Travel and tourism in Romania - statistics & facts

The tourism sector as such has become one of the most important contributors to a country’s growth and economic development. In 2020, Romania’s tourism sector accounted for 3.69 percent of the country’s GDP. There are a variety of relief features such as the Carpathian Mountains, the Black Sea, the Danube Delta, as well as a multitude of wooded areas, rivers and lakes, which make the country one of the biggest tourist attractions in Europe. Romania also has several world heritage sites protected by UNESCO namely the Churches of Moldova, Maramures, and Transylvania, several Dacian Fortresses, and the Danube Delta. In 2019, there were over eight thousand tourist accommodation establishments which hosted over 13 million tourists.



Coronavirus (COVID-19) impact on tourism

The outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has had a severe impact on tourism at a global level. Restrictive measures such as closed borders, quarantine periods, limited number of flights, curfews and country lockdowns have led to over 100 thousand contracts postponed in the hospitality industry in summer 2020. Moreover, despite the Romanian hospitality industry already having one of the lowest average monthly salaries, it dropped further by over five percent in 2020. COVID-19 impact on the tourism sector was also reflected in the tourism flow. For example, tourist arrivals in accommodation units in Romania dropped by over 90 percent in April and May 2020 compared to 2019, and maintained a negative dynamic throughout the whole year. Moreover, in November 2020, the Otopeni airport in Bucharest recorded a drop of approximately 85 percent in their passenger traffic compared to 2019.



Travel behavior

When it comes to tourism expenditure, the amount of money spent by Romanian tourists abroad peaked in summer 2019 at over 500 million euros. However, expenditure for 2020 dropped by more than half compared to the numbers recorded in 2019. Surprisingly, the overall lower expenditure registered in 2020 did not affect the average spending of Romanian tourists per holiday, which either remained the same or even increased. As for travel destinations, Europe still remains the most preferred by Romanians, especially since millions of people favor more travelling by car instead of by plane. The second most common destination for holidays and business trips over the last two years has been Asia.

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Travel and tourism in Romania

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