Foreign tourists avoid Romania but domestic tourism continues to flourish

Sorin Melenciuc 02/04/2019 | 11:15

The number of foreign tourists in Romania declined in February for the eight month in a row and the drop accelerates this year but the local tourism industry continues to flourish as the number of Romanian tourists rises.

In February, the number of foreign tourists in Romania declined by 6.8 percent year-on-year to 134,900, on lower interest of tourists from all over the world with the exception of Africa, according to the National Institute of Statistics (INS).

The number of foreign tourists from Europe declined by 7.1 percent compared with February 2018, to 101,500, while the number of Asian tourists decreased by 14.8 percent, to 17,900.

The number of north-American tourists declined by 4.1 percent to 7,100.

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

This decline could be associated with images of brutal intervention of local gendarmes against protesters in Bucharest on August 10, during the Diaspora protest against the Romanian government.

Many television channels from all over the world have showed images of violence.

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-February 2019, the number of foreign tourists in Romania decline by 6.5 percent year-on-year to 274,800 – this means a drop by 20,000 foreign visitors compared with the first two months of 2018.

By countries, the main sources of foreign tourists in Romania this year are Italy (28,763 tourists in January-February), Israel (28,608), Germany (27,913), and France (17,934).

The number of Romanian tourists rose by 9.6 percent in the first two months of 2019, to 1.24 million.

The overnight stays, a key index for the tourism sector, increased by 9.8 percent year-on-year in the first two months, to 2.97 million.

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