The behavior of Romanian tourists over the last two decades has changed drastically: if 21 years ago, the Romanians were leaving by coaches, sleeping in cheap hotels and taking junk luggage, they are now looking for all inclusive holidays in 4 and 5-star hotels and destinations around the world: from Turkey, to China and Thailand, to Cuba or the Dominican Republic, according to a Christian Tour analysis.
“In 1997, when we set up the agency, few Romanians afforded to go on holiday. The tourist packages were expensive, which made the desire to see Paris, for example, a dream that was hard to reach. So we created vacations for all our pockets. Romanians were traveling by bus to Paris, sleeping in two-star hotels, but the next day they could see the Eiffel Tower and the Champs Elysees, places they knew only from pictures,” says Cristian Pandel, the owner of Christian Tour and the majority shareholder of the company.
So, in the last 21 years, the expectations of the Romanian tourists related to holiday comfort have increased greatly. At the moment, they prefer packages that include air travel due to the short journey time and demand good hotels with quality service. In cultural circuit holidays, they want the guides to be very well prepared and constantly confronted with the information they provide with what they read on the internet before leaving home. Because of the Internet, they also want more breaks on the route to take photos and post them on social networks. Also senior tourists have social networking accounts to take pictures of places visited.
Technology also has a say in souvenirs with which Romanians come back from holidays. Thus, if 21 years ago, those who crossed the border were buying “culinary souvenirs” such as French cheese, olive oil from Greece, vegetable stews from Bulgaria, now they allocating money for mobile phones, rooms photo or even laptops. They also buy perfumes, cosmetics and jewelry.
In the 21 years of activity of the agency, over 1.5 million Romanians chose to make their holidays with the Christian Tour. It is the first travel agency to launch packages on destinations such as Zakynthos and Gran Canaria as well as the first agency to create special packages for seniors.
In the first seven months of the year, Christian Tour exceeded sales figures registered in 2017; so between January and July 2018, the company’s sales exceed 70 million euros, compared to over 67 million euros in 2017. The tour operator’s representatives estimate that by the end of the year they will have sales of 85 million euros , which represents a 25% increase from 2017 and is an amount that has not been reached by any travel agency in Romania.
The tour operator owns 40 own agencies in Romania and is present abroad in Poland, Serbia, Moldova, Greece, Turkey, Spain and the United States of America (online division).