Number of foreign tourists to increase by 15 percent in 2008

The opening of new hotels and boarding houses, the improvement of services and a better defined infrastructure will draw to Romania by 15 percent more foreign tourists in 2008, say the representatives of the National Association of Tourist Agencies (ANAT).
According to daily Adevarul, the most numerous visitors to Romania this year will come from Germany, Austria, Italy, the USA and Israel.
On the other hand, according to ANAT estimations, in 2008 ever more numerous Romanians will leave for foreign countries. In the 2007-2008 winter season Romanian tourists preferred Austria as their foreign destination and Poiana Brasov (central Romania), the Prahova Valley and Predeal (southern Romania) were the domestic destinations most Romanian tourists chose. A trend for 2008 will be the Romanians’ option for plane flights. In Romania there are now 47 companies providing scheduled air services and nine providing low-cost ones.
They also estimate that in 2008 the charter flights will grow by 25 percent. "Charter flights saw a boom the previous year too. About 80 charter flights were launched and we estimate that their number will increase to about 100 in 2008. An important tendency is the appearance of charter flights in various Romanian cities too," said the ANAT officials.
In their opinion, 2008 will see an increase in all the segments (domestic, foreign, business travel and charter) and a factor to contribute to this growth will be the improvement of the infrastructure, the one of airports included.
ANAT officials also think that, in a few years, Bucharest has the chance of becoming the most important business tourist destination in south-eastern Europe. "In Bucharest important investments are made in hotels and in the next few years all hotel chains will be present," says ANAT president Dragos Anastasiu.
According to Mihai Rajnita, general secretary of the Federation of Hotel Industry in Romania, less than 10 hotel chains, out of the few hundred existing the world over, operate on the Romanian market at present.
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