Toruists flows on the Balkan Peninsula - case study of Bulgaria and Romania
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Author: Krasimir Aleksandrov, Yordanka Ikova, Lilyana Ikova
The article presents a current analysis and comparison of tourist flows in Bulgaria and Romania, after the effects of the World Economic Crisis. European tourism is represented as the main driving force behind international tourist flows. The position of Bulgaria and Romania, as part of the European union, is defined. The similarities between the two countries are pointed out: geographical location, tourist product, supply and demand, a wide variety of tourist resources that make both countries attractive tourist destinations. The World Economic Crisis has been revised. The argument made by the authors is that Bulgaria and Romania are two of the countries with the weakest economies in the EU. There are some distinctions in each country’s economic state, which are also true for tourism and tourists flows. The contribution of tourism to the GNP of Bulgaria and Romania in the period 2011-2013 has been analyzed. The comprised data show, that during the examined period there are no tendencies for an increase in direct GNP contribution of tourism in Bulgaria, whereas Romania enjoys a greater direct contribution to GNP and tourism follows the general trend in contribution set in the EU as a whole. The relative share in direct contribution to GDP by the sector of tourism is examined. It is underlined that tourism has been regarded as a structure-defining industry in Bulgaria for the past few years. While GDP contribution of tourism in Romania is significantly smaller, compared to Bulgaria, as well as to the EU. The article gives an analysis of the labour market in Bulgaria and Romania. The results conclusively show a negative tendency in Bulgaria – a decline in employment directly connected to tourism. In Romania employment directly connected to tourism is significantly higher. Tourism is responsible for a lot more employment opportunities in Romania compared to Bulgaria. The relative share of employment opportunities supplied by tourism in Bulgaria is significantly larger compared to Romania, but it is gradually decreasing. The share of tourism in employment in Romania is considerably smaller and closer as a percentage to the average of other members of the EU. Tourist flows and revenue are presented, classified according to different criteria including: income from foreign visits, contribution of foreign visits income to total imports income. Data show that both countries remain at the bottom of economic classifications regarding tourism in the EU.

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