Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 03/27/2014 -- BMI expects slow but steady growth in the Romanian tourism market, with economic recovery in Western as well as Central and Eastern Europe indicating a gradual increase in inbound travel throughout our forecast period to 2018. Domestic economic growth is also expected to pick up, leading to slow but steady growth in the number of outbound travellers.
The expected growth in inbound and outbound travel is dependent on continuing economic growth in Europe, with Romania's inbound arrivals market dominated entirely by countries from within the region. Germany, Hungary and Bulgaria are particularly important source markets, and any return to the conditions seen in the global credit crunch would have an impact on arrivals to Romania. Currently the future is looking positive, and we expect arrivals to increase from 8.2mn in 2013 to 10.6mn in 2018, offering potential investors a substantial investment opportunity.
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Alongside the expected increase in inbound arrivals, the gradual improvements in Romania's economy mean we also forecast an increase in the overall number of outbound travellers. GDP growth is expected to reach around 3% a year, and with this we expect to see a boost in private financial consumption, so that by 2018 the number of annual outbound travellers is forecast to reach 8.7mn.
Tourism is supported by the country's relatively well developed air and rail transport links, with particularly good links to Romania's closest neighbours and most important source markets. In the longer term, tourism would benefit from an expansion of long-haul travel capacity, in order to broaden source markets and lessen the reliance on Europe.
Investors are attracted to Romania as it is relatively underdeveloped, particularly along the attractive coastline, where there are many affordable real estate opportunities. With slow but steady growth expected in inbound and domestic travel we forecast an overall increase in the number of hotels in the country by the end of the forecast period, as well as an increase in overall industry value in local currency terms.
Our key forecasts in 2014 include:
- Hilton, Marriott, Accor and Starwood are all developing new properties at a range of locations, reflecting wider growth in the hotel market. By 2018 we expect the number of hotels in Romania to reach over 1,420, up from 1,380 in 2014.
- Outbound air traffic also looks set for good growth over our forecast period to 2018, rising from 4.09mn passengers in 2013 to 5.2mn in 2018.
- BMI has given Romania an overall Tourism Industry Risk/Reward rating of 42.05, placing it in last place out of 25 countries in the region, although it could well rise up the ratings as the potential for tourism development begins to be tapped.
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