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In statistical terms, Romania is mostly visited by foreign tourists during summer
Either drawn by the sunny days and the beautiful beaches, or just observing what has become the tradition of spending their summer holiday on the Romanian Black Sea coast, one thing is certain: most foreign tourists come to Romania in summer. Calin Ile, head of the Romanian Hotel Industry Federation, tells us more about it.
Calin Ile: "I would start with the Danube Delta, as the main attraction. Mass tourism cannot be done in the Delta, but in terms of image, it's our most important asset. Then, there is Transylvania, which enjoys the visit of an increasing number of tourists and which has succeeded in managing better certain centers. Then come the big cities that have invested in tourism and now offer city-break programmes and tourist circuits across the country. So these three types of destinations attract most tourists. In terms of mass tourism, there are also spa tourism, mountain tourism and the Black Sea coast, the latter having the longest tourism season, three months of summer. So we have a lot of work to do. Unfortunately, in each of these cases the lack of proper organisation prevents these regions from reaching their full potential."
Statistics show that the capital Bucharest has become the most appreciated destination. Calin Ile tells us more about it.
Calin Ile: "Bucharest has grown in tourist terms lately. Last year it exceeded for the first time two million tourists. Around 45% of the foreign tourists visiting Romania come to Bucharest. This is a good thing. July and August are no longer low season months for us. And this is due to the resources and advantages that the capital city has. Its main advantage is authenticity. Bucharest has its own particularity. It is interesting for both foreign and Romanian tourists due to its specific lifestyle and the combination of the various cultures here. The Bucharesters' way of life and the manner in which the hospitality network functions are the city's most important assets. We should not forget this destination is quite new, it was added to the circuit recently; and it's the curiosity of these tourists, most of them from Europe, which attracts them to Bucharest. It's all about the experience this city offers, you know, because in terms of heritage Bucharest cannot be compared with other European capitals. And that would make many Bucharesters believe we don't stand any chances as a tourist destination as long as we cannot rely on the historic and architectural heritage of cities like Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Paris or Rome. Looking from this angle, of course it's a lost battle, but if we look at it from the experiences that Bucharest may offer in terms of gastronomy, for instance, then we know that the capital can be a genuine tourist destination. The city also scores great in terms of accommodation facilities. Its hotels, most of them built in the past 10-15 years, can offer high-quality accommodation. Add to it the city's night life, its exquisite museums and other attractions and you'll see that Bucharest can stand as a genuine tourist attraction with lots to offer in a three-day stay. We cannot think of seven day packages yet but hope to be able to extend them in the future. We should make more campaigns of attracting tourists both at the national and international levels."
Promoting travel destinations is a major aspect in the country's tourist industry. The question is which would be the right authority to coordinate this aspect? Here is Calin Ile, president of the Romanian Hotel Industry Federation with a possible answer.
Calin Ile: "These strategies should be done at the level of central public authorities. And any destination should come up with its own strategy to integrate into a global one. I salute the idea of setting up destination management organizations, an initiative we have been supporting for quite some time and which is debated upon right now. We hope it will yield the desired results and be done in the right way to make it functional. These organizations should get actively involved in a public-private partnership so that the private players and local authorities get involved in promotion activities. This practice is wide spread in Europe and it also gets funding in Romania from the money we make in this industry. If this money were effectively used in promoting travel destinations, this issue would be settled and the situation improved."
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