Pandemic arrests Transylvanian tourism growth

According to the summary made by Erdélystat based to the preliminary data of the County Institute of Statistics in the winter touristic season of 2919/2020 (November-March) the number of tourist arrivals in Transylvania was down by 14.1%, and the number of guest nights was down by 13,7% compared to the previous year’s same period. The decrease mirrors the national average (14,1% and 12.9%) and can be explained primarily with the setback experienced in the February and March months determined by the coronavirus pandemic. In the same period the capacity utilization of the  touristic accommodations was of 24.9%, which resembles to the similar period of the previous year.

The setback hit also the two counties with Hungarian majority, Hargita/Harghita and Kovászna/Covasna but to a smaller extent than the Transylvanian average: compared to the previous year in the period between 2019 November and 2020 March 10,4% fewer tourists arrived than in the previous year and 4.7% fewer guest nights were registered in Szeklerland.

On a yearly level, compared to 2018, in 2019 the tourist arrivals in Transylvania increased with 4.1% and the guest nights increased with 5.5 %.

The time period between November of 2019 and March of 2020 in Transylvania

On a national scale Transylvania had closely half of the total of the tourist arrivals and guest nights. (49.5% and 49.0%).

The setback of the tourist traffic in the period examined can be observed primarily in February and March and can be explained with the appearance and acceleration of the coronavirus pandemic and with the responsive measures taken. In the time period before the pandemic (November – January) an increase was observable, fitting in the previous year’s positive trend.

In March 2020 more than two thirds of the tourist traffic compared to previous years disappeared. (decrease of 72.2% and 70.2%).

Brassó/Brașov county continues to be the most popular touristic destination of Transylvania and the whole of Romania (excepting Bucharest) giving a total of 13.2% of the tourist arrivals. Kolozs/Cluj and Maros/Mureș county contributes with 18.4% to the number of guest nights and Bánság/Banat region with 16.4%.

In a yearly comparison it is visible that in Transylvania the stable growth of tourism, that started in 2010 continued also in 2019. Between 2010 and 2019 the tourist arrivals grew by 153.3% and the guest nights grew by 108.2%. Taking in consideration the whole of 2019 compared to the previous year the growth was by 4,1%, respectively 5.5%.

Featured photo: Brassó/Brașov (Shutterstock)

Author: Blanka Székely