Romania Set to Tap Bulgaria's Experience in Tourism

2010-03-29

Romania, which has recently announced ambitious plans for the development of its seaside resorts, has declared willingness to tap the experience of its neighbor Bulgaria as far as privatization and investments in the tourism sector are concerned. “Romania should learn how to make the privatization in the tourism sector intelligently, just like Bulgaria did,” Elena Udrea, Romania's Minister of Tourism, said as cited by local media. “It is namely thanks to this intelligent privatization that tourism along the Black Sea coast is flourishing,” she said. According to the minister Romania should attract many investors from abroad, who “are involved in the tourism sector and know how to do it well.” The government has already started to draw up a program on how to achieve that goal, she said. The statement by Minister Udrea comes on the heels of criticism by representatives of German tourism operator TUI, according to whom tourism developed significantly in Bulgaria during the last years, while in Romania it doesn't really attract foreign investors. "Bulgaria made significant progress during the privatising process, but unfortunately Romania fails to attract foreign investors. I include here the international hotel networks, which lack in Romania. Regarding tourism development, Romania is 7-8 years behind Bulgaria", German tourism operator TUI manager for Marocco, Romania and Bulgaria Detlev Hohne told Deutsche Welle earlier this month. According to him Romania is 7-8 years behind Bulgaria as far as tourism development is concerned. The comments come as a surprise for Bulgarians, who have got used to foreigners perceiving the Bulgarian Black Sea coast as crass and overbuilt, a sea of concrete, sporting "For Sale" notices, with the only option to make a good holiday out of what appears a bad bargain in all those places flung in between the still virgin far-north and far-south and their peaceful beaches.