Romania loses competition to attract foreign tourists as their number dropped by 5.3 pct this year

Sorin Melenciuc 02/08/2019 | 12:00

The number of foreign tourists in Romania declined in June for the 12th 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. Official data show that Romanian tourists have come to avoid their own country as their numbers declined for the first time after years of robust growth.

In June, the number of foreign tourists in Romania declined by 2.6 percent year-on-year to 286,100, on lower interest of tourists from Europe and Asia, according to the National Institute of Statistics (INS).

The number of foreign tourists from Europe declined by 2.6 percent compared to June 2018, to 212,200, while the number of Asian tourists decreased by 10 percent, to 37,900.

The number of north-American tourists rose by 7.6 percent to 24,100.

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-June 2019, the number of foreign tourists in Romania declined by 5.3 percent year-on-year to 1.2 million – this means a drop by almost 70,000 foreign visitors compared with the first six 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 10.5 percent in the first six months of 2019, to 4.4 million.

The overnight stays, a key index for the tourism sector, rose by 10.1 percent year-on-year in the first six months, to 11.4 million.

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