BUCHAREST, May 15 -- Romania may register, in the following period, a growing numberof tourists from China and the Republic of Moldova, President of the National Authority forTourism, Razvan Filipescu, told a local Travel Forum Thursday.
"We pay special attention to incoming tourism, since it may become the heart of theeconomy," said the official, specifying that the authorities "struggle to promote Romaniantourism abroad with all the funds available, including TV campaigns in collaboration withinternational broadcasters."
"We will support Romania's participation in over 40 international tourism fairs," Filipescuadded.
According to him, the authority also has discussions with tour operators on their concerns,including reducing VAT on tourism services, law of holiday vouchers and other measures toboost domestic tourism.
Filipescu told the forum that current statistics show a positive development of the tourismindustry in Romania.
"The figures show a positive trend of tourism, an increase of 9.8 percent in the first quarterof 2014, compared to the same period of 2013. There was an increase in the number oftourists from Israel, Poland, Serbia, the United States and Canada," he explained.
Visa difficulties and inadequate transport infrastructure are among the main obstacleswhich affect the rapid growth of Chinese tourists in Romania, a local travel company officialtold Xinhua reporter.
According to the National Statistics Institute, the arrivals of foreign tourists to Romania,registered at the customs, amounted to some 8 million in 2013, slightly up compared to theprevious year. Most of the foreigners came from European countries, namely 93.9 percent.
Arrivals in tourist accommodation units in Romania amounted to 7.9 million in 2013, up 3.5percent year-on-year, showed the same source.
The arrivals of Romanian tourists represented 78.3 percent of the total, while foreigntourists' arrivals were 21.7 percent.
Romania, situated in the north of the Balkan Peninsula on the western shores of the BlackSea, enjoys great natural beauty and diversity and a rich cultural heritage, enchantingvisitors with its scenic mountain landscapes and unspoiled countryside areas.