As many as 121,000 visitors welcomed this New Year's Eve at a Romanian tourist destination, by 32 percent less compared to two years ago, with traveler spending on this occasion standing at almost 25.6 million euros, 40 percent down from the same period of 2019, which is a landmark for pre-pandemic domestic tourism, the Federation of Romanian Tourism Employers (FPTR) said in a release on Monday.
Unlike the previous years, New Year's Eve bookings were made at the last minute and the length of stay was cut from 5 to 3 nights of accommodation compared to the year before, because the legally non-working days of January 1 and 2 were on the weekend.
As a result, many of Romania's tourist accommodation facilities only had a low occupancy rate or were even empty, FPTR notes.
The New Year's Eve tourist flow was highest in rural facilities - at approximately 48,000 bookings, yet 20 percent down from the 2019/2020 New Year's Eve.
Second in the ranking of domestic destinations chosen by New Year's travelers were mountain resorts, where over 40,000 tourists celebrated the start of 2022, 18 percent less than in 2019.
The most sought after resorts were the widely popular attractions in Prahova Valley, Poiana Brasov, the Rucar-Bran area, Paltinis, Ranca, Straja, as well as those in Maramures and Bucovina. A novelty was the opening of Romania's first Olympic ski slope and of the gondola lift in the Borsa mountain resort located at the foot of the Pietrosul Rodnei Mountains, Agerpres.ro informs.
Also, 16,000 Romanians spent New Year's Eve in spa resorts, down 37 percent compared to 2019.
The steepest slump in bookings - 57 percent, hit Bucharest and major city hotels and restaurants, causing many locations to close due to the lack of tourists and staff. Only 13,500 Romanians spent New Year's Eve at a hotel located in a large urban center, and the minimum stay was of mere 2 nights.
The Danube Delta and the Romanian seaside also saw a slimmer number of tourist bookings compared to other destinations.
FPTR first executive vice-president Dragos Raducan explained that with no holiday vouchers in circulation, the number of tourists in unclassified structures has increased.