A new Ministry of Tourism has been appointed last week and here are 4 areas that I think he should start working with immediately.
1. Strengthening the country brand Romania and the city destination brand Bucharest. The prejudice towards Romania is high and the preconceptions about Romania are negative. To strengthen the image of Romania is highly important. When people aboard think of Romania these days , they think in a grey scale : corruption, poverty, orphanages from the 1980’s, stray dogs, and so forth. The knowledge of Romania as a country is very limited. Hence, from a national perspective, the Branding Office needs to start spreading the stories from Romania around the globe and continuing using English as a tool of communication. Luckily we have social media now, so it could be made very easy and at not too high costs either. With a good content writer and a dedicated team you can take a Facebook account and an Instagram account about Romania, around the globe quite fast. Today we talk about story-telling, not marketing. Marketing is history. We want the good, authentic stories now. We read reviews. We look at LIVE from Facebook. We read blogs. We listen to influencers and mega influencers. If the Ministry of Tourism are serious about taking Romania on the travel route again and wish to keep up with 2017 and what communication is all about, it needs to freshen up a bit ! 2016 was a year when it looked as if things started to happen in Romania. We had the UNWTO conference in Bucharest in June and the discourse amongst us who are within traveling started to be a bit more hopeful. However, it is still the grass root movements who are making the biggest impact on branding Romania as a travel destination. I think it’s time for a the National Tourism Ministry Office to take it to the next level. – And be really serious about it.
With a strong brand and qualified content writers you can come far. The Ministry of Tourism in Romania also need to create some good quality IRL campaigns around Europe and afar. it is necessary to cross feed them : social media and campaigns. Romania needs to be represented at travel fairs around the globe, and not only represented, but in an inspiring, professional, modern way, with young, eloquent, polyglot young people representing its country at the fairs. Hire some really global and talented people to do this job for a year ! Be serious about wanting Romania to go to the top of countries that attracts tourists , around the globe.
If the image about Romania abroad is so negative, the representative needs to have a thourgougly thought-through campaign in mind and some clear focus areas to show to the world.
3. Focus areas
Romania has an abundance of unlocked potential when it comes to attracting travellers, so it is challenging to choose some focus areas.
Tourism could be booming in Romania having it done the right way. Tourism could contribute and be an economical strength for Romania.
It is important with focus areas to stand out.
What stands out as number one is :
Eco-traveling and rural tourism : authentic experiences in rural areas such as Viscri and alike, food and wine trips, staying at a farm house, experiencing Romanian traditions during Easter and Christmas and alike.
Other areas to promote should be :
– 360 degrees experiences through Hiking, skiing, mountaineering, horse back riding, fishing, and other activities in the Carpathian Mountains. Few people even know that Romania has high mountains. Not out of ignorance, but because there is nothing out there about Romania.
– Delta. It is unique, authentic, beautiful, peaceful, and calm. Combine it with a week at the seaside and you have the Dobrogean experience.
– Authentic experiences in Maramures, Bucovina, Transylvania, Oltenia, Muntenia, Banat, Moldova, Crisana. What Romania has is that touch of unspoilt , serene areas that sometimes feel and look as taken straight out of a fairytale. Many people are stressed out and Romania is balm to the soul. The warmth of the Romania people, who struggled so much, is heartfelt and irresistable. When having had sarmale at someone’s pension in Maramures, you wish to come back and you will also share the good stories about Romania. I am one of those people who believes that traveling makes the world a better place. When we travel we open our minds and become ready to learn anew and see things from many other perspectives. We connect as human beings with our common traits and our differences. When people start to rediscover Romania I do believe that chances are bigger that the prejudice about Romania with slowly diminish. In the 1980’s , when I was in Romania for the first time, there were no real prejudice against Romania. Romania was represented at the big travel agents and people knew about it and associated it as a travel destination. Now, this is not the case.
Bucharest as a city destination weekend break should also be on a focus list. Bucharest is recently getting attention from bloggers from abroad and people are talking about it as a fascinating, underrated , diversed city with , interesting history, night life, cultural events and more. Bucharest is a seldom visited European capital.
4. Corruption, entreprenurship and salaries
Corruption must end so that decent people, within the area of traveling , who are trying to make good things for Romania, should be encouraged, through great entrepreneurial programs and anti-corruption laws. The salaries in Romania needs to be raised, in order for young people to feel hope and wishing to stay in their beautiful country. There are so many Romanians in diaspora of whom many would rather have stayed in their loved Romania, but because of corruption they choose to move abroad to build a better future for their children. Families are also split in Romania, when one adult go and work abroad. During the Christmas holidays it is so obvious: many Romanians are coming home, filled with ‘dor’ for their home country, feeling sad to leave.
The Ministry of Tourism sure has a very interesting job in front go him. I wish him best of luck and I really hope he will do his job professionally and with the best for Romania, as a country as his number one goa!
Article in Romania : https://republica.ro/priviti-romania-asa-cum-o-face-un-strain-va-place-ce-vedeti-4-solutii-in-atentia-noului-ministru-al-turismului