Tourism Minister Mircea Titus Dobre stated on Tuesday, at the Palace of Parliament, that the ministry he leads does not intend to change the country brand because Romania would have to pay 850,000 euro to the European Commission, this being only a “principled” discussion, against the backdrop in which the Tourism Ministry has to come up with six promotional brochures that will be presented at domestic and international fairs.
“We launched a principled idea, because that’s why there’s a consultative committee in Tourism, for us to hold consultations. Of course, someone there took it in jest and started being ill-intentioned and analysing this discussion differently. Is there any shame in talking about Romania’s symbols, about [the ballad] Miorita? Is there any shame in using Romania’s legends? Firstly, we must think that we must promote Romania domestically, because most tourists are domestic tourists, then we must think about the three million Romanians, Romanian citizens, who come twice a year and spend money in this tourism activity in Romania. Many of them have even developed tourism businesses in Romania. Is there any shame in reminding Romanians about national legends and symbols?” Mircea Titus Dobre stated, referring to the talks he had last week with businessmen from the tourism sector.
The minister emphasised that “it’s not about changing the country brand, the country brand can’t be changed because it would mean giving back 850,000 euro to the European Commission, which is not possible and I don’t believe any head of public institution would undertake something like this.”
“It’s a principled talk because, at this moment, we have to come up with some brochures, six of them, that will undergo a public procurement procedure at the Tourism Ministry. Apart from this, there is also the online media promotion. (…) The country brand can’t be changed until 2020,” the Tourism Minister concluded.
Profit.ro wrote that Tourism Minister Mircea Dobre informed businessmen last week that he plans to change Romania’s tourism brand, being set to replace Elena Udrea’s famous leaf with a sheep, in order to build the country’s tourism image around the legend of Miorita. Tour operators disapproved the changing of the brand, stating that there are far more important things to solve in tourism and bantered the idea of replacing the leaf with a sheep. Miorita, they believe, is a sad, pessimistic legend about three Romanians killing each other, and the sheep itself is perceived as a stupid and obedient animal. This prompted tour operators to consider that associating Miorita with Romanian tourism would be an uninspired idea.