Romanians’ vacations during the pandemic: From rediscovering local destinations to exotic places

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Romanians have rediscovered their country during the pandemic year of 2020, travel destinations that they didn’t know they even exist. Last year, Romanian tourists visited such places as Ciungetu Malaia in Vâlcea, Colibița in Bistrița Năsăud, Cochilia beach in Tuzla or the dam of Stânca Costești, but they also preferred foreign spots like Greece or Turkey, according to a study reviewing the Romanians’ perception on travelling during 2020, conducted by Hello Holidays in January this year.

The mountain, but also the seaside , lured the majority of tourists who spent their vacation in Romania last summer. Romanians usually traveled with their family, chose accommodation that required low interaction with other tourists and paid under EUR 500/person.

Half of the trips abroad were to Greece and Turkey, but 8% also flew to faraway destinations such as  Bali, Zanzibar, Maldive, Cuba, Mexico.

“The desire for relaxation after the lockdown, the wish for normality in a pandemic year were at high levels in 2020. While some rediscovered Romania, and we recall the avalanches of social media posts with unknown landscapes from Romania, when borders were re-opened, most of the Romanians went on vacation to Greece. Trips to Turkey started in August until and they had many holidays options there till the end of last year”, said Cosmin Vasile, manager Bookings Circuits Hello Holidays.

Favourite spots in 2020

  • 795 people had 2,075 vacations in 2020
  • 43% had a vacation in Romania, 57% went on holiday abroad
  • For 80% of the tourists in Romania and 43% of travelers abroad, the vacation of 2020 costed beloe EUR 500/person
  • The youngest tourists was 18yo (2 persons), the oldest was aged 82 (2 persons)

The survey had 1,840 respondents, aged from 18 to 82, mostly women (77%). 45 people stated they had no vacation last year. 68% traveled with their family, the rest with their friends.

774 people – tourists in Romania in 2020  had 865 vacations, most of them in the mountains (30%) and at the seaside (29,3%), but also to various cities (14%), spa resorts (9%), Danube Delta (9%), Maramureș (4,7%) and Bukovina (1,6%).

During the pandemic year, Romanians visited Ciungetu Malaia in Vâlcea county, Colibița in Bistrița Năsăud, Trei Ape și Văliug in Caraș Severin, Lepșa in Vrancea, Gura Teghii in Buzău, Cochilia beach in  Tuzla, the dam of Stânca Costești, Scropoasa Lake in Bucegi Mountains. Cazanele Dunării lured 2% of Romanian tourists last year”, Cosmin Vasile added.

80% of the local tourists spend EUR 500 per vacation at the most, traveled by their personal car (88%) and half of them  rented villas, cottages, guest houses or apartments. A third chose 3-star hotels.

Travel plans for 2021

  • 757 of the respondents said they want to have overall almost 2,000 trips in 2021
  • 38 are not yet decided where they want to go this year

Foreign places eyed this year are Greece (35%), Turkey (34%), but also Spain (4,3%), Italy (3,1%), Bulgaria (3%), Dubai (2,7%), Maldive (2,2%), Portugal (2%), Egypt (1,4%), France (1,2%), and, to a smaller extent, Zanzibar, Bali, Croatia, Cyprus, Mexico, Malta, US, Thailand, Russia, Austria – overall 1,835 trips.

Romanians would like to travel this year to the Romanian seaside (50%), to the mountains (13%), spa resorts (13%), Danube Delta (7%).

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