Prince Charles has been for years now an ardent promoter of the Romanian region of Transylvania.
Prince Charles has been for years now an ardent promoter of the Romanian region of Transylvania, where he found a unique relationship between man and his surroundings, saying that the locals are animated by a feeling of belonging. The prince bought along the years several traditional houses, and is involved in a campaign to save the virgin forests of Transylvania. He loves traditional products in the area, and had a major role in the promotional documentary Wild Carpathia, broadcast by the Travel Channel.
The documentary made a huge difference in promoting Romania as a tourist destination, as a country that could use much more awareness. The on-line environment and social media became the main channels for attracting tourists here. In 2018 there was already a surge in the number of tourists, but it was deemed insufficient by Tudor Maxim, the founder of #ExperienceBucharest, the biggest project of independent promotion for Romania, next to #ExperienceRomania. He underlined the importance of promotional videos, the need to continuously update the national promotion website, especially in languages of wide circulation. As he put it, quote: 'Officially, we don't exist in terms of international image, and Romania has one of the smallest number of tourists in all of Europe.'
Early this month, the #ExperienceBucharest event brought together over 300 foreign guests, bloggers, journalists, vloggers, and experts on Twitter and Instagram, who created quality campaigns, promoting Bucharest and other areas, getting exposure for Romania. This occasioned various tours and alternative experience events, such as 'The Story of Bucharest', where the participants were exposed to its over 500 years of history, the Roma Cultural Heritage event, touching on the sensitive issue of Roma discrimination, the Alternative Tour, designed for raising awareness over urban art, and the Communist Tour, meant to inform about the 40 years of communist dictatorship in Romania.
Romania is far from living up to its true potential in tourism, according to the hotel industry in the country. According to them, Romania's taking over the rotating EU presidency in the first half of 2019, as well as the preparations for hosting the European Championships in 2020, are a good omen for domestic tourism. A unitary strategy is needed, coordinated between all those involved, is the opinion of Calin Ile, head of the Romanian Hotel Industry Federation.
“We have set a deadline for January 31 to finalize the strategy for promoting Bucharest as a destination in Romania. We want to bring all the actors to the same table, and not waste resources by adhering to disparate strategies, one made by the Ministry of Tourism, another one by the City Hall, and another one by the Federation. Even though this comes very late in the game, we believe we will be able to manage to come up with an action plan, if not a strategy. During the presidency we expect about 25,000 delegates from member countries, and during the football championship we expect about 120,000 tourists attending the 4 games. We want to provide these tourists with a unique experience, we want to engage the locals as much as we can in taking pride in the fact that they belong to a city that hosts such events. More importantly, we want to capitalize on the legacy that results from such events, with an impact for years to come”.
The Ministry of Tourism will promote Romania with two promo videos, publishing brochures in 5 international languages, and will also support concerts held in May 2019 at the Summit in Sibiu.
However, it is not only tourism that needs promotion. Romania needs a coherent strategy for promoting traditional products, according to the head of the Agro Pro National Federation, Emil Dumitru. He was invited for an interview on Radio Romania, on Romanian Food Product Day, and he explained that there is a plan to set up an agency to promote quality products.
Here he is expanding on it: “Such an agency would go a long way towards helping the Romanian producer have proper labeling, in order to comply in full with all the technical requirements. We believe that Romania, which will be the fifth most important agricultural entity in the EU post-Brexit, will be a major player on the European food market”.
Also pleading for such a country project are Romanian wine makers, who point out that Romanian wines have won countless medals, but little international recognition.