Wonderful landscapes and attractive sightseeing objectives are the two main reasons why foreign tourists visit Romania. This piece of information is outlined in the research "Romanian Seen through the Eyes of German Tour Operators", released yesterday by the WBF/GTZ, a programme for Romanian-German technical bilateral cooperation developed by collaboration between the Romanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the GTZ. The research is based on data collected from the German tour operators who sell programmes for Romania. The WBF/GTZ representative Carmen Chasovski explained: "This year's results are rather unhappy. Unfortunately, the weak points identified 3 years ago are still present, whereas the strong points of tourism in Romania are fading away in the German tourist's eye." She announced the TUI, the FTI and the Neckermann, three great tour operators, dropped their promotion of Romania and no longer included the country in their catalogues.
The loss is more than significant, since the above-mentioned tour operators own 50% of the German market. According to the authors of the research, two more tour operators will do the same. Those dropping business with Romania claimed the Black Sea resorts were not competitive, as compared to similar destinations.
Poor quality services
German tour operators claim there is need of more infotours to promote Romania and they take Croatia for example, since there are 1,000 journalists there who work for the promotion of this destination. As compared to it, the author mention, what happens in Romania is like a drop of water on a hot stone. German tourists appreciate the Romanian landscapes, history and wonderful regions for active and rural tourism, but they are critical of infrastructure, transport and hygiene conditions and they also point to the endless flaws of the Black Sea resorts. As far as hotels and other accommodation are concerned, they opine some were restored in bad taste and without considering needs. One other problem to be settled is the need of more 3 and 4 stars, also in rural Romania.
The prices in Bucharest hotels are also criticized and there is highlighted that there is no proportion between quality and price in the cities. The research mentions problems such as dirty hotels, poor quality hotel services and plain breakfast, staff needing training, sanitary infrastructure in restaurants needing improvement and camping infrastructure under standards.
Traditional products are hard to find
Although gastronomy has so far been one of Romania's strong points, appreciation is now diminishing. Traditional products are successful, but they are harder and harder to find, because of being replaced with international products. German tour operators believe the food is good, but served cold, that restaurant food is better than hotel food and the music is too loud in restaurants. As for hospitality, Romanians are thought to be friendly, kind and good as hosts. Still the prevailing feeling is that Romanian hospitality is step by step losing its intensity.
As for the wonderful nature, dirt and pollution are mentioned as persisting problems. There is also warned that the Danube Delta may grow overpopulated with tourists, an effect of the poor management of the tourist influx. Cultural tourism enjoys appreciation, due to the many churches, monasteries, works of art and manufacture. The offer is attractive, but the objectives aren't easy to find. Historical monuments need better protection, promotion and qualified guides "to know what they talk about". The conclusion is that the cultural offer is not capitalized in tourism offers.