ANAT expects 15% more seaside holidaymakers

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The Black Sea shore remains the favorite holiday destination in Romania, in 2008, as estimates show 15% growth in the number of tourists, compared to the previous year, president of the National Association of Travel Agencies in Romania (ANAT) Dragos Anastasiu told a news conference on May 22.
 
As many as 1.2 million Romanian tourists spent their holiday on the Romanian Black Sea shore in 2007, and the condition for this 15% increase in 2008 is the rise in the number of holidaymakers in May and June and in Sept, namely at the beginning and the end of the seaside season.
 
Hotels have been opened earlier, but unfortunately many units such as open air cafes, restaurants, stores and discos stay closed by June. And this even if the first series of foreign (German, French, Scandinavian) tourists arrived early in May, and the Seaside for Everybody Programme over May 1 – June 15, initiated by the Seaside Promotion Association and backed up by ANAT, is in progress. It would be necessary, local authorities claim, for the units to start activity at the same time with the official beginning of the tourist season. Anyway, the Romanian Black Sea shore was very busy on May 1 and several units started activity, Anastasiu said.
 
Travel agencies notice that most holidaymakers chose 3-4 star hotels instead of 2-star ones, which shows the Romanian tourists got more demanding.
 
Unfortunately, although 80% of the tourists buy holiday packages from travel agencies, there is the weekend category, who prefer to pay considerably more at the hotel’s reception desk.
 
Travel agencies brought 120,000 foreign tourists to spend their holiday on the Romanian Black Sea shore, last year.
 
An ANAT delegation headed by Dragos Anastasiu is to attend the first meeting of the European Travel Agents and Tourism Operators Association (ECTAA), in Sofia, on May 27-28.
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