In Romania, public and private sector employees should receive holiday vouchers, to be used exclusively in the Romanian tourism industry.
In the Romanian tourism industry, 2015 started with a cut in the
Value Added Tax from 24% to 9% for accommodation services (with breakfast
included, at the minimum), a measure meant to contain tax evasion. That was
followed by the enforcement of the Law on granting holiday vouchers, which is
expected to contribute to re-launching the Romanian tourism industry. The law
stipulates that public and private sector employees should receive holiday
vouchers, whose total value should not exceed 6 minimum salaries per economy
and which can be used exclusively in the Romanian tourism industry. State
sector employees will receive only holiday vouchers and no longer holiday money
or bonuses. The holiday voucher system offers fiscal facilities to employers,
as those vouchers are deductible. Furthermore, the employer pays only the
equivalent of the 16% salary tax. The President of the Prahova Tourism
Association, Adrian Voican, has told Radio Romania:
idea of introducing holiday bonuses emerged 5-6 years ago. There were also
multinational companies which granted this facility, because there was a fiscal
benefit in store for them. Taxes stood at zero in the beginning, then at 16%,
but far below the approximately 80% of the net salary worth of taxes that a
company should pay. But, half of the year 2015 was wasted because of protracted
legislative, administrative and organisational talks. Now, we have both a law and enforcement norms. Historic things
have been done in Romania in the field of tourism, for instance the IATA
(International Air Transport Association) accreditations for travel agencies.
There was no such a thing in the past and everyone used to solve things by his
or her own, at home or abroad. Today, it's something common to buy plane
tickets online, but many steps have been taken in order to make this possible
and the effort has taken time. Furthermore, the activity of travel agencies is
very well regulated, there are licensing processes, there are also insolvency
insurances. When you work with a travel agency, you are covered to a certain
extent, especially since the travel agencies are members of the National Travel
Agencies' Association. In 2008, the Association started initiating such
programs as 'Holiday in my country', 'Free vacation days', 'Seaside for all'
which brought holiday packages at promotional prices to the public at large,
and the general impression that holidays in Romania are expensive has
'Seaside for All' programme is still available at this time of the year with
major cuts in off-season accommodation prices. Here is Corina Martin, head of
the "The Seaside - Danube Delta" Agency for Tourist Development and Promotion
with more on the issue:
"We are also considering a 'Seaside for All' package version for seniors. We
are still to decide on what this package for senior tourists will include, but
we'll have this package in Romania as well. And we intend to go further with
the 'Delta for all'programme, as we believe the Delta is the crown jewel of
Romanian tourism, a travel destination that puts Romania on the world's and
Europe's travel maps. We aren't pleased with how this destination has been
promoted so far by the central authorities in charge of tourism and we thought
we could do more along this line. So we intend to invite tourists from Romania
to discover the Delta in a travel package with a certain number of nights at
affordable prices in all three and four-star hotels and guest houses, just like
under the 'Seaside for all" programme.
Adrian Voican, president of the
Prahova Tourism Association, has referred to the preferences of Romanian tourists.
"More and more tourists prefer quality nowadays. Over 60% of them prefer
three-star hotels, unlike in the past years when most of them chose two star
accommodation. Only 10 - 12% of the tourists are now opting for two-star
hotels, the same percentage as those who prefer five-star facilities. In the
past years only well off people had chosen five star hotels, while a little bit
over 6% have been accomodated in four-star hotels. Four-star accommodation has
now become commonplace and we are glad that Romanian tourists are now choosing
4-5 star accommodation just like they do when they go abroad. There are over 10
thousand Romanian accommodation facilities registered, most of them guest
houses, villas, hostels and condos. But we also have 32 five-star hotels and
300 four-star hotels in Romania as well as over 800 three-star units."
In 2014, 1.7 million foreign
tourists found accommodation in Romanian tourist facilities, most of them
coming from Germany, Italy and France. Travel consultant Traian Badulescu
talked about their preferences.
circuits combining UNESCO heritage sites in Transylvania, Maramures and
Bukovina are very popular with foreign travellers. Most of those tourists come
to Romania either for various events or on business, but the number of those
who choose Romania for a pleasure holiday is on the rise."
The first half of this year saw a
significant rise in the Israeli tourists visiting Romania.