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Bulgaria Ranked 48th Globally in Tourism Competitiveness

Sofia News Agency, 10 March 2011

Bulgaria is 48th in terms of travel and tourism competitiveness out of 139 countries, according to a report of the World Economic Forum.

The WEF ranking evaluates the countries according to 14 different criteria – from infrastructure and safety to regulatory framework and human, cultural, and natural resources.

Switzerland, Germany, France, Austria, and Sweden take up the top five spots. Tunisia and Israel are right in front of Bulgaria, while Turkey and Poland are right after it.

Bulgaria fares pretty bad in terms of tourism competitiveness in Europe – it is only 27th out of 42 European states surveyed.

In the overall rankings, Bulgaria 99th in environmental sustainability, 81st in safety, 10th in hygiene and health, and 51st in terms of human, cultural, and natural resources.

The WEF report focuses on the competitiveness of travel and tourism after the global economic crisis. According to the report, Bulgaria's tourism has benefited from the global crisis.

"Most major destination economies clearly suffered during the crisis, but some have managed to weather

the downturn successfully and have grown in spite of the global contraction of the travel market. Winning

destinations—such as Malaysia, Taiwan, and Indonesia— had already experienced some increasing demand from emerging outbound travel activity out of China. Others—such as Turkey, Bulgaria, and North African

countries—gained throughout the crisis by attracting price-sensitive travelers from crisis-struck outbound

regions in Western Europe... Bulgaria has kept its growth momentum partly because (and not

despite) of the crisis attracting budget-orientated tourists from Western Europe seeking low-cost alternatives to traditional sun-and-beach destinations in the euro zone," explains the report of the WEF.

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