Domestic tourism in Romania.
Let’s do an imagination exercise and get drunk with cold water, imagining that:
– The state does not give holiday vouchers to state employees,
– Locals don’t like to drink in peace their unemployment or child benefits,
– The summer season at the seaside lasts more than two months,
– We have internal transport infrastructure (highways, expressways, asphalted local and county roads),
– The thermal and balneo resorts are set up and functional (starting with Herculane),
– The ski resorts are functional, both due to the infrastructure of the slopes and the accommodation and services,
– We have a sufficient, motivated and trained workforce, from setting up tourism strategies to skilled and polite servers, available maids, honest owners of lodges and guesthouses, communication budgets, experienced marketers, etc,
– The state collects and has precise data on accommodation capacities, the number of tourists staying annually, travel motivations, age groups, income levels, socio-professional categories, per capita spending on vacations, etc.
– Tourism is fiscalized both on income and on wages,
– Winter does not take the authorities by surprise year after year,
– Communes, rural settlements and small towns are not depopulated,
– The rural environment is not deplorable (deforestation, abandoned villages, unclogged roads, etc.),
– Local food businesses and handmade, eco, organic products exist as a mass phenomenon and practice natural prices,
– Pensions, hotels and cabins do not serve the same tired “Romanian” dishes and plastic breakfast bought in bulk from cash and carry,
– There is a local garbage collection infrastructure,
– The prices are for the average level of the Romanian employee,
– The owners of tourist facilities (mainly accommodation, but also food) are aware that their investments are long-term, not even medium-term, the result being the change in customer behaviour and prices,
– There is a diversity of possibilities for recreation and entertainment, also depending on the local specificities, apart from the classic cabins and guesthouses where you only eat and drink a lot on the occasion of holidays, summer and winter holidays, or birthdays,
– Historical and natural objectives are valued, taken care of and financially exploited,
After we get over our self-induced drunkenness and self-sufficiency, after we get over the feeling that we have what it takes for tourism, after we bring in 50,000 or so smiling, hard-working Filipinos to work in tourism, after we can see that the problems are as systemic as and at the level of mentality and behaviour, then I will start to be positive towards domestic tourism.
In conclusion, here are two examples: (1) without the holiday vouchers given to the state employees (from my taxes, ours, why?), domestic tourism would collapse and (2) please visit the equivalent of Sinaia in Serbia (I’m not giving names so that it doesn’t exist you doubt that I am advertising) and note the level of cleanliness, services, order, infrastructure, behaviour and especially prices.
Any positive aspects we have observed in domestic tourism in Romania constitute small islands of civilization, but one or two flower does not make spring. Therefore, we remain, eternally, at the stage of neglected and untapped potential.