Burcea: Romanian tourism revenues advanced about 20pct in H1 2017

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Romanian tourism revenues advanced about 20 percent in H1 2017, according to data with the main tourism operators, head of the National Association of Romania’s Travel Agencies (ANAR) Alin Burcea told Agerpres on Tuesday.

“From what I’ve been talking with the eight biggest tour operators, the increase is about 20 percent, in terms of receipts. This is expected to get diluted by the end of the year because the receipts are higher in the first part of the year. I’d say it would be phenomenal if we stayed at between 15 percent and 20 percent for the entire year,” Burcea said.

Regarding the Romanian seaside, the ANAT chairman said that this year the increase will not be similar to that recorded last year, because it rained and the weather was cold in July. He added that in order to bring in tourists, “all sorts of themes” should be created, and hoteliers should be encouraged to build swimming pools.

“We, as representatives of tourism employers, have proposed some things. We have to create all sorts of themes to bring in tourists. We had come up with the ‘first swimming pool’ proposal, a project that I saw half governmental, where the government would come and make available some money to boost hoteliers into building pools. It is my personal opinion that Romania’s problem regards the lack of swimming pools on the seaside. In Bulgaria, there are 1.3 swimming pools per hotel, whereas in Romania there are 0.5. People come to the seaside for beaches. Things would be even better, should we have seawater swimming pools, especially for the end of May, June, and September. These are the times of the year when we have to work hard, because July-August is booked anyway as people are on vacation. This year will be different from last year, because it rained and the weather was cold in July,” Burcea said.

However, he concluded, “so far it has been a good season, there have been good sales.”

“Things at the economic level, at least so far, are going pretty well. Incomes are slightly higher and people are travelling,” Burcea told a news conference, pointing out that in addition to the Black Sea resorts, resorts like Baile Felix, Calimanesti-Caciulata, Herculane have also sold well.

Burcea, the owner of Paralela 45 travel agency, said that this year the Romanians have travelled a lot abroad as well, with Spain, Bulgaria and Antalya (Turkey) having been among the best-selling destinations. There was also a big increase in “early booking.”

For autumn and winter, more exotic destinations such as Cuba, Mexico, Mauritius, Cambodia, and Vietnam are sold, with prices ranging between 200 euros and 1,500 euros.

A special Christmas offering is Lapland, the country of Santa Claus, for which a family with one child will have to take out of their pocket around 5,000 euros, which will get them a visit the house of Santa Claus, husky sleigh rides, snowmobile trips, ice fishing, etc.