World Economic Forum: Romania, less competitive on tourism than its neighbors

Romania is among last of the Central and Eastern European countries on tourism competitiveness. The country is outranked by many places by its neighbors Bulgaria and Hungary, as well as by Poland, Slovenia, Estonia and the Slovak Republic, in a recent ranking by the World Economic Forum.

Romania comes 66th in the ranking – a two place improvement on last year. However, neighbor Bulgaria’s tourism industry is more competitive than Romania’s: the country is at the 49th position in the ranking of 140 countries.

Ranking lower than Romania are Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Albania, and the Republic of Moldova. The ranking takes into account several criteria, including business environment, safety and security, health and hygiene, human resources and labor market, and ICT readiness. Romania fares best for health and hygiene, where it achieved its highest score, and worst for business environment. Other weak areas for Romania are air transport, ground and port infrastructure. For a country boasting plenty of natural beauties, Romania has a low score for natural resources and cultural resources and business travel.

The leader for revenues from tourism is Spain, which leads the ranking for the first time. “It is the third most visited country in the world, with approximately 60.6 million arrivals, a figure that continues to increase thanks primarily to a surge in visitors from emerging markets such as China, Brazil and Mexico,” according to the report.

Europe, with six countries in top 10, is the region with the most competitive travel and tourism industry in the world, according to the ranking.

Europe’s rich cultural resources, the world-class tourism service infrastructure, strong health and hygiene conditions, and—notably with the Schengen Area—the high degree of international openness and integration help the continent attract so many tourists. But there are still significant gaps between the top and bottom performers in terms of cultural resources, the report reveals.

More about the 2015 report and various regional ranking and criteria, here.

Corina Chirileasa, [email protected]