Bulgaria's Deputy Economy Minister Branimir Botev expects a 4.5% - 5% increase of tourists in the winter season compared to last year.
He noted that even in the absence of appropriate conditions for winter tourism, a growth of 4.1% was recorded in 2013, and this year an even stronger season is expected, Darik news reports.
Botev added that tourists spent 4.5 times more in the winter than in the summer. Another factor is the growing number of people who want to visit the mountains in winter.
Another prerequisite for the development of winter tourism is the good infrastructure. According to Branimir Botev, the construction of the Maritsa highway will attract tourists from Istanbul.
"This is a market of 20-22 million people and the closest ski resort will be Pamporovo. This means that we can attract tourists from Istanbul in the weekends. Meanwhile, the SPA resorts Hisarya and Pavel banya will be about 3-3.5 hours from Istanbul which is also a unique opportunity, "said the Deputy Minister.
According Botev, the budget for promotion of Bulgaria's tourism must be at least 17 million euros. For comparison, Greece spends some 64 million euros annually.