Consumer protection chief vows to clean up Romanian tourism
In order for Romanians to turn back to the local tourism sector, it first needs to be cleaned up of poor conditions and deceptive claims, argues Horia Constantinescu, head of Romania’s National Consumer Protection Authority (ANPC).
The Consumer Protection chief says that despite his agency’s efforts, being a tourist in Romania often means that your expectations are not met. He likens a person’s encounter with Romanian tourism to a blind date in which the initial promises are wildly broken.
“The tourist who gets off a questionably clean train ends up in a similar, questionably clean train station, goes on to meet a taxi driver who charges him an inflated price and who takes him to a hotel which, he is told, is five meters away from the beach, but which is only so if one was to measure distance as if one were the giant in Gulliver’s story,” Constantinescu says, cited by B1. “Then he goes to cool off at a restaurant where he has the chance to not consume something that’s been expired for months or even a few years,” he adds.
Deception is a common practice in the tourism sector in Romania, according to the Consumer Protection chief, and it is taking the whole industry adrift, “with or without the ANPC.”
However, Constantinescu says that the agency he heads can have a leading role in bringing tourists back. “We’re showing consumers and tourists that we’re ready to clean up the areas that they’ve already run away from, because it was not us who chased them away,” he says. “They knew that they don't want to go to the Romanian coast or to the mountains in Romania,” the Consumer Protection chief concludes.
ANPC agents have been scouring seaside and mountain resorts all summer. In one location, they uncovered meat products that had expired three years ago but which were still destined for tourists’ consumption now. Most recently, the Consumer Protection Authority visited several mountain resorts and applied fines worth RON 70,000 (EUR 14,280). Several businesses were forced to halt activities until they resolve the issues flagged by ANPC agents.
“The [businesses’] respect for the tourist in Valea Prahovei leaves a lot to be desired, which leads us to continuously supervise the services offered in this area, until we no longer find deviations from the law," said one ANPC official cited by Agerpres.
(Photo source: Octav Ganea | Inquam Photos)