THE GENERAL TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURE - A KEY DETERMINANT OF COMPETITIVENESS OF TOURISM IN ROMANIA AND CEE-EU COUNTRIES
AbstractAfter the fall of communism, Romanian tourism was considered a sector which, by with relatively modest efforts, could be quickly restarted with the capacity to have a positive influence over the entire economic relaunch process. Although it has been more than 27 years, an economic revival through tourism has not yet occurred. Moreover, in recent decades, Romanian tourism has steadily lost some competitiveness in relation to other tourist destinations in the region. In this context, through this study, we tried to show that a major cause of the low level of competitiveness is represented by the significant deficiencies recorded in terms of the general transport infrastructure. The availability of a secure and fast transport network by road, air and water to the most important tourist centers of a country is vital. Without a general infrastructure no tourist resource, no matter how important, can be put forward in an efficient manner. Thus, we can unequivocally say that the absence or an insufficient development of infrastructure in Romania is the prime factor of the lack of development of tourism activity and of the serious deficiencies recorded when it comes to enhancement of the national tourism offer. This conclusion is supported by the analysis of the data provided by the World Economic Forum (through the Tourism Competitiveness Index) and EUROSTAT. To reflect Romania's position in the general picture of the competitiveness of the transport network, we performed a comparative analysis considering the results achieved by ten other EU countries in Central and Eastern Europe (hereinafter referred to as CEE-EU countries).
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