“Carpathian garden” loses its attractiveness to foreign tourists as their number drops for the 13th month in a row

Sorin Melenciuc 02/09/2019 | 10:35

Romania, promoted as the “Carpathian garden” to foreign tourists by the government, seems to become less interesting as a destination for tourists from all continents, official data suggest. 

The number of foreign tourists in Romania declined in July for the 13th month in a row and the drop accelerated this year, exposing the weaknesses of the local tourism industry and the lack of well-managed tourism attractions in the country.

However, the local tourism sector continues to grow due to Romanian tourists, as the government tourism-vouchers programme for state-employees seems to boost domestic spending and to fuel price increases of services.

In July, the number of foreign tourists in Romania declined by 5.1 percent year-on-year to 301,100, on lower interest of tourists from almost all continents, according to the National Institute of Statistics (INS).

The number of foreign tourists from Europe declined by 7.3 percent compared to July 2018, to 217,000, while the number of Asian tourists decreased by 5.5 percent, to 43,200.

The number of north-American tourists dropped by 5.6 percent to 22,000.

The number of foreign tourists in Romania started to decline in July 2018 and never stopped ever since.

A recent BR Analysis showed that Romania’s major problem for its tourism industry is not weak promotion, but poor road, rail and accommodation infrastructures.

Despite the trend seen in the second half of last year, the number of foreign tourists in Romania has reached a record-level of 2.79 million in 2018, up 1.3 percent compared with 2017.

In January-July 2019, the number of foreign tourists in Romania declined by 5.3 percent year-on-year to 1.5 million – this means a drop by more than 70,000 foreign visitors compared with the first 7 months of 2018.

By countries, the main sources of foreign tourists in Romania this year are Germany, Italy, Israel and France.

The number of local tourists in Romania rose by 9.4 percent in the first 7 months of 2019, to 5.76 million.

The overnight stays, a key index for the tourism sector, rose by 8.2 percent year-on-year in the first 7 months, to 15.8 million.

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