Romania-Considerations regarding tourist or nation brand.

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

„Romania does not exist on their perceptual map. It is neither good nor bad. Simply put, as a country, we do not exist! We don’t appeal as a possible vacation destination, nor do we impress with something in particular—a product, a place, a character to define us and occupy a place in the American mind. Romania is a difficult country for Americans to understand – part of a remote region with many small countries that, seen from afar, are confused with each other”.[1]

And further, something about media presence and the American collective mind:
„Our country appears extremely rarely on the news feed. In 1926, Queen Mary’s visit took America by storm. In 2009, CNN, the Washington Post and the New York Times ignored Romania. What happens on the mioritic plains does not in any way influence the lives of the citizens across the Atlantic. In the last 20 years, the Government of Romania has spent, only in the United States, several million dollars for the promotion of the country, without leaving any trace of it on the cortex of the Americans”.[2]

Small or developing countries, or those relatively recently emerging from the communist system, do not have holistic approaches at the state level, the reasons being multiple, among them mainly the lack of experience, specialists, the fractionation or insufficient allocation of budgets, corruption or narrow group interests or even poor preparation of the administration and politicians to create and administer economically and politically in a global context such a plan.

Thus, the conclusions are eloquent[3] to a study group within the Academy of Economic Studies, regarding Romania’s efforts to create a country brand. However, even these states have the chance to position themselves on the world map, in part, by creating tourism policies and strategies that have positive ramifications and effects both in most layers of society and outside. The explanation resides in the intrinsic connection between tourism activities that can generate profit and reputation and the other economic and social levels of the country. Investments in tourism can play a multiplier role, supporting economic growth in multiple sectors such as transport, construction and building materials, trade of all kinds, agriculture and food products, which can create jobs, causing the emergence of diversified opportunities for the development of new business. Simply put, it is possible to achieve a cascading effect by taking advantage of a strategic tourism development plan. More tourists mean more income, both in personal and state budgets, and it means more positive tourist experiences that will reverberate further in the countries of origin in multiple ways, it means – very importantly – the creation of a purpose, of a horizon of expectation and social and economic optimism at the level of citizens and tourism operators, means the creation of jobs both in tourism and in interconnected fields, just as it can motivate and determine the repatriation of a part of the immense Romanian emigration after 1989. Equally important, the development of a positive reputation emanating from the area of tourism can have an impact and reverberations in politics and foreign relations. Here it should be noted that regarding the target countries to which the national brand should be addressed, those in which Romania already has an unfavourable image should be avoided. It is challenging and extremely expensive – and the results will be uncertain at best – to change existing negative perceptions. However, Romania cannot afford not to gain visitors – potential future ambassadors of our country’s reputation – and therefore the geographical and socio-economic spectrum in which they fall must be precisely defined. Romania is a relatively poor country and we cannot afford long and expensive programs and campaigns without notable results,[4] such as “The Land of Choice” campaign launched in 2009. Therefore, our efforts in this direction must be as economic and efficient as possible, in other words, those concerted strategies and solutions must be chosen, which ensure results in as many plans and social, economic and cultural layers as possible.

The benefits of a concerted effort – a necessary condition – are potentially countless, but it requires the assumption of a precise direction to go, resources, facilities, infrastructure and legislation to support this endeavour. Therefore, respecting this stated condition, Romania could access in a relatively short time – shorter than the time that has passed from 1989 until today – an economic and political place relatively equal to that of other European states without having to do major concessions to subsist through massive external lending intended for consumption or in major areas with long-term impacts, such as the exploitation of raw materials and natural resources, as has happened so far with forests, this being a notorious example, energy and mining being other areas in which the external pressures exerted are very high.

[1] Mihai Ghyka, “România – țara fără de brand” (Romania – the country without a brand), Ziarul Financiar, (April 22, 2009, f.l.),, accessed on October 10, 2021.
[2] Ibid.
[3] Carmina Salomia, Florin Voicu, Alexandra Voinescu, “Sugestii pentru îmbunătățirea imaginii de țară a României” (Suggestions for improving Romania’s image), (2016) p.9-10,, accessed on November 13, 2021.
[4] Ibid, p.6.