OZB People: 10 Questions for Andrei Constantinescu – travel agent and guide who shares his Romania with dozens of people every week.

1. Please tell us about who you are and what you do. 

My name is  Andrei Constantinescu, I’m 28 years old, I’m from Bucharest and I currently hold the position of General Manager at Andinio Travel Travel Agency, a tour operator agency that organizes tourist trips, domestic and international, but also mountain hikes for beginners or average level hikers.

2. Share your backstory with us. How did your business or organisation come about and what was it that switched you on to this area in the first place? 

My entire activity started out as a simple hobby. As I have been passionate about mountain hiking and travelling through as many new and unique places as possible since I was a child, immediately after graduating from university I decided it was time to develop myself professionally in the field where I can obtain the best results, so I got all the necessary accreditations and guided by my passion for tourism, I opened this small niche agency.

3. What do you think or hope the future has in store for you and your business? Where do you see yourself or your organisation five years from now? 

I have total confidence in myself and my project as well as in the people around me who helped me lay the foundation of this business. Although we have evolved with quite small steps from year to year, the positive results did not take long to appear and this has encouraged me to think about higher things for the near future.

In 5 years, I would like for the agency to continue to be on an upward trend, to increase the team with more people dedicated to the idea of ​​this project and to organize as many trips and tours on all continents for as many tourists as possible.

4. How has lockdown been for you and for your business and what have you done that has helped you personally and professionally? 

This coronavirus pandemic, as well as the almost 3 months of “lockdown”, has hit the entire tourism industry hard and implicitly the Andinio Travel project.

Between March 15 and June 15, we did not organize any events and the company’s activity was stopped, but I chose to remain active in the online environment and keep being optimistic in order to be as close as possible to our customers.

The pandemic cancelled many of our scheduled trips, especially the international circuits where we already had very large groups gathered, but we continued to stay optimistic knowing that at some point everything would return to normal. And even if at this moment I managed to close the ranks and get the business started again, I am aware that the financial results for this year will be very poor and I know that there are still many restrictions and uncertainties, but I don’t have time to complain about any details because I have a company to keep alive and I will do everything to make this happen.

Personally, I have evolved for the better during this “lockdown”. I enjoyed many quiet days, I started practicing more sports in my spare time and I had time to do all the things that I normally couldn’t complete. Perhaps the most important thing was that I had all the time to dedicate myself to my 1 year and 8-month old son and this is invaluable.

5. What’s your take on Bucharest and Romania. What are the highs and the lows in your opinion? 

When we say Bucharest, we mean a European capital. We have many cultural sights in this city and a very attractive nightlife for foreign tourists. Unfortunately, we suffer quite a lot due to the poor-quality services and because we don’t have enough marketing campaigns to highlight the attractions of this city.

Romania has a fantastic potential from all points of view, but at the moment, the issue of the lack of quality of services in many subdomains of the tourism industry, the lack of local investments destined to enhance sights and restore cultural objectives of national interest and the poor road infrastructure at the level of the entire country, are things that make our mission to attract as many foreign visitors as possible in our country very difficult.

6. What is your must do/must visit/favourite thing to do or show off to visitors here in Bucharest and Romania at large? 

I think that the main attraction of Bucharest remains the Old Town of the city and the nightlife that turns this captivating place into a paradise of fun.

Romania has many interesting places and I would recommend everyone to first of all visit the Danube Delta, Bucovina, Danube Gorge and Maramures.

7. What is your number 1 recommendation now for a book/film/series/app/ or gadget? 

When I have little spare time, I really like to watch series on the Netflix application.

8. If you could eat in any restaurant in all of Romania and have dinner with anyone in the world (not a husband/wife/relative) which restaurant would that be and with which person?

I think I would invite the President of Turkey – Recep Erdogan, to La Cocosatu’s Restaurant in Bucharest to eat together Romanian “mici”, in order to prove to him that the Romanians invented the real “mici” and that ours are the best.

9. Sum up your business in one sentence, what it is and why should people engage with it. 

Andinio Travel is more than a business, it is a community of people who travel together, make friends and enjoy life in an active and pleasant way.

10. Describe your Romania in one word.

Wild.

See https://www.facebook.com/AndinioTravel/ for more information

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