Academic journal article Global Economic Observer

A Romanian Tourism Market Analysis - Developments and Trends after the Eu Accession

Academic journal article Global Economic Observer

A Romanian Tourism Market Analysis - Developments and Trends after the Eu Accession

Article excerpt

(ProQuest: ... denotes formulae omitted.)

1. Introduction

The Romanian tourism market evolution following the country's transition to the market economy is a topic approached by many researchers, both Romanian and foreign, in their studies. Mazilu (2007) analyzes the Romanian tourism market after the global economic crisis from the tourist's typology viewpoint, considering how the tourists' flows are formed. He is highlighting the fact that Romania has a limited tourism offer and a quite poor infrastructure, both in general and specific terms. Furthermore, Mazilu contends that Romania has ceased to be an attractive tourism and travel destination in terms of its price to quality ratio. "According to the market researchers, more than half of the 1100 hotels from Romania operate in compliance with European standards and 45% of them are open only during the summer season" Mazilu (2007). Rabontu and Vasilescu (2012) look at the Romanian tourism market considering a number of specific indices: total number of employees, tourism-generated GDP, accommodation capacity, index of the net usage of in-function touristic accommodation capacity (CUC)35, by ownership type, destinations and categories of specific structures.

On the other hand, there are research papers that start from the assumption that the evolution of the tourism industry may trigger changes in the entire economy of a country. As such, we notice that there are various authors that have scanned the rural tourism market over the years preceding Romania's and other excommunist countries' EU accession. For instance Hall (1998) stresses upon the part played by tourism in the Eastern and Central European countries' (ECEC) economic restructuring process. Against the backdrop of the relationship between tourism and sustainable development, he explores rural tourism in South-Eastern Europe. Also, in the context of the relationship between the rural development strategies and tourist activity, Naghiu et all (2005) show that rural tourism might become a domestic demand growth factor in Romania.

The regional gap issue has been tackled from the socio-economic angle, either by looking at one country's regions - as for instance Greece's, where the economic activities' inequitable spatial distribution has been demonstrated by Ioannides and Petrakos (2000) -, or by considering tourism as a regional development determinant, as in the case of the Baltic coastal areas research, by Spiriajevas (2008). It is also worth mentioning a decade-old study by Seckelmann (2002) which sheds light on the Turkish mass tourism concentration in the Western and Southern parts of the country that has contributed to deepening the regional development gap through large-scale touristic flows.

Although our research is unique in approaching the chosen topic from the spatial angle - by looking at the tourism development disparities between the Romanian administrative units, the counties - the method used by us can be traced in various other studies: Lupsa-Tataru (2007) performed such a comparative analysis on the industrial development of the Romanian regions, while Sandu (2011) looked at the regional development disparities from the social point of view. Trying to answer questions such as: What is the current configuration of the development disparities in Romania? Have they been increasing, or decreasing in time? To what extent the regional development policies play a part in the dynamics of these disparities? - the author reaches to the conclusion that "... the spatial development issues in Romania cannot be solved solely by regional-type changes, but also by local administration ones." (Sandu, 2011).

With a view to analyzing the tourism activity in Romania's counties, six indices, specific to the tourism demand and supply have been considered for the 2007-2013 time lapse: two of them featuring demand, two featuring supply and the other two defining the demand/supply relationship. …

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