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SOFIA (Bulgaria), June 14 (SeeNews) - Bulgaria's tourism and travel industry direct contribution to the country's economy is expected to increase by 4.6% to 3.26 billion levs ($1.87 billion/1.66 bilion euro) in 2017, World Travel&Tourism Council (WTTC) said.
"The direct contribution of Travel & Tourism to GDP in 2016 was 3.12 billion levs (3.4% of GDP)," the WTTC said last week in its Travel&Tourism Economic Impact 2017 report on Bulgaria.
The direct contribution of the industry to the country's GDP is expected to grow to 5.24 billion levs (4.8% of GDP) by 2027.
Travel and tourism industry is expected to have attracted capital investment of 1.29 billion levs in 2016. Investments are expected to rise by 5.8% in 2017, and to reach 1.59 billion levs in 2027.
As a percentage of the total capital investments in Bulgaria, the tourism and travel industry holds 7.3% share, above EU's average of 4.9%, ranking the country at 69th place out of 185 countries.
Leisure travel spending - inbound and domestic - generated 74.1% of direct travel and tourism GDP in 2016 (6.7 billion levs) compared with 25.9% for business travel spending (2.35 billion levs). Leisure travel spending is expected to grow by 2.0% in 2017, while business travel spending is seen rising by 14% for the year.
Bulgaria's travel and tourism sector generated 98,000 jobs directly in 2016 and this is forecast to rise by 6.2% in 2017.