Romania continues to be less attractive to foreign tourists but local tourism industry maintains momentum

Sorin Melenciuc 06/05/2019 | 11:18

The number of foreign tourists in Romania declined in March for the ninth month in a row and the drop accelerates this year but the local tourism industry maintains momentum as the number of Romanian tourists rises.

In March, the number of foreign tourists in Romania declined by 9.7 percent year-on-year to 169,100, 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 9.8 percent compared to March 2018, to 125,100, while the number of Asian tourists decreased by 21.4 percent, to 22,000.

The number of north-American tourists declined by 7.8 percent to 10,600.

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-March 2019, the number of foreign tourists in Romania declined by 7.7 percent year-on-year to 443,900 – this means a drop by 37,000 foreign visitors compared with the first three months of 2018.

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

The number of Romanian tourists rose by 9.7 percent in the first three months of 2019, to 1.87 million.

The overnight stays, a key index for the tourism sector, increased by 8.7 percent year-on-year in the first three months, to 4.49 million.

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