Only ten percent of hotel employees are kept longer than one or two years, says Razvan Filipescu, President of the National Tourism Authority.
The tourism sector has reported the highest rate in the absorption of European funds, namely 21.7 percent, compared to 6 percent in 2012, Razvan Filipescu, President of ANT (the National Tourism Authority), stated at yesterday’s conference dedicated to beer and hospitality. He emphasized the importance of marketing strategy in continuing the integrated and coherent campaigns aimed at promoting Romania as touristic destination, all of which must be supported by high quality services, given the harsh competition in this field. Razvan Filipescu called attention upon the fact that high quality services and very well-trained people are necessary to promote and develop tourism.
Another problem Romania is facing, according to Filipescu, is the migration of competent and experienced workforce, as statistics show European hotels manage to maintain 50 percent of their staff for five years, while others keep 25 percent of their employees for more than five years. By comparison, Romania has managed to maintain a maximum of 10 percent of qualified personnel for one or two years, which is extremely concerning.
On a change of topic, ANT has commenced check-ups at accommodation facilities and restaurants in Brasov and Prahova, where many tourists are expected to come for the Christmas holidays and on New Year’s, the President of ANT added. In recent months, ANT has conducted approximately 600 check-ups resulting in the withdrawal of 15 tourism licenses and 8 classification certificates. In addition, 130 fines amounting to approximately RON 130 were issued, according to Mediafax.
In turn, Dragos Raducan, Vice President of FPTR (the Employers’ Association Federation for Romanian Tourism), said aerial transport has become more affordable than transport by bus, which is primarily used for excess luggage and transporting pickles and cabbage rolls. Bucharest could eventually be a city break destination for foreign tourists because it is still a cheap city, Raducan added. Also, up until this year, a large share of Romanian hotels were ranked two stars, as a result of stricter classification norms compared to other countries, Vice President of FTPR, went on to say. The 28 percent value of two-star hotels in Romania is very high, he emphasized, adding that in countries with a well-developed tourism sector two-star facilities cover no more than 10 percent of the total. The Federation representative estimated half of two-star hotels will turn into three-star hotels by the end of next year, beginning in June, when classification norms are to become laxer.
Beer market drops in the first eight months to lowest level since 2008
In the last eight months, the beer market has dropped by 8 percent compared to the same period in 2012 and this decrease in beer consumption has also impacted the hospitality industry, Constantin Bratu, General Manager of the Romanian Beer Association, stated at the same conference. He emphasized things are not likely to improve, given the new fiscal measures to take effect in 2014. “We are worried about fiscal pressure. You can’t keep raising taxes indefinitely; it’s not a viable solution. Authorities must focus on raising collection levels, and economic growth should be generated by fighting tax evasion, analyzing the sectors that create added value, and by communicating with the business environment,” Bratu said. In his opinion, the beer industry is an important stimulus for both the hospitality industry in Romania and the overall economy, which means any contraction in beer consumption levels is felt throughout the entire hospitality industry because of this close bond between the two.
On the other hand, the hospitality industry’s contribution to the state budget by means of direct and indirect taxes is over EUR 603 million a year, of which direct taxes include VAT (EUR 451 million), workforce taxes (EUR 95 million), and excise taxes paid by HoReCa players (EUR 1.8 million). The indirect budget contributions comprise of excise taxes paid by alcoholic beverage producers according to the quantity used in the HoReCa sector (beer – EUR 37 million, spirits – EUR 18 million, champagne – EUR 0.5 million, and wine – EUR 0).