Travel advisor magazine 1

Page 1

No. 1 (56), 2017


B2B Travel Publication


EBA “BEst EntrEprisE” AwArd winnEr: tEmpo hotEl BuchArEst spA tour romAniA 2017

duBAi tourism BEts on

romAniAn mArkEt

world trAvEl monitor GErmAny is thE sEcond lEisurE And BusinEss dEstinAtion for romAniAns


habemus... ministry of tourism e tourism was the step-child of Romanian economy for several years, since it was finally decided to re-open the famous Ministry of Tourism as part of Grindeanu’s Government. Many people welcomed the initiative, even though they did not understand the reason to appoint an outsider - Mircea-Titus Dobre from Constanta - as the head of such a controversial institution. As expected, ANAT (National Association of Travel Agents in Romania) received warmly the event, hoping to see a better involvement of the authorities in the increase of incoming activity through: •

various incentive measures for travel agents with direct effects on national economy;

the Holiday-Voucher Law enforcement in the public sector, a measure designed to boost

domestic tourism; •

a decrease in VAT up to 9% for travel agents in order to eliminate the discrimination created

by quota abatement in related industries, hotels and restaurants; •

development programs in mountain areas and seaside season extension.

Measures meant to boost tourism at a level estimated by UNWTO are ANAT’s top priorities. In other words, this will mean a tourism development to 6% of Romanian’s GDP. From promise to reality is a long way most of the time. e budget for tourism promotion fell from 15 to 5 million euro in 2017, and - the cherry on top of the cake - the Ministry of Tourism decided to close most of the Romanian tourism offices abroad. So… so long 6% of Romanian’s GDP! If it will ever happen and how it will happen depends on the direction the wind of Romanian politics will blow. Until further information, one thing is certain: We have a Ministry!

Anne-Mary Nechita e Publisher ANIMACTION HUB GM



TRAVEL NEWS fptr: 3.5 m Euro spEnt By 95,000 tourists, for mAy dAy holidAy


Ani mActi o n h uB

Around 94,000 tourists were accommodated by various resorts in Romania on May Day holiday.


ccording to a research conducted by FPTR (the Federation of Romanian Tourism Patronages), they spent about 3.5 million euro, a million less than in 2015 (4.5 million euro from 99,000 tourists). e rural area was the star of this holiday since the rural houses attracted over 40,000 tourists, at an average of 40 to 300 lei (8.8 to 66 euro) accommodation cost for a person. e highest demand was noticed in Bran, Bucovina and Maramures. is year, the Romanian Seaside was also in trends. But 2016 was a better year since Easter had been extended by May Day holiday. As always, most tourists on the beach on May Day were young people. Mamaia resort was the May Day hot spot due to its extended range of entertainment opportunities followed by Vama Veche resort. Local clubs and bars were also main attractions. Despite the fact that new hotels were built, the accommodation offer was 40% down comparing to 2015. In Mamaia, occupancy was about 90%. Only 14,000 beds were sold out from a total of 23,000. Unfortunately, the South of the Seaside was almost empty. e tourists went directly to Vama Veche, a resort with 2,500 certified beds and 1,500 still uncertified. According to Romanian hoteliers, around 20,000 tourists went to the Seaside on May Day for at least one overnight. Hotel rates ranged from 30 to 300 lei (6.6 to 66 euro)/ person/ night. 18,000 Romanians booked a vacation in a mountain resort and spent about 3.25 million lei ( 714,489 euro) for a 2 to 3-day holiday. Hotel rates ranged from 80 to 500 lei (17.6 to 110 euro)/ person/ night. Spa resorts were also highly demanded during this period. 15,000 Romanians chose to spend their holidays in a spa resort enjoying special treatment and relaxation programs. In Baile Felix, for instance, a 3-night B&B package in a 4-star spa hotel was around 600 lei (131.9 euro)/ person. Far fewer Romanians went to the Danube Delta - about 1,000, mostly fishermen and adventure tourists. In the Danube Delta, a 3-night B&B package in a 3star hotel was about 500 lei (110 euro)/ person. Several thousand Romanians went to Bulgaria on May Day. Many Bulgarian hotels offered up to 25% discounts for a 3-night stay. ese hotels have pools and have been well prepared to receive tourists. e hotel rates in Bulgaria - for a 3-night B&B package in a 3-star hotel, transport included - was between 150 and 300 euro. Some Romanians had chosen city breaks for May Day and paid for them more than 200 euro/ person. A 3-night B&B package in a 3-star hotel in Prague costs 199 euro/person while in Rome it is around 252 euro and in Paris over 340 euro. Same offer reaches 350 euro in Barcelona, in a 4-star hotel. A 7-night HB holiday in a 4-star hotel in Sicily, Naples or Tuscany is around 295 euro/ person.

Sold beds Type of 2017 services

Rates LEI

Average rates rates LEI

1.Mountain 2.Spa 3.Rural 4.Delta 5.Seaside TOTAL

18,000 15,000 40,000 1000 20,000 94,000

80-500 60-450 40-300 300-800 80-700

180 160 150 500 200

Anne-Mary Nechita

Traian Badulescu

Publisher & Senior Editor

Senior Editor

THE PUBliSHEr: Mail Address: Str. Topliceanu nr. 8 Bl P37, Sc. 2, Et. 4, Ap. 41, Sector 5, Bucharest Romania Tel: 0040.722.910.574 & 004021.420.81.59 E-mail: cont Twitter: @TravelAdvisorMa GM: Anne-Mary Nechita;; Mobile: 0040.722.910.574 Managing Partner on Marketing & Sales Traian Bădulescu Mobile: 0040.735.452.682 Adverstising & Subscriptions: Contact ANiMACTioN HUB Srl E-mail: Mobile: 0722. 910. 574 or Mobile: 0040.735.452.682

DOMESTIC TOURISM (in certified accommodation units) Type of tourism

EdiToriAl TEAM


Contributors: Prof. Univ. Dr. Gabriela Ţigu, Dr. Mircea Drăghici, Radu Cimponeriu, Traian Bădulescu, Simion Buia from Germany

3-night package 3-night package 3-night package 3-night package 3-night package

3,240,000 2,400,000 6,000,000 500,000 4,000,000 16,140,000

Photos: Anne-Mary Nechita, Dreamstime, Depositphoto iSSN=2069-7384 iSSN-l = 2069 – 7384

Y R Y A R Y A M R A M M S U S U MU M M S Cover I photo by Anne-Mary Nechita In photo: Gűlen Hashmi, Tempo Hotel GM Page 4 FPTR: 3.5 m euro spent by 95,000 for May Day holiday Page 6 ANAT: Travel Agents’ sales up by 12% for May Day holiday Page 7 NOVA Travel - first 150,000 USD insolvency insurance FLASH NEWS Page 8 VIP Inteview with GNTO Secretary General, Dimitris Trifonopoulos Page 12 EBA “best entreprise” award winner: Tempo Hotel Bucharest, interview with Gűlen Hashmi, Tempo Hotel GM Page 18 Fun and glam capital: Dubai Page 22 DUBAI TOURISM bets on Romanian market Page 24 Spa Tour Romania 2016 Page 28 Marketing - Germany is the second leisure and business destination for Romanians


TRAVEL NEWS Credit photo:; author: Marko Kerkez

AnAt: trAvEl AGEnts’ sAlEs up By 12% for mAy dAy holidAy According to Romanian National Association of Travel Agents (ANAT), Mamaia, Vama Veche and Baile Felix resorts as well as Prahova Valley were best sold destinations for May Day holiday.


ourists bought 2-night packages ranging from 135 to 800

large numbers without associations’ promotion and travel agents’

lei (30 to 176 euro)/ person. 70 - 80% of the hotels on Sea-

sales", said Alin Burcea, president of ANAT.

side were opened on May Day, and the occupancy was

100% in Mamaia and Vama Veche.

e Romanian Seaside is also the main destination for summer holidays, according to ANAT data. e end of Early Book-

Travel Agents’ sales went up by 12% for May Day holiday.

ing season revealed a high number of reservations on this destina-

42% of tourists bought packages for the Romanian Seaside either

tion. Overall, the increase in inbound and outbound sales during

individually or through travel agents. All in all, the Seaside attracted

Early Booking is 30% over the same period last year. Direct flights

over 40,000 people.

to Constanta included in holiday packages are a premiere for 2017.

On spa segment, Baile Felix resort received the most tourists, followed by Călimăneşti-Căciulata and Sovata. On Prahova Valley the occupancy was 7580%, mostly in Sinaia and Busteni resorts.


Most early bookings were made for Spain, Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria, Italy and Portugal.

More than 10,000 Romanian tourists visited Bulgarian resorts, Hungarian spa resorts or bought


"Many of the packages for Romania were bought with holiday vouchers during Early Booking season. is year we expect the amount to be much higher, around 400 million euro, compared to 10 million euro last

year. As a result, the domestic tourism could increase at least 20% this year", stated Alin Burcea.

city breaks in different European capitals. A three to four days hol-

Most early bookings were made for Spain, Greece, Turkey,

iday reached between 120 and 500 euro/ person, in Europe, while

Bulgaria, Italy and Portugal. ere are charter and liner flights to

a week in Antalya, Dubai or Sharm El Sheikh was sold for around

these destinations from Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca, Arad, Timisoara,

490 euro/ person.

Iasi, Suceava and Oradea. New comers for this season are Gran Ca-

"e tourists were not attracted to the Seaside on May

naria, Kos and Ischia.

Day holiday by hotel offers. e attraction was the number of events

ANAT has a number of 500 members, the most important

hosted this year in the area, whether music festivals, concerts or car

travel agents in Romania, and is accounting for over 80% of travel

exhibitions. e occupation rate was 100% in Mamaia due to events

and travel package sales, estimated at almost one billion euro a year.

organized by Asociaţia Litoral-Delta Dunării (Seaside - Danube

ese travel companies have together more than 4,600 employees.

Delta Association) led by ANAT, and by FAPT, also led by ANAT.

e tourism industry in Romania involves over 120,000 employees

No matter how good a hotel is, tourists do not come in

and contributes to the national economy with almost 2% of GDP.

TRAVEL NEWS An ABsolutE prEmiErE in romAniA: novA trAvEl - first 150,000 usd insolvEncy insurAncE Resellers and tourists can enjoy more safety due to this initiative of NOVA Travel, a TO member of Eurolines Group Romania


ova Travel - Eurolines Group’S Tour Op-

e legislation does not ensure sufficient

erator - announced the conclusion of an

protection for tourists

insolvency/ bankruptcy insurance policy

covering 150,000 USD. It voluntarily tripled the

e Romanian legislation on the protection of

legally prescribed minimum amount for such a

tourists is still insufficient, unfortunately. Despite


the various attempts and proposals to implement "As a TO, NOVA Travel signed a policy

the European Tourist Package Directive, the com-

covering 150,000 USD with one of the most im-

pensation limit per Tour Operator, in the event

portant insurance companies in Romania without

of insolvency, is only 50,000 USD. Furthermore,

waiting for any legislative amendments to increase

compensation can often be granted exclusively to

the insured amount. us, it remains faithful to

the End Customer when the insured TO files for

the Eurolines Group's mission to set a new stan-

bankruptcy. Such situation depends on the con-

dard in the Romanian tourism industry", says

tracts between the Tour Operator and the Re-

Miki Lech, General Manager of Nova Travel.

tailer, if the End Customer signed a direct

Moreover, the new insurance policy

contract with the insured Tour Operator.

concluded in April 2017 (No. 8109105A /

NOVA Travel wants for this absolute

12.04.2017) explicitly states that both the tourists

premiere to be not only a signal to authorities and

who have purchased directly packages, which are

industry, but also an example that steps can be

very few, and also the tourists who bought

taken towards normalization and compliance

through retailers, through Nova Travel’s partner

with European directives. is is just the begin-

agents, are covered in the unlikely case of insol-

ning. For the future, it is very likely that the value


of the policies will be increased to align with the In addition, the mandate contracts con-

cluded by Nova Travel with its partners explicitly provide for the sole responsibility of the Tour Operator to End Customers. "All these steps come as a further guarantee of the safety and trust that both partner agents and tourists have to perceive using NOVA Travel services. We had initiated this approach to increase the value of the insurance policy from the standard level of 50,000 USD to 150,000 USD,

values of the global tourism industry. ---------is year, Nova Travel organizes TUI charter flights to the most demanded summer destinations - the Greek islands of Crete, Rhodes, Corfu, Santorini and Zakynthos, Turkey (Antalya) and Spain (the islands of Tenerife, Mallorca and Gran Canaria). Up to 23 departures per week are scheduled from the largest cities in the country: Bucharest, Iasi, Cluj-Napoca and Timisoara.

care both about the customer and our partners”,

Nova Travel is the Tour Operator of the Eurolines Romania Group. It has been on the market since 1990, being the first IATA accredited agency. It has a team of 20 specialists and the core business lines are outbound and domestic tourism, inbound and business travel.

reveals Dragos Anastasiu, President of Eurolines


and we succeeded due to the confidence of the insurer in the financial standing of the group we are part of. Once again we proved that we really



FlaSh NewS - TaROM will acquire two new aircrafts - Until the end of 2017, TaROM Romanian airline will have two new aircrafts in its fleet. They will replace two old airbus aircrafts no longer competitive. also, TaROM plans to resume flying to China and USa by the end of the year. - lOT begins to develop its fleet - The first Boeing 737800 NG landed at the warsaw Chopin airport and joined the fleet of the lOT Polish airlines. By the end of June lOT will have had four aircrafts of that type. Boeing 737-800 NG is the largest narrow-body aircraft in lOT's fleet and beginning in May will be used to operate flights on the most popular routes, including to london, Tel aviv, Frankfurt, Madrid as well as astana, the capital city of Kazakhstan, being a new destination to which direct flights will be launched on 29 May. - lOT launched another new destination in the USa This time the Polish carrier inaugurated a direct flight to Newark, the second largest New York City airport. Newark is the second (after los angeles) longhaul connection to North america launched by lOT this month. Flights from warsaw are to be operated at first 4 and then 5 times a week. - wizz air announced a new route from Budapest to Saint Petersburg in Russia. The newest service will commence on 27 august and will be operated two times a week. - The first Courtyard by Marriott hotel in Romania will be located in the North of Bucharest. The new property will be rated 4 stars and will have around 200 - 250 rooms, and several conference rooms. The total investment will be somewhere between 18 to 20 million euro.

ViP interview

dEstinAtion GrEEcE: Gnto ExpEcts A two-diGit incrEAsE in thE numBEr of romAniAn tourists -An interview with Dimitris Trifonopoulos, GNTO Secretary General -Mr Dimitris Trifonopoulos, first of all allow me to welcome you in Romania! I know you came here in 1999 to open the Romanian market to Greek companies. Now, your position of Secretary General for Greece National Tourism Office (GNTO) allows you to do the same work around. What kind of impact have Romanians on Greek market? -We hope that Romanians’ preference for Greek tourism will grow substantially each year. Romanians are not only summer vacationers. Their journeys to Greece start in the beginning of March, and ends in the beginning of November. The number of tourists speaks by itself. Over 1 million people travel either through travel agents or individually. They love to explore both continental Greece and the islands. When you are getting bored by a place in Greece you have a great option to change the place, because it is a great variety of destinations. You change the area and will discover a different culture - a different gastronomy, different dances, and another lifestyle. The differences between the North and the South of Greece are huge. For a visitor is important to never get bored. -The geopolitical situation recommends Greece as one of the safeties countries in the region. What will happen with hotel rates when all Europeans will be crowding to buy a holiday in your country? Will Greece still be accessible for Romanians?

- It is good to have safety all around the world. We are happy to say that Greece is a very safe destination. The hoteliers, travel agents and rent a car companies have balanced their financial strategies. They made mistakes in the past, but now they are more mature. They offer value for money services. It is not fair to take advantages of the market when you are up. It is not wise to change always the prices. Greeks became more mature. We passed the message to global market that we are there, we can trade forward a variety of products, not just one, and we have prices to suit everybody. We have very expensive 5 - star resorts, but also bed & breakfast lodging facilities. - How many tourists do you receive every year? - During my career I had the privilege to celebrate two records of the Greek tourism. In 2016 we had over 28 million tourists, and in 2015 we had over 26 million. And our expectation for 2017 is to exceed 30 million tourists. We are already in Top 15 of tourism developed countries. Tourism represents more than 20% of our GDP. This means around 15 billion euro a year. Tourism is so important for us that we try to keep our partner countries close to us. Greek economy has a lot of problems and we are very much aware of tourism importance. - Which is the incoming traffic you receive from Romania?

ViP interview

ViP interview

dimitris Trifonopoulos, GNTo Secretary General

- More than 1 million Romanians were vacationing last year in Greece, around 650,000 coming through travel agents. This year we expect a twodigit increase in the number of Romanian tourists. So far, according to the bookings, the growth is almost 20% over the previous year. But we are positive and expect more and more Romanians to come to Greece. -A boom in tourists’ arrival means Greece will need more accommodation units. However, the economic crisis did not allow new investments to Greek hoteliers. Which is the news for 2017? - We have very good hotels in Greece. I think that the crisis was not a reason to stop investing in hos-

pitality, at least not in refurbishing older hotels. Hoteliers know that if they do not give, they cannot receive in return. Also, the Greek Government offers incentives to hoteliers to renovate their estates. We also subsidies the renovation process or grant loans to hotel owner. We know that we need new hotels, and Romanian investors are welcome in Greece, since Greece is very old on the Romanian market. Greece offers some of the most successful touristic products in the world. The future expectations are extremely high. We aim to have 1 from 2 jobs in tourism. This is very important because in Greece unemployment reached to 10%. My personal goal, and of course, the goal of the Tourism Ministry is to exceed 35 million tourists by 2020.



EBA “BEst EntrEprisE” AwArd winnEr: tEmpo About such a performance with Gűlen hashmi, tempo hotel Gm


hotEl BuchArEst

- Dear Mrs GĂźlen Hashmi, your investments in Bucharest hotel market started in 2004, way before Romania joined European Union. Why did you choose this country and especially this city? How did your success story begin? -Indeed, we entered the Romanian market long before Romania had even started the EU accession talks. We bought the hotel plot back in 2000, and started the construction in 2002. Tempo Hotel Bucharest opened its doors to guests in September 2004. At the time, Bucharest was in big need of hotel rooms and the hotel market was quite ripe. Although expanding to the Romanian market was challenging for us, the situation also presented an immense opportunity in terms of gaining first mover strategic advantages. Indeed the investment recouped itself in five years, compared to 7 to 8 years for a typical hotel. -In December 2016, Tempo Hotel Bucharest received the Socrates “Best Enterpriseâ€? Award from the Europe Business Assembly (EBA), which is granted to the most performing business people, entrepreneurs, politicians, statesmen and education experts. How difficult was the road to this achievement? -I am very happy that we managed to reap off the fruits of our investment, not only in terms of financial returns, but also in terms of operational excellence and corporate happiness. I must highlight that the road to this achievement did not come easy at all. Right after the hotel recouped the investment, the economic downturn started in 2009, which, I can easily say, disrupted the whole hotel market in terms of occupancy and falling Average Daily Rates (ADRs). This indeed brought about an awareness of the importance of sustainability for us. I must mention that, through this turbulent period, we learnt to get better at our cost efficiencies yet without having compromised on our quality standards, which we found very challenging. - My question could sound a bit redundant, but I would like to ask you what happened around Tempo Hotel Bucharest? How did the local hotel market evolve? -Over the past 13 years, the competition in the hotel market got tougher. After joining the EU, big inter-




national hotel chains entered the Bucharest hotel market in addition to individual hotel investments, leading to the supply of hotel rooms, much needed for the increasing number of business travellers. Just to give you an idea: while there were only 7,422 hotel rooms in Bucharest, there are presently more than 20,000 hotel rooms in the city, which indicates that the supply has almost tripled over the past 16 years. Stimulated by the increasing foreign direct investment pouring into the country, Bucharest witnessed increased travel activity, especially with increasing number of visitors from Italy, Hungary and Turkey. Bucharest has been receiving an average of 155,000 more travellers every year.

-More recently, over the past couple of years, we see an even increasing fragmentation in the hotel market, in the sense that there are now various lodging alternatives such as AirBnb, youth hostels and daily flat rental options. The positive aspect of this strong, fragmented competition has led accommodation providers to shift their strategies from “catch and kill” to “creating value for money”, which was much needed in the sector. We certainly pride ourselves in our efforts for the latter. - I would like to touch a little bit the segmentation topic. Which are your most valuable customers? Which countries do they come from, and what sales channels are most efficient in attracting them?

- Which was the weakest point of your competition and what kind of strategy did you use to overcome it?

-All our guests are equally valuable, regardless of where they come from. Most of guests are Romanians, followed by Italians, Hungarians, Jewish and the Turkish. Most of our guests choose to come we strongly believe that the through online reserultimate purpose of business is vation systems and more than creating sharetravel agencies.

I can say that the biggest competitive advantage we have is our employees, the most precious assets of our holder value and that financial - Could you give us company, whom have viability is just a means to conmore figures about long been ignored by tribute to society at large. your Bucharest hotel perthe sector as the most formance? I am talking important organizational stakeholders. We are proud of our team mem- about RevPAR, ADR, etc. Will it be a major bers and take great pride in their happiness. change in 2017? How does your best performSince the beginning, we prioritized the well- ance forecast look for the current year? being of our staff members more than anything else, which has continuously been -We closed off 2016 with 76.24% occupancy reflected in happy guest experiences and com- and an average ADR of 42.50 €. Increasing ments. Indeed, a sustainability culture survey RevPAR will certainly continue to be a major of our staff members conducted by a third challenge in 2017 also. In 2017, we aspire to party research company in the US revealed keep our occupancy more or less in line with that 93% of our team members feel engaged that of 2016, yet with an increased ADR of in their job and the broader organization, 49.50 €. which justifies our low staff turnover rate of 2.7. We are proud that 70% of our staff mem- -Are there any new Tempo hotels to be develbers still work with us since the hotel opening oped in Romania in the near or not so near fuin 2004, and that we have a repeat guest per- ture? centage of 32%, which can be considered quite high for the hospitality industry average. -Yes, we do plan to expand the hotel chain in the coming years, as the Romanian market offers huge - How do you see today Bucharest hotel mar- tourism potential and growth. At this particular stage, ket? How does Tempo Hotel position itself in we are considering the potential of various Romanthis transforming landscape? ian cities where we can develop the brand.





Gűlen Hashmi, Tempo Hotel GM

16 HOTEL PROFILE - As an investor with a great deal of success on the Romanian market, do you think the country has a certain potential to attract more Turkish investors? -Romania has definitely the potential to attract more Turkish investors. I strongly believe that communication of the opportunities is key here. The more Romania markets itself in the Turkish market in terms of the business and investment opportunities it offers, the more Turkish investors will be aware of these opportunities. - Which do you think the key sectors for Turkish investments could be?

- Besides construction, real estate and others, hotels are at the core of your business nowadays. How many hotels are included in Tempo Hotels & Residences Group? -Currently, Tempo Hotels & Residences consists of 5 hotels in Istanbul, 1 residence hotel in Izmir and 1 city-center hotel in Bucharest, totaling to 7 properties.

we are proud that 70% of our staff members still work with us since the hotel

- How would you describe the evolution of the Istanbul hotel market in the last 2-3 years - in general, and of Turkish Tempo hotels in particular? Could you provide us some statistical data to make a clearer picture for our readers? -I would certainly be happy to provide you with some figures. Istanbul is facing an increase of hotel beds in 2017 also. In December 2016, there were a total of 117,228 hotel beds in Istanbul, compared to 107,268 beds in 2015 and 71,259 in 2014. Currently, 191 hotels with a capacity of 43,000 beds are under construction in the metropolis. Regarding the number of tourists, there has been a consistent increase up until 2015. While there were 12.4 million tourists in 2015, this number fell down to 9.2 million in 2016, further leading to a drop in

opening in 2004, and that we have a repeat guest percentage of 32%, which can be considered quite high for the hospitality industry average.


- Do you think Romania/ Bucharest is or could become a strong business travel destination? Is it a better option for city breaks? Every year the supply of rooms in Bucharest is increasing almost twice as much as the number of visitors that come to the city. Corporate travellers, which account for about 60% of the tourists to Bucharest, constitute the biggest segment. Bucharest’s underutilized accommodation capacity offers huge potential for the city-breaker segment. And I strongly believe that Turkey, as a long-lived historical and trade partner of Romania and with its relatively young population, is a huge potential market for city-breakers to Bucharest. Bucharest’s reasonably priced accommodation facilities and nightlife, casinos and entertainment options, as well as safe context, make it an ideal

city-break destination.


-Hotel industry definitely comes first, in my opinion. Turkish businessmen have a wealth of experience and know-how in hotel investments, which they could harness in expanding to the ripe Romanian hotel market. The textile industry is another sector where Turkish investments could focus in Romania. Turkish businessmen involved in the textile sector already possess dynamic capabilities such as a sense of quality, speed, flexibility and customized production within limited scopes, and Romania’s stabilized economic conditions appear to offer the almost perfect conditions for Turkish businessmen specialized in the field.

HOTEL PROFILE the hotel Average Daily Rates (ADRs) from 122 € to 91.80 €. In the case of Tempo Hotels & Residences in Istanbul and Izmir, we witnessed a small decrease in our occupancy during the past two years, from 79.46% in 2015 down to 76% in 2016. As for our ADR, it decreased from 59.52 € in 2015 to 48.27 € in 2016. These numbers are the average occupancy and ADR figures of the 6 hotels in Istanbul and Izmir. - Are Romania and Turkey the only markets where you build and develop hotels? If your answer will be “no”, which other countries do you consider? If “yes”, why not? -In the near future, we plan to deliberately expand in the Turkish and Romanian markets. However, there is always the possibility to adopt emergent strategies on the way. - After the worldwide recognition, how does the future look for Tempo Hotels & Residences Group? -We are very happy to have been presented with two major business awards recently: The Socrates “Best Enterprise” award by the Europe Business Assembly (EBA) and the BIZZ 2017 “Business Excellence” award by the World Confederation of Businesses. Having reaped off the fruits of our past work over the past 12 years, we are now more motivated to go beyond the “business-as-usual” mindset and invest in social and environmental sustainability initiatives as part of our corporate citizenship endeavors. We strongly believe that the ultimate purpose of business is more than creating shareholder value and that financial viability is just a means to contribute to society at large. - We used to talk so much about figures and

projects, but behind any successful project there are successful people. How did your business adventure started, Mrs Gülen Hashmi? -Having studied European Hospitality Management in the Netherlands, my first work experience started in the Hilton chain in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates back in 1995. Having gained some overseas experience for two years, I moved on to manage a small bed & breakfast resort hotel for 6 years, after which I moved to the Hilton chain again where I worked another 4 years. Then the Tempo Bucharest opportunity rose in 2004. I must say I accepted the offer without any hesitation although the hotel market conditions were quite challenging at the time. The journey proved to be a fruitful and insightful one and I am so happy to have gained a wealth of experience in the Romanian hotel market. - Which is your area of interest, or better said - the field closer to your heart: construction, real estate or hospitality/ tourism? -If I had to choose my profession today, I would still, without hesitation, go for hospitality/tourism. I love the human side of the business and I’d love to interact with different people and cultures. I would highly recommend the field to those who are service oriented and passionate about human relations, as hospitality is all about people business, service and empathy for guests, employees, suppliers and partners. Although it’s a relatively demanding and round-the-clock profession that requires long hours of commitment, it’s equally rewarding and fulfilling when you work with and for happy people. -Did you have enough time to discover Romania? What did you like/ not like in Romania? -I love the amazing Romanian landscape. I particularly find the Danube Delta fascinating and Transylvania rejuvenating for the soul. I still need to explore the Northwestern and Western counties, which I plan to visit in the coming months hopefully.


dESTiNATioN Dubai is recognized as a destination for world records, a tourist destination, a business destination and, for many Romanians, a destination to "show off" (though I do not agree with this fashion). I have recently revisited Dubai, one of the seven states of the United Arab Emirates, after four years of break. I can not tell you how many transformations I have seen in just four years, although Dubai is a SF metropolis that has been impressive since the late 1990s. is time, I was invited by Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), the official government organization dedicated to promoting Dubai as an international tourist destination and an important shopping center. In addition, they are also responsible for the licensing and classification of all Dubai tourism services, including the level of activity of hotels and travel agencies. Recently, DTCM has opened an office in Romania, taking into account that over the past few years Dubai has been visited by more than 50,000 Romanians a year. As I said, Dubai goes a long way towards the "Book of Records" idea. For example, it has the tallest building in the world - Burj Khalifa (828 meters), the largest indoor amusement park in the world - IMG Worlds, the world's largest international traffic airport, the world's largest mall - Dubai Mall, the only artificial skiing track in a subtropical area (Mall of Emirates), the world's largest choreography and lights show fountain (built by those who designed the famous Las Vegas fountain from Bellagio Hotel) and so on. Also, Palm Jumeirah is the largest artificial island in the world - 5.4 km length of - hosting dozens of hotels and hundreds of real estates. Here are the famous Atlantis and Rixos Palm resorts. is island will be followed by two even larger islands: Palm Jebel Ali and Palm Deira. e entertainment centers are another great attraction of Dubai besides countless shopping malls, quality beaches and top hotels. Another ambitious goal for Dubai is to become a world capital of amusement parks. Two mega-fun parks were inaugurated only last year. I will introduce you some of them.



& glam capital: Dubai! Credit photos: dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing By Traian BAdUlESCU


all year round destination

DUBAI PARKS AND RESORTS A giant amusement park for adrenaline seekers, it includes Hollywood-based Motiongate, Bollywood Parks recreating the vibrant world of Indian movies and Legoland Dubai. Roller-coaster lovers will also enjoy soon Six Flags Dubai, one of the world's largest amusement parks. For more information about parks and prices, you can visit the website IMG WORLDS OF ADVENTURE Proving the saying that "You can never have much of a good thing," Dubai continues the fun with IMG Worlds of Adventure inspired by Cartoon Network and Marvel superheroes, as well as from the dinosaur theme of the Forbidden Territory and the fun invasion of LazyTown. Visitors of Dubai can find here something new every day. Currently, this is the largest covered amusement park in the world! î “e tickets cost








follow: GREEN PLANET A tropical Paradise in the core of the city, it is the first bio-dome in the region. It recreates the delightful world of a tropical rainforest with its rich biodiversity of more than 3,000 plants and animals. For more information see:



dubai Tourism beTs on romanian markeT 62,000 Romanian tourists will be welcome in the Emirate


ccording to Issam Kazim CEO of Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), "Romania is an important market for Dubai, and our focus is to present the diversity that this Emirate has to offer to Romanian tourists. Dubai has become a destination not only for couples and families who enjoy luxury but also for those with moderate incomes”. e economic growth, the stability of tourism industry, the direct flights to Dubai and the cancelation of the visa system are important factors that have made Romania one of the most important markets for the Emirate of Dubai. In 2017, Dubai is expecting about 62,000 Romanian tourists, a 20% increase over last year when only 51,300 Romanians visited the Emirate. “is year, we expect a 20% increase in the number of [Romanian] tourists. It is an ambitious target we have set for ourselves, but we are confident we will reach it”, said Nader Albastaki, DTCMSenior Director.

Nader Albastaki, dTCM Senior director

ceeded 14.9 million. We have nearly 100 shopping malls, including the world's largest malls, over 6,000 restaurants and cafés where thousands of dishes from all over the world can be served, inspired by over 200 nationalities that coexist in Dubai. Every year we have shopping, food, movie, racing, literature, music festivals", added Nader Albastaki.

Dubai is home to worldwide known attractions such as the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, the sail-shaped Burj Al Arab hotel or the Dubai Mall, the largest shopping and entertainment destination in the world. Some of its newest attractions are the IMG Worlds of Adventure and Legoland Dubai entertainment parks opened in 2016. Since the Emirate is preparing for the World Expo in 2020, the Emiratis intend to complete a new "tallest building in the world", e Tower, in Dubai Creek Harbor, Built by Emaar Properties, the same company behind Burj Khalifa. e Dubai Crocodile Park is also under construction and it is expected to be finished this year as well as the Dubai Frame, a 150m high structure that will show both the new and the old part of the city.

Around 14.9 million tourists visited Dubai in 2016, up 5% compared to the previous year. According to DTCM, the increase came from a diversified offer of tourist attractions, many tailored for families with children.

ere were 100,000 rooms in different accommodation units from Dubai at the end of 2016, but DTCM estimates an increase by 4060% to 142,000-160,000 rooms by 2020.

"2016 was a remarkable year for us. We witnessed the opening of IMG Worlds of Adventure, Dubai Opera and Dubai Parks & Resorts. e figures are impressive, and Dubai has become the 4th most visited city in the world, and the number of visitors has ex-

Dubai plans to attract 20 million tourists per year by 2020 and to become Destination No 1 in the world in terms of travel, business, events and families, and the most recommended destination with the highest number of returning tourists.



spA tour romAniA 2017

On Easter morning, I started my adventure to discover a spa Romania that honestly I did not even dream of. I boarded a modern coach with other 28 people, mostly travel agents, following the invitation of Transylvania Hotels & Travel and Accent Travel & Events to join their the second edition of an info-trip called "To Rediscover Romania". e tour agenda was a bit of a shock for me because I could not imagine how we will handle to see 27 hotels on only six days. But we did it. And once the itinerary was unfolding in front of my eyes, I began to appreciate the professionalism applied in conceiving such a tour meant not only to promote a destination but also to educate. us, the travel agents learned that Romanian spa potential is unique in Europe, and that a wide range of diseases can be treated only in Romania. Moreover, the abandoned ruins of the ‘90s were turned with huge investments into a series of new 3 and 4-star hotels with world-class spa centers.

BriEf introduction to thE spA tour


e left Bucharest to head for Oltenia, where we discovered

cent Travel has reached the eighth edition of this tour, and I am sad we are the

recent investments in Călimăneşti-Căciulata, Băile Olăneşti

only two agencies trying to promote the spa tourism in Romania. e country

and Govora resorts. A surprise was waiting for us in Govora

has a fantastic potential. But it is still a Cinderella not a Princess. I believe in

at Palace Hotel 4 *: a welcome bread and salt ceremony (pretty

this spa potential, and I think Romania will develop especially in the spa area.

much a red eggs and wine one, since it was Easter) meant to feed

e first trip was launched in 2006 and we repeat it frequently. In the mean-

the body and relax the mind before an introductory workshop about

time, I have seen what investments in the spa area mean. And I envy the owners

this unique resort.

of estates which spin a lot of money and hopes in the spa area, an area more ex-

Lucian Boronea, President of Accent Travel & Events: "We are doing this

pensive compared to other hotel investments with a longer time for the invest-

info-trip for the second time with Transylvania Hotels & Travel. However, Ac-

ment to pay off. I believe in partnerships, (...) in the educational component


By AccEnt trAvEl & EvEnts

of the info trips, and I think a travel agent who masters the spa area with both

cilities and had the chance to see other hotels around. I was mostly

accommodation and treatment is an important asset."

impressed by Lotus erme Hotel 5* whose spa center exceeded 30

Marius Zamfir, GM of Transylvania Hotels & Travel : "e spa area is

million euro in development. All in all, this resort seemed to suc-

the future. at is why the Ministry and ANAT work to create and solidify a

cessfully compete with many Austrian counterparts both due to the

European partnership to bring spa foreign tourists through the insurance com-

beauty of surroundings and modern investment in hotels and high

panies in Europe."

standard services. We took over to Baile Tusnad resort, two days later, a destination not only gorgeous but also hard to reach. It was

ZiGZAGs AmonG spA rEsorts in romAniA

seven hours by coach. Ok, ok - maybe the road system in Romania

e next day we entered Banat through Baile Herculane resort. Unfor-


tunately, the bad weather allowed us to admire the Danube only from

e time spent at O3zone Hotel 4 * in Baile Tusnad was extremely

the coach. After an overnight at Afrodita Resort & Spa Hotel 4 *, we

valuable since we have met Nicu Radulescu, President of OPTBR.

left to Buzias resort to discovered some recent investments in hotel in-

He introduced us in the potential of the region and revealed us some

frastructure, to have a short walk in the park and enjoy a drink in an air-

about the adventure projects soon to be open. Of course, we will

plane bar. Indeed, what you read is what you will see there. An old

write about them in the right moment.

airplane was forced to land in the forest around 1974 and it was turned

e journey to Covasna was short and relaxing. In the center of this

into a bar, later on. Even more, another aircraft was added to create a

resort, a group of three hotels - Caprioara 4 *, Cerbul 3 * and Co-

funny but appealing airport - a bar airport, of course. I think this and

vasna 3 * - welcome us to see their spa facilities. Caprioara Hotel

the squirrel we saw in the park made that day.

4* was our host for a night, but the Room Manager made us an

From Buzias we went to Băile Felix resort and spent two nights

even bigger surprise - she took us to see the Valley of Fairies, a won-

there, at International Hotel 4 *. Of course, we enjoyed all hotel fa-

derful alpine meadow dominated by a brand new motel. e place

hard to reach only from Baile Felix because… we needed more than is kind of old, but the destinations definitely worth the pain to

dESTiNATioN was an extravaganza by night due to a very smart

• e number of childhood respiratory diseases has

illumination system. Also, we admired a “Decliv-

dangerously growing over the past few years. at

itous Plan”. Do not let yourself be fooled by this

explains why about 45% of spa resorts patients are

strange name! It is just a cute forest train trans-


porting timber from a mountain side to the other.

• A 10-day cure, twice a year, is considered proper

Instead of a classic engine, this train uses a simple

for treatment. But the reason behind is mostly eco-

- however clever - counter-balance system.

nomic. However, Hippocrates used to recommend

Next day we went to see Clermont Hotel 4 * and

a 21-day cure for optimal results;

the recently inaugurated TTS Spa & Wellness

• Despite the fact that schools of nursing and med-

Hotel 4 *. Good investments, modern interiors,

ical schools from various universities organize bal-

excellent services! Most visitors are foreigners, and

neology classes, family doctors are not familiar

the chance to book a room for a Romanian is quite

with Romanian balneal potential or with treat-

small. It is worth to try. At least, I will.

ment offers. at is why they do not make proper

In the afternoon, we left for home with a short


stop in Predeal resort. Here we visited Orizont

• A few people know that mineral waters and spa

Hotel 4 * whose quality of accommodation and

treatment require a prior documentation and are

cuisine exceeded my expectations. And … I am

not administered randomly because in some situ-

keenly aware of the power of my words.

ations may become harmful;

kEy findinGs:

• Spa resorts can be open almost all year round, with a 1-2 month maintenance pause. e average duration of a stay is higher than for any other form of tourism;

apeutic mineral resources. It owns one third of the

• e activity of guides is booming in spa resorts,

main mineral resources of the continent;

but the need for staff in these areas is far from

• 160 pools are identified in Romania, and only

being satisfied;

44 are exploited;

• Romanians are the main consumers of domestic

• Today, Romania has acceptable spa centers and,

spa tourism, followed by Israelis, Germans, Aus-

as a result of investments, some resorts could be-

trians and Canadians.

come hot spots in Europe; • e spa activity in Romanian spa centers should be continuously monitored and adjusted to raise



• Romania ranks first in Europe in terms of ther-

Spa owners in Romania are heavily investing

Stressful and sedentary life recommends spa resorts

in acquisition of


as the best destinations for prevention, treatment

new estates and

• e Organization of Spa Owners in Romania

and recovery / rejuvenation. Unfortunately, the

remodeling of old

(OPTBR) initiated a project to introduce a "B-cer-

current economic conditions have shortened the


tification" (B from "balneal") model similar to

duration of a 21-day cure, which would have been

Unfortunately, no

Germany’s K certification (K from Kur). It will be

needed, to 10 days, and even in such conditions a

funds are

soon implemented by seven Romanian spa resorts;

few people are visiting consciously the spa resorts.

directed to pro-

• A "B certification" will cover three countries -

Most tourists are pensioners. eir stays are dis-

motion. Mouth-

Germany, Switzerland and Austria, and will attract

counted by the Pension House (PH), and the qual-

to-mouth is the

more incoming tourists since Romania is still a fi-

ity of accommodation and medical services is

most commonly

nancially accessible destination;

lower... according to PH budget, of course. ere

used marketing

• People's life expectancy has increased, and reju-

are also 4-star and 5-star spa resorts in Romania,


venation treatments are highly demanded;

but they do not accept contracts with PH, and the


the level of knowledge and the value of the medical


treatments are expensive for most retired people. e government's contribution to the development and promotion of spa facilities in Romania is almost inexistent. e same situation is to be noticed in the support offered to current and / or potential investors. However, spa owners in Romania are heavily investing in acquisition of new estates and remodeling of old ones. Unfortunately, no funds are directed to promotion. Mouth-to-mouth is the most commonly used marketing tactic. Hence, such a direct marketing approach is short-term efficient. On long-term it will prove its frailty by not allowing a real boom of the spa culture and a significant increase in the number of spa tourists. A transformation of the investor's mentality, both in the public and private sectors, will be required prior to changing the mindset of the spa consumer. I will write a generous presentation of the resorts in the future issue of the magazine. Until then, I would like to thank Accent Travel & Events and Transilvania Hotels & Travel for invitation, and to all hotels for hospitality!




ccording to the most recent data of the Federal Institute of

temberg (19.4%) and Hessen (14.7) are among the favorite areas.

Statistics provided by GNTB, Germany recorded in 2016

Romanian tourists prefer long stays of more than 4 days and have a

more than 880,000 overnights of Romanian tourists. î “is

daily budget of about 64 euro. 69% of Romanian tourists in Ger-

means a 10.1% increase over the previous year when

many choose to travel by car, but the number of those who prefer

801,705 overnights were registered. Taking into account the num-

the airplane (19% of all Romanian tourists in Germany) and the

ber of tourists on German territory, Romania had one of the highest

coach (10%) is increasing. Tourists early plan their holidays (57%)

increases comparing to other countries in the region.

and still choose to book their holidays through travel agents (31%).

Germany is the second largest destination in Europe for Romanian

Regarding the purpose of the trip, 44% of Romanian tourists spend

tourists with a market share of 12%. Bavaria (26.7%), Baden-Wrut-

their holiday in Germany while 29% travel for business. Most vis-


itor who choose Germany as a tourist destination are aged 15 to 34

ropeans with 53. 7 million tours from Europe.

(49%). e number of those aged over 55 is only 27%.

Spain is the leader of the top since it recorded a 10% increase.

GErmAny - 80 million ovErniGhts in 2016

France remains on third place even with a fall by 4%. Other top

In 2016, Germany continued the growth in incoming tourism, the

reasons. Europeans still prefer longer stays of at least 4 nights (17.5

traffic going up with 1.4% compared to 2015 and exceeding 80

million overnights and a 5% increase). However, the number of

million overnights. Europe remains the strongest source market for

city-breaks recorded a more dynamic growth of 25% reaching 12.1

Germany with a market share of 73.7% and a year-on-year increase

million overnights. Also, Germany is still ranked first in Europe as

of 1.9%. It is followed by the US (+2.5%) and Asia (-1.1%). Based

a city-break destination.

on the UNWTO and IPK International World Travel Monitor

In 2016, Europeans spent around 31.4 million euro for tourism in

analysis, forecasts for 2017 show a 0% to 2% increase in incoming

Germany, including transport, accommodation, meals, shopping

tourism for Germany given the current geopolitical situation.


lEAdinG thE EuropEAn mArkEt As A holidAy dEstinAtion

ABOUT GERMAN NATIONAL TOURIST BOARD (GNTB) e German National Tourist Board (GNTB) has its headquarters in

In 2016, Germany has maintained its strong position in competi-

Frankfurt am Main, Germany. It works on behalf of the Federal Min-

tion with other European destinations. According to the latest IPK

istry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) to represent Germany

International World Travel Monitor analysis, Germany is the sec-

as a tourist destination and is funded by the Ministry in accordance

ond choice in a top of the most popular travel destinations for Eu-

with a decision taken by the German Bundestag.

destinations for Europeans are Italy and Austria. Over 55% of the European tourists travel to Germany for leisure


did you EnJoy



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