Bulgarian spa hotels claim to have accommodated 128,000 guests, according to statistics from National Association of Spa and Wellness Tourism, but experts in the industry think the country could go a lot of further in developing the sector.
Stela Baltova, chairperson of the State Tourism Agency (STA) said that spa holidays are becoming more and more popular with both foreign tourists and with Bulgarians. This past winter, 18 percent of foreign tourists and 13 per cent of Bulgarian travellers indulged in a spa holiday.
Bulgaria has 900 mineral springs, the majority of which offer temperatures of between 37 and 101 degrees Celsius. The STA has been trying to promote these springs with tourists from Russia, the UK and Scandinavia but they are up against stiff competition.
Iceland, a country known for its stunning scenery and wild volcanoes, also offers a number of spa locations, most often set in far more dramatic scenery than Bulgaria has to offer. Iceland’s most famous spa is the Blue Lagoon, where seawater is heated by geothermal currents and full of natural spa ingredients like minerals, algae and silica.