The question of Romanian tourism.
Tourism in Romania is closely linked and conditioned by several elements. I take them one by one: Primo: the national tourism strategy, which first of all implies a focus on what Romania has to offer in terms of tourism to monetize the investments necessary for this strategy; Second: the existence of a country brand, or at least a tourism brand. The following considerations arise from this: a country brand also includes the tourist brand, and the tourist brand cannot exist without a concrete tourism strategy focused on the business potential generated by specific characteristics, for example, landforms, climate, thermal waters, etc. We can also add that the country brand is directly influenced (and created) by the level of foreign investments, the quality of education, the training (qualification) of the workforce, the quality of life and social and political stability.
Therefore, considerations related to gastronomy, wine, history and tradition, festivals, boutique hotels, etc., are subsidiary and adjacent to creating a tourist or country brand. That is to say; I am after the comma in the concert of generating a consistent and constant business in tourism. The waves of tourists, consistent income generators, will never come to Romania for a few wines, two or three boutique hotels or mamaliga with sarmale and mititei. I repeat, real tourism, at the level of a national business, can only exist if there is the primary source of income, the principal and determining characteristic for which tourists come to the country. Consequently, the tourism brand will also exist if this source is identified and exploited.
I want to remind you that a brand cannot exist without the “object of work”, without the tangible characteristics of the product or service, preferably unique or at least original. Of course, the “shelf” price also matters. Only then does the “story” created to communicate and support the product or service matter.
Returning to the first paragraph, at the risk of attracting negative comments or disapproving glances, Romania does not have a national strategy focused on tourism and the small islands of civilization scattered here, and there (a few guesthouses or hotels, festivals, some wines and debatable gastronomy -original) have no way to replace the dominant tourist product, being only adjuncts to it.
Bottomless forms exist only when there is no concrete, strategic approach. For more details, those interested can consult the “Romanian Modernity” book by Lazăr Vlăsceanu and Marian-Gabriel Hâncean.
In conclusion, the latest Anholt-Ipsos study on country brands (https://www.ipsos.com/en/nation-brands-index-2022) does not even include Romania. Therefore, the tourism brand does not exist either. I am quoting here from the motivation for not having Romania: “Each year, the list of 60 nations is reevaluated, and nations are selected based on the political and economic importance of the nations in global geopolitics and the flow of trade, businesses, people, and tourism activities. Regional representation and, to some extent, the diversity of political and economic systems are considered to make the study truly global.”