This year, the southern side of the Romanian seacoast is getting an injection of capital. Several hotels in that area will be modernized, raising their rating. The north is preferred by younger tourists, while the south is preferred by people who vacation with their families. Businesses have started renovating and reclassifying accommodation accordingly, according to the mayor of the town of Mangalia, Cristian Radu:
“The six resorts administered by the town of Mangalia, Olimp, Neptun, Jupiter, Cap Aurora, Venus, Saturn, as well as the resort town itself, were designed in the early 1960s, and were available to tourists in the early '70s. All we want is to put them on the world tourism map. We've been trying to do this for the last five years, and I hope we can manage that in the near future. Let me give you a few examples. We have the hotel complex in Olimp, consisting of the Panoramic, the Belvedere and the Amfiteatru hotels. The latter had been abandoned for 7 or 8 years, or had been open with a rating of one star or two. It has now been bought by a Romanian investor. He has several investments in Bucharest and the seacoast, and is a gain for the entire area. In Venus we have several hotels bought by another investor in Romania, and in Saturn two hotels were bought by an investor from China. Investors have started coming to the area, they are showing visible interest, which means that the local administration is doing its job properly.”
The Chinese will be investing in a few hundred holiday apartments in Saturn, built where a few abandoned buildings used to stand. The investment is worth 5 or 6 million Euros. Six more functional hotels are on sale, spread out between Olimp and Saturn. The Mangalia Town Hall joined the process of modernization, investing in infrastructure. The local authorities used 21 million Euros worth of European funds to this purpose. The newest projects are the Evergreen Park and modernizing the old waterfront. Here is Cristian Radu:
“We are talking about 9 km of the coast, and we have to restore all the waterfronts in Mangalia, which have been left derelict since the early 1970s. We started with the waterfront in Neptun, and we have also restored the waterfront in Mangalia. Of the four hotels there, only two were open. Now a famous hotel, the Scala, very popular with Romanian tourists, has now been renamed and belongs to an investor from Bacau. He bought it and opened it for the winter too, because it is close to the spa. The Mangalia Casino, which at a certain point was abandoned, has now been taken over by an investor, and will be open to the public. We are also investing in the infrastructure on the waterfront, we are starting with the waterfront in Saturn, and we want to have a waterfront promenade soon between Mangalia and Olimp in the near future. We will be using European as well as government funds, because a locality of 44,000 people such as Mangalia cannot sustain all these investments. We want to access European money, because we want these resorts to look the way that tourists would want them to.”
Erosion can be seen more and more on the Romanian seacoast. In the last 50 years, beaches have started eroding on stretches of hundreds of meters. The process of restoring beaches and combating erosion has started, and will continue. This year, 800 million Euros worth of European money have been invested, according to Cristian Radu, mayor of Mangalia:
“The project is due to start this year. The beaches are managed by the Environment Ministry, not the Town Hall, but they will be restored this year, and we will start filling them up with sand. They will be enlarged, the investment will be finalized in 2 to 3 years. We also started rehabilitating Mangalia Park, at first using European funds, then using our own money. We are trying to create a tourist town. If you ask us if we want to compete with other resorts in Romania or Bulgaria, the answer is that we are competing with ourselves. All these resorts looked great in the '70s and '80s, they were very popular. The area between Olimp and Neptun was so popular with foreign tourists that you could hardly find Romanian speakers there. In conclusion, we want to put these resorts on the world tourist map.”
Mangalia Spa will get investments worth around 40 million Euros, invested in state-of-the-art medical equipment for its children's spine recovery section. The spa is famous across the world for its treatments with medicinal mud, unique in Europe, as well as its marine climate and its sulfur-rich thermal waters.