Brand Romania – Workforce scarcity in tourism.

(Excerpt from the doctoral thesis “Visual identity sources for Romania’s country brand,” author Bogdan Brînzaș)

[…] since the 1990s, Romania has had an incredibly consistent emigration, which causes an acute lack of labour force […]. Only in the period between 2007 and 2017, 3.4 million Romanians emigrated, i.e. 17% of the country’s population, being in second place in the world after Syria, an absolutely disastrous and counterproductive ranking from an economic and social point of view,[1] and the financial cost of migration was estimated at over 700 billion euros.[2] I conclude that one of the purposes of creating a tourism brand can be to reverse the effects of emigration by determining the stay of young people in the country and by creating conditions for the return to the land of a part of those who chose this path. We can achieve this effect by restoring optimism about living conditions in the country. Contrary to the moderately optimistic spirit stated here by me, Iulian Stoenescu said in a filmed material that:
“[…] resetting Romania is impossible because there are simply no human resources to achieve it […]. The big problem of contemporary Romania is demographic emptying. Our catastrophe is biological […] Romania does not have people; it does not have the genetic background to be anything other than what it is now”.[3]

And yet, from private interviews conducted personally with executive managers in Romania, I also retained another idea, contrary to what has been stated so far, namely that there is still enough labour in Romania. Still, the vast majority of companies, especially (with exceptions) those with Romanian capital and management, need to have the necessary appetite to offer a higher salary level sufficient for a decent living, hence resulting in a false crisis in the labour market. Moreover, the disproportionately high incomes of state officials and employees also contribute here, compared to those in the private sector (Claudiu Năsui, deputy, member of the Budget, Finance and Banks Commission):
In September 2018, without being overly productive, a state employee earned, on average, 91% more than an employee in the private sector […] In September of this year, state employees earned more than 2,000 RON more than those in the private sector. The average salary in the entire economy was 2,688 lei net (taking into account the state and private sectors). In the state, however, it was 4,235 RON net per month, while in private, it was approximately 2,218 RON. This means a net difference of 2,017 RON.[4]

Without being idealistic, we must assume that most Romanians settled abroad will not return to the country, and the natality rate will not increase dramatically. Looking pragmatically at this essential aspect, we can partially counterbalance the effects by determining a migratory movement to Romania of a disciplined workforce, coming mainly from Asia (Vietnam, Nepal or the Philippines) to replace the results of the lack of labour or the appetite to work of some Romanians for some fields, the hospitality industry being one of the most affected by the phenomenon. This is already being produced, with visible effects for now in construction, production of building materials and services, especially in home and child care. We are all aware that such a decision is difficult to assume and integrate into state policy (the legislative context of the European Union must also be taken into account); however, just as the countries of Western Europe have programmatically supplemented the deficient workforce with emigrants from former countries communists, Turkey (Germany, after World War II), Africa, Asia and the Maghreb (France, England, Holland), and Romania can achieve the same thing with labour outside the borders. The idea of “enlisting” the labour force in the Republic of Moldova can be just as daring and controversial. We have the same common language; we are practically all Romanians. This direction may prove more productive than the Asian migration due primarily to the ease of communication and similar or identical customs, no longer needing to assimilate a different culture. The idea deserves a brave and careful analysis by specialists and authorities.

[1] Ibid.
[2] Andrei Buruiană, “Costul economic al migrației pentru România este estimat la peste 700 miliarde euro” (The economic cost of migration for Romania is estimated at over 700 billion euros), Project-E , (November 23, 2021, f.l.),, accessed on December 1, 2021.
[3] Rudolf Schuster, Dr Iulian Stoenescu. Realitatea din România (The reality from Romania), 00:14, (2019),, accessed on October 16, 2021.
[4] “Deputat USR: Un angajat la stat câștigă de două ori mai mult decât unul din privat, deși nu e productiv” (A state employee earns twice as much as a private employee, although he is not productive),,, accessed on November 30, 2021.