Romanians’ Christmas spending has been on an upward trend in recent years, and in an attempt to secure their piece of the (mince) pie, local travel agents have put together a wide range of packages for Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
Despite a very turbulent year, with acts of terrorism shaking some of the most important European capitals for tourism and hurricane Irma leaving a string of small Caribbean islands devastated, it’s Christmas time and some are making big plans for the season. Many Romanians prefer to spend their winter holidays abroad or visiting local destinations and travel agents have started to focus on them since the end of the summer, adapting their offers to customers’ wishes. If they have ticked off almost all the European highlights, Romanians wanting more from their winter holidays choose their destination depending on the experience they want, traditional and local or foreign and exotic.
As Sorin Stoica, CEO at Eturia says, his customers often opt to spend their Christmas holidays outside Europe. “Their interest in brighter and hotter destinations than Europe is understandable, considering their keenness to ‘escape’ from the Romanian or European winter season. They have already visited the Christmas markets in European capitals and now choose exotic beaches and destinations,” says Stoica. He adds that Cuba, Cancun, the Dominican Republic, the Maldives, Mauritius and Seychelles are some of the most popular destinations for the end of the year, while the Maldives, Japan, Peru, the USA, Tanzania, India and China are the hottest destinations outside Europe this Christmas season.
“In general, someone who is open to trying something new chooses from these destinations. They are looking for interaction with the specific culture and locals, are interested in high quality services and have found that these destinations have spa and wellness facilities that exceed their local or European experiences,” adds the representative of Eturia. According to him, Romanians spend on average EUR 1,800/person on holidays outside Europe and typically make reservations four months before the winter holidays. “They travel abroad from December 25 or 26. The number of Romanian tourists that travel at Christmas time is now twice that posted two years ago,” adds Stoica.