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Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Romanian Tourism needs a lot of work
The World Economic Forum has launched its first-ever Travel & Tourism report analysing the drivers of competitiveness in travel and tourism of 124 countries around the world. Switzerland’s safety record and high-quality industry staff contributed to its topping the index. Hong Kong was the highest-ranked Asian country and the United Arab Emirates was the most competitive Middle Eastern country with an impressive ranking of 18th place.

As explained by Wall Street, the index took into account 13 categories for each country. For a visual impression of the index, check this map. Place your mouse over the country you are interested in and see the results.

How did Romania do? Well, we are placed somewhere in the third quartile, getting the 76th place with a score of 3.91 out of 7. If you check the country profile, you will see the list of competitive disadvantages is three times longer than that of competitive advantages. What is interesting though, and also makes my day brighter, is the fact that most of these disadvantages can be worked on. Sure, it will take a lot of hard work, but at least we are not hopeless.

So, we should start by changing our rules and legislation, especially in what environmental laws are concerned, then continue by polluting less, changing our attitude towards tourists, then we could try to ensure a safer and healthier environment, to improve our air transport infrastructure, to have our government spend more on travel and tourism. Oh, yeah, and render marketing efficient for this industry.

Piece of cake, wouldn't you say?

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posted by Alina @ 7:34 AM  
  • At 3/07/2007 7:28 PM, Anonymous RCX said…

    If we start with something not on the list, namely the living standard, maybe the rest will follow. We can pollute less by being able to buy newer and better cars (people buy cars anyway, so it's not a matter of "don't buy" here). The attitude towards tourist will definitely improve if we no longer have to look at tourists as to people that have money in stupidly large quantities and throw them away while we barely live from month to month after paying all the bills. The government spends a lot on travel and tourism. Their travel and tourism of course :) And marketing an industry with double prices and half quality just can't be made any better. We need better industry, not better marketing. "Come visit our expensive bug-infested hotel" can't be made any better unless you do something about what you sell.

    So yeah, it's a piece of cake. If you got the time, cash and will to do it.

  • At 3/08/2007 8:16 AM, Blogger Alina said…

    RCX, it is not the living standard that is causing all these.

    Polluting means going to eat in the forest and throwing everything there, it also means throwing everything on the street, playing music way to loud etc.

    As for tourists, as long as they do have money, we should encourage them to spend it, not be driven by some misplaced envy. Their money spent here and not in some other country leads to economic growth.

    It is most of all a matter of attitude, our attitude towards what we want and what we consider good for us.

  • At 3/09/2007 2:48 AM, Anonymous RCX said…

    Ok, about the pollution caused on a person by person level I didn't think of.

    As for the tourists with money vs. the people without, the term "generalized undercapitalization" comes to mind. If you're below a certain capital standard, you either have to pull insanely hard to be able to do anything, or cheat and make loads of money just for yourself (i.e. the economy still doesn't feel any different), or simply just don't risk it and passively complain (as this last option doesn't cost you anything, so it's the safest bet you can make when you don't have any investment money - and no one will give you that, for the reason that you don't have so you can't prove that you'll make any money to pay back the loan if you are given money - to begin with).

    And not that many people are willing to kill themselves working. Picking strawberries in Spain is a lot easier :)

  • At 3/09/2007 7:42 AM, Blogger Alina said…

    You don't have to pull insanely hard! you just need to pay a little attention to services. Giving people what they have paid for, smiling when you talk to them, and moving faster than a snail will not really cost you anything. It is, like I said, a lack of focus and a completely irresponsible attitude, both from employees and owners.

  • At 3/10/2007 3:20 AM, Anonymous RCX said…

    I think we got off on the wrong foot :) I was referring to people in general, people that may want to start a business, or people on the street, i.e. people that haven't signed a contract to be the way they are. The employed ones have signed such a contract, and for them I think there's the "complaints" box. The competition environment of Romania is good enough for a boss not to ignore a complaint, because if customers go to the competition (even if they have the same kind of service!), that's lost business. I doubt anyone would like that.

    Here's one guy (blog in romanian) with an attitude, who doesn't just stay back and watch the sh*t happen:

    BTW, I've also noticed that with a smile placed in the right direction and with patience (most people are in a hurry), you don't have to bribe anybody to get something done. Show compassion to the clerk (but not too much, or you'll get back to square one). I got noticed at the post office for being "the only person that respects the yellow line" and exchanged smiles with the woman clerk. So far, while others complain about clerks, I seem to be the luckiest bastard of them all: I always get good service.

    Or maybe I look like Brad Pitt and don't know it :)

  • At 3/10/2007 8:22 AM, Blogger Alina said…

    You assume wrong about owners. My last experience with a hotel was during our team building trip. They had no problem mistreating us, not having things ready on time, although we represented 75% of their guests. Why? Because they are counting on being full just because they are in Predeal. This is a common attitude.
    There is little thinking about competition when you are placed in an area where it's bound to pour with tourists.

    Smiling does help, most of the time. But its not normal to pay so much attention to how you treat someone to get things done. Even to public service employees, we are still the customers and those paying for their salaries mostly.

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Name: Alina
Home: Bucharest, Bucharest, Romania
About Me: "This is my church. This is where I heal my hurts". It's also where I feel free and my preferred means of expression.
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