Romania’s tourism statistics look bleak

Romania is among the least developed countries in Europe in terms of tourism, both when it comes to local and foreign tourists, data released by the European Statistics Institute – Eurostat shows.

Romania’s tourism statistics look bleak

Romania is among the least developed countries in Europe in terms of tourism, both when it comes to local and foreign tourists, data released by the European Statistics Institute – Eurostat shows.

Only one in four Romanians (25.1%) aged over 15 has taken part in tourism trips for personal purposes in 2013, which places Romania second to last in European statistics, ahead only of Bulgaria, which had a 22.2% share of its citizens traveling for personal purposes last year. The EU average was 61%, which means that six in ten Europeans travelled for personal purposes in 2013.

Romania is also among the last countries in Europe in terms of number of nights spent abroad by Romanian tourists, with a total of about 9 million nights, or less than half a night for each Romanian over the age of 15, according to Eurostat. For this, Romania comes last, even behind Bulgaria and Greece.

The main explanations for these figures could be the low income per capita in Romania, as well as in Bulgaria, which places the two countries last among the 28 EU member states, as well as the fact that a high number of Romanians is already living and working abroad.

However, Romania’s figures are just as bad when it comes to foreign tourists coming to the country, unlike Bulgaria, which is one of the best tourism destinations in the region.

Last year, Romania was the fourth least popular destination in the EU in terms of number of nights spent by non-residents in local hotels, with a total of 3.47 million nights. Only the Baltic states of Latvia and Lithuania, and Luxembourg had lower numbers at this chapter, but all three countries are much smaller than Romania in terms of size and population.

However, Romania has been surpassed by Estonia in recent years, a country five times smaller. For comparison, Romania had more than 5,300 accommodation units, in 2013, compared to just over 1,300 in Estonia.

Hungary, which is also smaller, had three times more foreign tourists stays in 2013, some 12 million. Poland had almost 12.5 million, while neighbour Bulgaria had 14.4 million overnights spent by foreign tourists. Croatia is the region’s champion, with more than 59 million stays, while Spain is the largest market for tourism in the EU, with a total of 252 million nights spent by foreign tourists, according to Eurostat data.

This ultimately translates into country’s receipts from international tourism. Romania cashed in an estimated EUR 1.08 billion from foreign tourists, both business and leisure, in 2013, or just 0.8% of GDP, which is the lowest share in the EU. For comparison, Bulgaria had EUR 3 billion revenues from international tourism, or 7.7% of GDP.

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