The Concentration of Tourism Resources versus Accommodation Statistics in Localities in Romania

Cristi FRENȚ, Senior Researcher, PhD (email:
National Institute of Research Development in Tourism, Bucharest, Romania


In 2008 the Romanian government adopted the National Plan for Territorial Planning (rom. Planul de Amenajare a Teritoriului Național – PATN) section VIII – Areas with tourism resources. In this document a categorization of localities/municipalities that have tourism resources is undertaken based on tourism potential and other supply-side elements (e.g. tourism specific infrastructure and general infrastructure). The purpose of this paper is to see to what extent the categorization from PATN is reflected in the evolution of tourism flows (as part of demand) in the period 2001-2019. In other words, the aim is to see how the categorization from PATN is seen from the perspective of demand-side, a component that was not included in the methodology pertaining to PATN.

Data from National Institute of Statistics (INS) at municipality level have been used for deriving annual average growth rates for the period 2001-2019. These data refer to arrivals of tourists in accommodation establishments (herein called accommodation statistics) for a number of 786 municipalities for which data is available.

Main findings
It has been determined that one third of the localities listed in PATN as having high and very high concentration of tourism resources are not registering any flows of tourists in accommodation establishments. More, a superior performance of tourism demand was observed for localities not listed in PATN as compared with localities that were listed in PATN (an annual average growth rate of 8.6% versus 5.6%). This is quite surprising and may question the methodology underpinning PATN.

This paper is the first one that wants to challenge the official categorizations of localities in Romania from PATN in terms of tourism resources.

A revision of the methodology pertaining to PATN categorization of municipalities is recommended in order to include also variables of existing tourism demand at local level.

Keywords: tourism resources, accommodation statistics, territorial planning, locality, Romania
JEL classification: Z32, O21

[Full Text]

Romanian Statistical Review 2/2022