Sofia Experiences Tourism Boost Thanks to Low Cost Travel

Sofia Experiences Tourism Boost Thanks to Low Cost Travel

Sofia's night life is also an advantage in its tourism image.20.11.2016 - The Bulgarian capital of Sofia is enjoying more tourists now than ever before! The business flourishes thanks to the intensive competition of low cost air travel companies RyanAir and WizzAir. The first of those opened service in Sofia in September 2016, while the latter has been a constant service provider for Sofia Airport for years. Sofia is now about 20 Euro away from your home!

October 2016 has set a record for passengers through Terminal 1 of Sofia's airport, guests in the accommodation industry, restaurants revenue and the tourism taxes paid in the capital. The visitors are bringing a positive effect to the city and enjoy a destination, recently unknown to them. An unusually strong autumn season is helping businesses escape the seasonal income amplitudes and plan their activity more consistantly. The first 9 months of 2016 have seen a 14% rise in tourists compared to the same period last year. Thanks to the rivalry of the two low cost companies, this trend is expected to continue.

But it's not only the cheap air travel that gives reason to expect a continuously growing inflow of tourists in Sofia. Most tourists say that "Sofia is significantly better than expected" which gives them reasons to come back and spread a positive word of mouth. Sofia is still considered an exotic city among young travellers. Medias paint a grim picture of a post-communist capital of the poorest EU-member, but the reality is very different. Sofia has made many renovations in the recent years and most people already speak English freely, allowing them to accommodate tourists easily. At the same time, the low costs of life and the great quality-price ratio makes it a very easy city to get immersed into. Tourists are also impressed with how green the city is and how attractive the pedestrian-only areas are. The friendly people and the tasty food is also a great reason to come, though these aspects of the experience are already expected.

Certain geo-political situations in Bulgaria's neighbours also motivate Western tourists to give the country a chance. The terrorist acts in Turkey and the economical problems of Greece divert travellers to a less known destination. This diversion may not feel perfect at first, but most are happy to have accepted it after they have experienced Sofia and Bulgaria for themselves.

The only negative side of Sofia that the tourists take notice of is the low quality of state-provided tourist service and the overall government inefficiency of creating a good image and tourism brand of Sofia. Thankfully, that's where private tourism operators and agencies fill the gap. Gay Holidays in Bulgaria, for example, continues to provide unique tours and experiences at very attractive prices for all kinds of visitors in the city and Bulgaria as a whole.

Statistics show that the countries sending the most tourists to Sofia are the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Spain and Greece. Most often they come to Sofia for a weekend just to try a city they haven't heard much about. Those countries are also the ones with most RyanAir and WizzAir connections to Sofia's airport, together with Belgium, Netherlands, Ireland, Sweden, Denmark, Israel and others.