Romania was among the least popular tourist destinations for foreign tourists in the EU, in 2015, along with much smaller countries such as Slovakia, Latvia, and Luxembourg, according to data from EU’s statistical office Eurostat. The statistics take into consideration the number of nights spent by foreign tourists in local hotels and guest houses.
The four most popular EU destinations for non-residents were Spain (270 million nights), Italy (193 million nights), France (130 million nights), and the United Kingdom (118 million nights), which together accounted for more than half of total nights spent by non-residents in the EU.
Meanwhile, less than 5 million nights were registered in Romanian accommodation units in 2015, the number being over two times lower than the one registered in neighboring Bulgaria (more than 13 million nights), and Hungary (almost 13 million nights).
The only EU Member Countries doing worse than Romania, based on number of nights spent by non-residents, were Slovakia – around 4.38 million nights, Estonia – 3.77 million, Lithuania – 3 million, Latvia – 2.87 million, and Luxembourg – 2.65 million, all being much smaller countries than Romania.
Romania is also last in the EU on tourism intensity, which results from dividing the number of nights spent by both foreign and local tourists in local hotels by the number of inhabitants. Malta, Croatia, Cyprus, Austria, and Spain are the most tourism intensive countries in the EU.
Moreover, foreign tourists continue to spend less in Romania than Romanian tourists spend abroad, Eurostat statistics show. In 2015, Romanian tourists spent some EUR 1.85 billion abroad while foreign tourists spent EUR 1.54 billion in Romania.
Spain has the highest positive balance from international tourism, with net receipts of over EUR 35 billion, followed by Italy - EUR 13.5 billion, and Greece - EUR 12 billion. Meanwhile, Germany is the biggest spender, with net expenditure of EUR 36.6 billion, followed by UK - EUR 16 billion, and Belgium - EUR 6.2 billion.
The Romanian Ministry of Tourism announced last week that the country's tourism promotion offices abroad, which are the institutions that promote the Romanian tourism abroad and attract foreign tourists to Romania, will shut down and their employees will return to the country.
Irina Popescu, email@example.com