SOFIA (Reuters) – Bulgaria’s revenue from tourism is estimated to have growth by 8 percent last year to a record of around $1.3 billion, a government minister said yesterday. «Last year was exceptionally successful for the tourist sector which posted a record in terms of revenue and the number of visiting foreign tourists,» Deputy Economy Minister in charge of tourism Dimitar Hadzhinikolov told reporters. Bulgaria’s revenue from tourism has increased steadily from $931.7 million in 1999 to $1.0 billion in 2000 and $1.21 billion in 2001. Revenue from tourism for the first 10 months of 2002 totaled $1.218 billion, a 9.98 percent rise year-on-year, according to recent central bank data. The sector posted a surplus of $690.8 million, a 11.76 percent rise year-on-year. Visitors were about 2.8 million. Hadzhinikolov estimated revenue growth at over 8 percent for the full year.