A growth of 7 % of the pilgrimage tourism in Bulgaria is expected this year. The growth could be even more significant, if Easter this year was on the same time with the elections in Greece.
Pilgrimage attraction number one is the Rila monastery. Annually 780 000 people visit the monastery. The tourists come from Bulgaria, Serbia, Greece, BYROM, Italy, France, Spain and Russia.
About 250 000 people have visited the church “Cyril and Methodiy” in Sozopol, which is new tourist attraction accordingly to the experts. This church became very attractive after the bones og Joan Krastitel were exposed there.
Since the entering of Bulgaria in the European union in 2007 the pilgrimage tourism has a 7 – 10 % growth every year. There is a big interest by tourists from France, Spain, Italy and Portugal. only 1.8 % of all tourists are pilgrims, but they spend 70 % more money than the traditional tourists.