro exchange rate, Brits make up a significant proportion of this number. With Germans top, Britons second and Scandinavians third.

This year Bulgaria has been showcasing the country at 67 big international exhibitions, notably at the world's third largest tourism show which was held in Moscow. Television promotion was also undertaken with ads on CNN, Eurosport and Euronews. The State Tourism Agency is hoping to increase its advertising budget from 3.8 million leva with EU funds.