Made with European Union money, officially launched 24 hoursafter it had been leaked at home, on the music of Gheorghe Zamfir,and with hostesses from Bolivia and Bulgaria. That was the birth of”our first professional tourism brand”, according to the officials,and it was launched on „Romania Day” at the 2010 Shanghai WorldExpo, which is the most ambitious expo in history.
Of the 70 million visitors Chinese authorities are expectingbetween May 1st and October 31st, Romania’s pavilion has receivedtwo million since the beginning of this month. As such, the placewhere over 200 countries and international organizations chose toshow what they had best was deemed the most appropriate place tolaunch Romania’s new tourism image.
„I strongly believe Romania is a country that can truly standout, that it is a beautiful country waiting to be discovered”, saidMinister Elena Udrea in a brief speech. The location for thepresentation was the stage inside the „Green Apple” (Greenopolis) -Romania’s pavilion being one of the only 47 individual nationalpavilions. Romania’s tourism promotion will focus on „a country ofdiversity and multiculturalism” (traditions kept over thecenturies) and „the impossible to ignore natural wealth”, saidUdrea. She declared herself „proud to be a Romanian” and askedNadia Comăneci, Ilie Năstase and Gică Hagi to come up with her onstage, whom she thanked again for yet another show ofpatriotism.
„Romania can’t practice mass tourism”
Minister Elena Udrea said that „Romania can’t practice masstourism”, because this just means „seaside holidays”. This type oftourism „cannot be competitive in Romania”, believes Udrea, due to”insufficient” infrastructure, a lack of good practices in zoningon behalf of authorities, the quality of service and prices.
On the other hand, the new tourism brand will target so-called”discerning travelers”. To them, Romania is an adequate niche,according to the studies conducted by the branding company. We’retalking people between 25 to 34 or over 54 years old, that don’thave very high income and want to experience the culture of anothercountry, are interested in the outdoors and have an activelifestyle. The cultural circuits, exploring areas rarely traveledby tourists, outdoor adventures, balneal tourism or a few day longcity breaks would be just the thing for them. The CarpathianMountains and the Danube Delta, well-kept traditions or UNESCOheritage assets. We’re talking of places that „can’t accommodate alarge number of tourists”, said Udrea, adding that hoping for asignificant growth in the number of Chinese tourists to Romania isan illusion. They won’t come to Europe just to see our country,they would have to be provided with tourist circuits to severalneighboring countries.