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Financial crisis hasn’t dulled appetite of rich Romanians for tropical paradise holidays


It appears that not everyone is feeling the financial squeeze in Romania as the market for luxury holidays costing more than EUR 10,000 per person has grown. Travel agency Happy Tour calculated that around 10,000 Romanians can afford to pay prices of over EUR 10,000 per person on their holidays. The number of people going on luxury holidays costing more than EUR 3,000 per person has also increased by 10 percent a year since 2009.

Happy Tour’s figures suggest that holidaying habits are largely unchanged since the financial crisis. The general manager of Happy Tour Javier Garcia said that those who went to the Seychelles before the crisis are still going there now. Meanwhile, the people that looked for cheaper options before are still displaying the same thrifty habits in 2012.

The company estimates that around 10 percent of Romanians, or 1.9 million people, can afford to go on holiday abroad and of those some 0.5 percent are wealthy enough to afford the high end trips to exotic locations. Among the most popular luxury destinations are the Maldives (in picture), the Caribbean, the Bahamas and the Seychelles, suggesting that Romania’s rich have a penchant for tropical paradise islands.

Happy Tour also announced a new record price paid by Romanians for a holiday this year. A Romanian family with two children has paid more than EUR 90,000 per person to spend the New Year at a luxury resort in the Bahamas. The price covers a 150 sqm ocean view apartment with valet service.

Happy Tour is a travel agency group owned by Spanish investment firm GED Capital, which bought the company in 2007. Since then Happy Tour has made a number of acquisitions, cementing its place as the largest Romanian travel agency by turnover. This year, the group bought another local travel company Prestige Tours.

Liam Lever, liam@romania-insider.com