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Macedonia sees 1.16 million tourists in 2023

Ohrid / Photo: Kristijan Arsov

Skopje, February 18 — Macedonia welcomed 1.16 million tourists in 2023, marking a 21% increase from 2022 (969,277). This is according to new data released by the State Statistical Office.

The total includes 734,000 foreign tourists and 434,000 domestic tourists.

Skopje, the capital city, in 2023 was visited by about 376,000 tourists.

The largest number of tourists in Macedonia — 216,872 people were registered in August, followed by 197,273 tourists in July and 124,800 tourists in September. The fewest visits were registered in February, namely 40,973 tourists.

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Most tourists last year came from Turkey (195,448), Serbia (71,030), and also a large number of tourists from Greece, Germany, Poland, Bulgaria, the Netherlands, Croatia, Romania and America.

The Agency for the Promotion and Support of Tourism (APPT) expects the growth trend of tourists from these countries to continue next year, as well as an increasing number of tourists from Spain and the Baltic countries, supported by the efforts, commitment, and investment of the tourism sector to open direct lines with these destinations. 

Tourists in Macedonia - Infographic

Post-pandemic recovery

The Agency for the Promotion and Support of Tourism says that the numbers of tourists who visited Macedonia are expected, since world tourism is returning and continues to show its resilience. They also point out that Macedonia has a rich and diverse tourist offer.

"The World Tourism Organization has released the latest figures, showing that overall, international arrivals have reached 80% of pre-pandemic levels”, APPT added.

“Despite all the challenges, the Macedonian tourism sector is making efforts to invest, enrich the tourist offer, and promote the tourism business to increase the number of tourists and overnight stays. Their commitment can be seen in the realized revenue from tourism in the country, which shows a growth of 21%”, APPT pointed out.

The two most visited cities in 2023, Skopje and Ohrid, surpassed the results of 2019. APPT says that the tourist sector exceeded the goal for 2023 with 480 million dollars in revenue from tourism.

"The importance of the tourism industry as an economic area and tourism as a source of income affects economic growth with a share of 4% and revenue from tourism of 471.59 million dollars in GDP for the three quarters of 2023, or a growth of 25% compared to the period of the past year," said APPT.

In the current year, they say that, together with the tourism sector, they will continue to work towards the goal of 4 million overnight stays and 1.4 million tourist visits.

"Through its promotional activities, the tourism agency contributes to greater competitiveness and recognition of North Macedonia as a safe and reliable tourist destination”, APPT adds.

They point out that, together with the tourism sector and foreign organizations, they are making an effort to develop green policies and the sustainability of destinations.

"This period has shown us that eco, rural, and active tourism is one of the basic things for the sustainability of all tourist destinations and tourism sectors. We should increasingly use the IPARD (Pre-Accession Assistance for Rural Development) components, cross-border cooperation, and EU funds in our rural areas, precisely for the development of this type of tourism", APPT added.




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