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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY IN ROMANIA

SEMINAR PAPER FOR TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

PROFESSOR: DR.-ING. Václav Hofman

TECHNISCHE HOCHSCHULE DEGGENDORF

BACHELOR INTERNATIONAL TOURISM MANAGAMENT – HEALTH & MEDICAL TOURISM

SEMESTER 3

STUDENT: ALEXANDRA – GABRIELA VELESCU

MATRICLE NUMBER: 556867

DATE OF SUBMISSION: 26.01.2017


INTRODUCTION

In this paper it will be discussed the existing tourism market of Romania, how it evolved
and how is it going to change in the future.

Romania is situated in the southeastern part of Central Europe – Balkan Peninsula - and
shares borders with Hungary to the northwest, Yugoslavia to the southwest, Bulgaria to the
south, the Black Sea and Ukraine to the southeast and to the north and the Republic of
Moldova to the east and is the second largest country in the area, after Poland.

Romania's territory features splendid mountains, beautiful rolling hills, fertile plains and
numerous rivers and lakes. The Carpathian Mountains traverse the center of the country
bordered on both sides by foothills and finally the great plains of the outer rim. Forests
cover over one quarter of the country and the fauna is one of the richest in Europe including
bears, deer, lynx, chamois and wolves. The legendary Danube River ends its eight-country
journey through eight European countries at the Black Sea by forming one of the biggest
and most interesting wetlands in the world, the Danube Delta. Those are just a small part
of what the country has to offer to its audience.

With a long and distinguished history, Romania is a treasure trove of culture, art and natural
beauty. Despite the hardships and challenges of being a developing country, Romania is
magnificent beauty of the multitude of monuments, traditions and cultural heritage places.

As any other industry, in any other country, the tourism and hospitality market faces ups
and downs in Romania. But all is not lost. In recent years, Romania has become a favorite
destination for many Europeans (more than 60% of foreign tourists came from EU Member
States), rivaling and being in competition with countries such as Bulgaria, Greece, Italy and
Spain.

CHAPTER 1. ONLINE TOURISM IN ROMANIA

The tourism market in Romania is booming lately, and that is why the tourism agency
started to explore in more depth the virtual opportunities for presenting the offers they
have available. Besides their own websites, the tourism agency are promoting their offers
with help from professional advertising sites, so the ones that are searching for a holiday
can benefit from a really wide range of choices in matter of touristic packages.

Online tourism in Romania has gained great importance in recent times, tourists can have
the desired reserve, confirmed and guaranteed after only a few clicks, thus saving
substantial time in conditions of total guarantee. It took off using quick accessibility of
information about destinations, attractions and landmarks, maps, impressions and opinions
of other tourists who have visited those places, thus creating the necessary conditions for
choosing an appropriate stay and a successful holiday. The multitude of offers of stay,
accommodation, special offers, last minute early booking, tours, cruises, hotels and tickets
present in the online environment and the simplicity of accessing their home or office
facilitates the purchase of tourist packages at the same prices or less as the agency.

The future of online methods for tourism is very optimistic, considering that more and more
Romanians have access to the Internet. Even though the market in Romania is ‘dominated’
by tourism agencies, more and more changed from offline selling to the online one investing
considerably in that direction in promoting tourism packages using travel portals - that can
guarantee access to a growing number of customers and, implicitly long-term success.

Finally, those who benefit most are tourists who can plan faster and more convenient
holidays and tourism industry, thus approaching Western standards and increasing long-
awaited and well-deserved.

1.1 MISUNDERSTANDINGS OF THE ONLINE TOURISM

In an article on wall-street.ro, Marius Ghenea, chairman of FiT Distribution, said that among
the top ten companies with the highest visibility in social media there is not even am active
company in the field of tourism. But that does not mean that none of the players in the
tourism industry is not present in social media. On the contrary, in the last half year, trained
crisis, many of whom are seeking new sources of revenue or to enhance their image to
promote its services.

Marius Ghenea says that it is a field with opportunities (N.A. online tourism), but not mature
because it is a market too small, but rapidly growing.

Just as quickly increase the appetite for social media. Whether it's the most obscure travel
agency, be it of the most famous low cost airline operator, Facebook and Twitter are not
missing from the channels of communication with consumers. That is because some of the
players have seized changes in the way consumers are informed and form perceptions
about a brand, going through various steps until the decision to purchase a service or
product.

Unfortunately, this appetite for social media can generate unwanted reactions or may turn
intro wrong strategies from “players” in tourism because they are not prepared for it. The
communication strategy in this environment is really just a desire to be in trend with what
happens in online areas.

And here fits most small agencies of tourism that made a Twitter account, but the only
interaction is limited to giving links to specific sections on their websites without interacting
with the potential consumer. An example is the travel agency La Piovra Turista, present
both on Twitter and on Facebook.

One aspect that people do not really take into account is related to terms and conditions of
use of platforms. Knowingly or not, the idea of delineating better image and promote its
services both online and offline, many tour operators forget about these issues. And as an
example is the Romanian popular website “vola.ro”, that had a contest, in which
participants are conditioned to enter the competition by posting a picture on the contest
page, a thing not agreed by Facebook, in the terms and conditions relating to promotions:
‘4.2 In the rules of the promotion, or otherwise, you will not condition entry to the
promotion upon taking any action on Facebook, for example, updating a status, posting on
a profile or Page, or uploading a photo. You may, however, condition entry to the promotion
upon becoming a fan of a Page.’ (Facebook regulations)

Also, the lack of appropriate content and reliability of the information provided, will not
attract attention of the relevant consumers, who seek information that affects them directly
(conditions of accommodation, facilities, etc.).

Most examples are limited to travel agents or airlines, hotels not having a significant
position in social media, as the blogger Cristina Vladau notes in an article on her blog
“Turismark”.

1.2 THE IMPACT OF ONLINE ON YOUNG TOURISTS

For many young people from Romania, two different strategies can be approached about
positioning tactics of tourism: one for young people still in the country, and the other for
those from abroad. In front of young foreigners, Romania can be identified using Dracula
character, but with emphasis on other attractions than myth. Which means that Romania
has other sights than Bran Castle, some that are even more attractive than this, but much
less publicized and advertised. Another element that could attract the attention of young
foreigners is created by relatively low costs at events and parties taking place in the
country. For young people in the country, Romania's position as a touristic point can be
made on the basis of the ideology of knowing their own country. Also, the small budget
that you need to achieve a short stay in the country can also become a key element in
Romania's position in the eyes of young tourists.
One of the most accessed and accepted channels of communication is social media. This is
due to overlapping of people who use these platforms, but also because of the long time
that young people spend it on social media. Online platforms have become, nowadays the
most famous technological methods of communication in most areas. This is, of course,
included the tourism industry, taking momentum increasingly more. To be successful, the
message sent on the online social networking community should provide interest to the
young audience, and at the same time to have creativity, transparency and honesty. A
really important role in promoting attractions or destinations is played by the famous
legends surrounding them and the reviews and stories of young tourists. They can serve
as sources of information and future tourists also can be a great help for planning future
vacation plans. Social media platforms can be used for straightening negative image
floating around the name 'Romania'.

Probably the most used and popular social network is Facebook, which is used primarily for
sharing travel experiences. This is followed by Twitter, used for continuous information and
real-time tourists. Then there is YouTube, which aims to present tourist destinations and
attractions that are offered by Romania. And last but not least, an application with a great
significance as Tripadvisor is used to clarify some negative details on the country as a
tourist destination. Of course, all these applications need to be interconnected, and should
be used to promote each other.

In conclusion, policies and marketing strategies to promote youth tourism should focus on
constant need of young people to discover something new, to grow and to relax.
Promotional messages sent through social media networks, the easiest reach their target
audiences, and are highly effective if they provide concrete solutions to questions and
problems encountered by young people. They got a big success because both involve
tourists in the communicational process and pay a more personalized attention to the
messages sent by them. All these strategies contribute to the long term development of
the country, in terms of economic, social and cultural, as well as improving its image both
nationally and internationally.

Another reason for using in quite significant proportions the online tourism community is
that traditional promotional techniques are starting to be rejected, especially by young
people. Thus, a reasonable method to promote tourism products to young people is to
provide accurate information via the Internet, when it is in the search phase of the decision-
making process. This can be achieved by simply creating stories around the destinations
concerned. An example of this method is the travelling stories experienced by a celebrity
that teenagers follow on social media. Posts created must be distributed according to user
requirements and the interest shown by them. This is where marketers must show
spontaneity and adaptability activity, which is carried on online platforms. Promoting these
methods is a useful strategy and represents a long term goal.

CHAPTER 2. WHAT AND HOW IS TOURISM ADVERTISED ABROAD

The biggest promotion abroad of Romania are the 3 Charlie Otis ‘Wild Carpathia’
documentaries, translated into 19 languages and distributed in 150 countries. The tennis
player Simona Halep through its participation in international tennis championships brings
a popular name to the country. Also important is Romania's participation in international
tourism fairs has an impact on foreigners.

British viewers, but also those around the world could discover Romania in a recent
documentary film by Travel Channel and it is even invited the British heir Prince Charles.
‘Wild Carpathia’, which has a length of about 50 minutes, shows the "wild" Romania,
stressing the forests of the Carpathian Mountains, considered one of the last wild territories
in Europe. The film made headlines from the beginning, due to the declaration of Prince
Charles, who pointed downward in Romanian ruler Vlad Tepes and has stated interests in
this area.

Moreover, the British prince owns several properties in Romania, two in the Valley of Zalan
(Covasna), one in Viscri (Brasov) and one at Malincrav (Sibiu), which he visits often. And
when Prince Charles is not in Romania, the properties are rented to tourists for good money.

2009 was the year when Romania becomes "Land of choice". The campaign began under
the slogan "Romania-Land of choice". From 1 August 2009, the Ministry of Tourism started
promoting the two spots on Eurosport, a television channel quite popular in Romania.

The campaign included two spots in which three well-known personalities were present:
Gheorghe Hagi, Ilie Nastase and Nadia Comaneci. These names resonate nationally, and
internationally as well.

These spots were aired on CNN 529 times, 550 times on Eurosport, 475 times on Eurosport
2, the contract is worth 1.2 million euros to 400,000 euros Eurosport and CNN. The 3 stars
and production clips fees were paid by BRD, which already held a promotional contract with
them. The spots were designed at Mamaia, in a concert by Goran Bregovic, where about
ten thousand people attended.
The launch was widespread, Ministry of Tourism, led by Elena Udrea, renting for the day of
the launch a market in front of City Hall in Paris, where they staged performances with
traditional Romanian dances and where was built a tennis court, where Ilie Nastase and
Peter McNamara played an exhibition match.

In the first spot, the three presented the country as "The only place in the world where
women have the legal right to marry four men simultaneously”; “Discover Romania country
where people drive ... zebras.”; “Come and taste the Romanian fruit-fish ". This text told
by the three celebrities was filled with "You know nothing about Romania, right? It's time
to come to discover. Real places, real experiences ". The second spot is meant to introduce
real landscapes, sights and attractions of Romania, "One country, so many experiences.
Come in Romania, the place where you can choose. "

Reactions were both for and against them, some holding that "The three attract a lot of
attention in the light of their fame but maybe a little too much. It is true that the ad shows
well enough the attraction elements of the country, but why not make use of things that
the world already knows about Romania?”

Based on this, opinion polls were made. The first was aimed to find if Romanians were
pleased about the way their country is promoted. The results were shocking, 93.8% stating
that they are not satisfied with the methods already in use for advertising, 5.8% were
content with the actual stage Romania was in, and 0.4% saying that they are not yet
decided.

One other survey was made. The issue in this one was: Why do you consider that Romania
does not have a brand as a country? The top three answers received were: ‘The lack of a
compatible strategy’, followed by ‘We do not know how to build a brand for our country’
and ‘There are more important problems in Romania’. Here exists a shocking result too:
almost 22% of the people questioned, stated that they either do not know about this issue
or that they do not care at all.

Thereby, it can be said that the lack of country brand in Romania is due to lack of interest
shown by its inhabitants.

2.1 FOREIGNERS THAT MADE ROMANIA A HEARD NAME IN EUROPE

‘Romania - top 12 countries that should be visited by anyone’. The Norwegian journalist
Gunnar Garfos has passed through all countries on Earth and established a "top 12"
countries that deserve to be visited by a person, including our country. The journalist was
impressed by the rural landscapes of Transylvania, the Dracula legend, the Carpathians,
the nightlife in Bucharest and the Romanian beer. (September 2015)

In the summer of 2014, a video made by the Dutch named Peter Schangen, during his 8
days holiday made in Romania in 2013. The image appears in Bucharest (Cismigiu Garden,
Stavropoleos Church, Old Town, and the Inn's Inn) and Black Sea (beach and village
Mamaia holiday). The video reflects the joy and a general state of happiness - all due to
the places he visited.

‘Top Gear – Transfăgărăşan’. The message sent by the British, Jeremy Clarkson, a TV host
from famous program dedicated to cars caused uproar in 2009: "Transfăgărăşanul - the
most beautiful road in the world”, was quite a big promotion method for Romania.

The famous actress Jacqueline Bisset spent part of the holidays of 2015 in Romania. She
posted photos on a social networking site and wrote about the country as one of the most
beautiful countries she has seen ("fantastically fresh and still full of wildflowers in the
mountains"). The actress visited objectives in Transylvania (Alba Iulia, Brasov, and
Sighisoara) and Maramures.

"Roumanie, je t'aime". The Franchman Dren Youan, who arrived in Romania after the
events of 1989 to visit Balea Lac and Fagaras Mountains, was impressed by the scenery
and the people in Romania. Therefore, he promotes through photos posted on a social
network the beauties of Romania. ‘I like the mountains of Romania because here's the only
country in Europe where you can find the real world, with locals dressed in costumes,
shepherds who are simple and hospitable.” says Mr. Youan.

CHAPTER 3.THE TECHNOLOGY AND ITS LEVEL OF USE

3.1 THE FIRST IN INFORMATION, THE LAST IN ITS USE

According to data released by Eurostat, Romania ranks last among EU countries in terms
of reservation and payment of air transport and tourist accommodation units.

And this despite the already consolidated the reputation of Romanian specialists in
information technology (IT), appreciate, including the biggest companies in the field, as the
best in Europe.

Thus, while the European average bookings online is about two thirds the segment of air
transportation, and more than half the accommodation, Romania is at levels of 23% in air
transport (after Slovakia, which recorded 27% ) and only 7.1% in booking accommodation
unit (behind Bulgaria (8.9%).

This paradox reveals the gulf that exists in many areas of economic and social life between
peaks in certain areas and the general population that has no access, not knowing how or
will not benefit from modern methods of organizing the economy, including where
infrastructure is minimal and does not entail significant costs.

At an Internet connection located in the world's top 10, thanks to modern equipment that
have been introduced more recently and the avalanche of online offers for the purchase of
travel packages, Romania places itself at the tail of Europe. Which says a lot on its ability
to take advantage of a favorable environment and comparative advantages that it has.

That can be better demonstrated enlightening situation of the socialist former colleagues
of the Baltic block, who are rapidly approaching the "titan" Germany, with almost similar
percentages. Real convergence and quality of life is not just a commensurate quantity of
material goods purchased and held personal wealth, but also the quality of services offered
by a particular company.

There are a variety of causes why Romania is at this stage and level.

1. Poor education in the field, the lack of extensive national and international programs for
learning how to use computing devices
2. Inadequate popularization of the booking advantages at prices optimized by specialized
analysis engines of a given combination of destinations and the period of stay. Because of
this, Romania enters with millions of euros on minus on the balance of payments.
3. Consumer protection is poor, fueling suspicions in the purchase process of relatively high
value services without intermediate view it offers.
4. Lack of incentives for the development of Romanian profile, while the EU legislative
provisions require charging VAT on services from other countries (for example, packets
delivered Wizztours are taxed at 27% for intermediation services).

A comparative look with Poland and the Czech Republic or Hungary, as a regional reference,
and France, Italy, Spain as a socio-cultural reference, places Romania totally outside the
European practice.

3.2 AN AID IN TECHNOLOGICAL RECOVERY


More and more travel agencies in Romania prefer to make hotel reservations through
various wholesalers: GTA, Hotelbeds, Tourico, Travco, Jactravel etc.

In case of sale of accommodation, booking flow is as follows: Client - Travel agency -


Integrator (reservation system) - Wholesaler - Chanel Manager – Hotel.

The main advantage in terms of travel agencies is the availability in real time and possibly
the tariff. Besides this advantage, there are also some drawbacks. For example, the
customer pays commissions to three or four intermediaries. The agencies are ‘troubled’ by
the fact that cancellation conditions imposed by wholesalers are very restrictive, and most
often the payment is made in advance. Even for hoteliers disadvantages occur: the
consideration of the reservations are expected after at least 2 months.

A travel agency will prefer a system that is user friendly that gives what it needs: a wide
range of hotels in areas of interest, availability in real time, online reservation on the spot,
the possibility of issuing automated documents travel conditions (cancellation / change
permissive). And hoteliers prefer their hotel to be visible in some booking systems very
well developed that have a large enough database and provide real-time availability and
online reservation instantly.

A system of sort, that helps maintain a successful line of flow was created 9 years ago, and
is called OmegaHotels, an online flexible reservation system, easy to use with a friendly
design, with one sole purpose: to give useful information and the most competitive rates
only a few clicks away. It is focused on “sharing”, and while the time passed it gained also
“innovate” and “become a creative leader” on the Romanian travel market.

The ideology behind the project was that a travel agency’s role is not only to provide a full
range of travel products and services, but to be a trusted friend of the traveler, a reliable
and efficient source of valuable information for every stage of the travel arrangements.
Their mission is to bring back the traveler in the travel agency, for them to benefit of the
guidance and expertise of a travel consultant.

Customer care is the main focus and a high level of attention paid towards client’s needs,
will always result in both positive feedback, but also will transform a one-time client into a
repetitive one. It is ‘Always close to you – 24/7, 365 days’, regardless of the time of the
day or night, always finding on the other end of the phone a dedicated personnel.
OmegaHotels is used to requests a bit more special, because they themselves are special
travelers, used to travelling in less known parts of the world.
The reservation system is based on state of the art information technology which allows
to provide a variety of work flows. This type of connection can be achieved between existing
systems but shaped according to client’s specifications. The interface is built to
communicate between the partner site and HotelOmega’s servers using data in XML format.
The partner agency can personalize the way in which that is received such as hotel details,
destinations, availability and other. The usage method requires the customer to connect
using an username and a password to the www.omegahotels.ro platform to access the
available services. Regardless of product type or how the customer chooses to work with
the system, the reservations are placed online in real time.

3.3 THE MOST USED ONLINE RESERVATION SITES IN ROMANIA

Here is a list of the most visited and utilized reservation sites and applications made by a
popular travel blogger from Romania, Mihai Jurca. The list also includes some tips and tricks
when using them.

Booking.com. Everyone knows it, being the most used booking site in Romania. Well built,
tidy, with good pictures and many comments, it constitutes a starting point in the booking
process, having also the best prices on the market.

Yeego.com and Hotels.com do the same as Booking.com. The first, for every 10 nights
booked, the 11th is free, and the second one gives the customer a 3% discount of the total
amount spent, that can also be used in future bookings.

Tripadvisor.com. About this one, Mr. Jurca says the following ‘I did not got used to the idea
that people from Tripadvisor have, besides the excellent reviews posted about any place
on this planet, a booking service too.’

AirBnb.com. Hosts worldwide offers apartments, caravans and others for rent. Prices are
better than the hotel and you get to stay in that town like a veritable local. Wimdu.com is
almost like Airbnb and here are 292 properties in Romania registered on this site.

CHAPTER 4. A GROWING TREND - TRAVEL BLOGGING

Firstly, in recent years, the online network gained ground against offline resources. The
market has changed and people are more attentive to the messages that are transmitted
online. This is because, being the 21st century, we are in the ‘Era of speed’, where every
second counts. Due to the fact that the Internet turned into the hugest travel technology,
blogs came to life and slowly, but surely caught everyone’s attention.

The customer chooses following the recommendations of loved ones, friends, colleagues.
Also, they choose by the message that came to them and how it is transmitted is either
online (there are reaches showing that a big amount of hours are spent in front of
computers, either at home, school or work) or orally (‘word of mouth’).

Almost none of the promotion that worked five years ago is still working nowadays. The
market has changed, tourism services have remained largely the same, but the way of
communication became increasingly important.

Today the clients want to know how they will feel, what activities are offered to them and
their children. They want to know authentic things about the destination, to know that place
from other points of view. Living personalized holidays, getting attention and having a taste
of the traditions and customs the place offers turned into e key element when choosing a
destination.

In Romania, this issue has been solved partially, due to the existence of the travel bloggers.
By collaborating with them, more customers are attracted to join the agency, firstly because
it has begun to turn into a trend, and secondly, because the information received is sure
and well documented from blogger’s own experience.

When you have a product (travel schedule, hotel, hostel, event, flying) attention must be
paid when communicating, to ensure success. Collaborations with travel bloggers has
grown lately just because of how kind and safe their information feels.

Another very important thing is that every blogger is linked to a certain country, region and
type of holiday. It is worth knowing Romania’s travel blogosphere and choosing a suitable
person for promoting a certain product.

Based on the opinion of a Romanian travel blogger, they have some expectations in return
too, not from the client, but from the travel agency he/she plans to collaborate with. Some
examples would be the ability to distinguish between a generalist blogger and a niche one,
and also to compare not only numbers when choosing with whom to cooperate with, but
also the influence on a specific type of audience. Also, having a good service/product, that
remains of good quality over time. This is a real concern, because trust is what bloggers in
general want to gain from their followers, especially the ones that are dealing with the
future well-being of people.
Travel bloggers seek also from their partners to share with them their strategies and
objectives in a clear manner, in order to avoid any confusion. Freedom of expressing and
patience are also really important factors. And last is requested from both the client and
agency working with.

Some examples of famous Romanian travel blogs are Travelgirls; Hailabord (translated:
come on board in English), where monuments, churches and castles in the most unexpected
corners of the country are explored and last but not least, Turistu.ro.

CHAPTER 5. THE LATEST TECHNOLOGY TRENDS IN THE TOURISM & HOSPITALITY


INDUSTRY

The latest statistics show that 2016 has been the most profitable year in the hospitality
industry so far, with a global revenue growth estimated at over $550 billion by the end of
the year.

It is safe to say that this is good news for the hoteliers, but this growth in hospitality
revenues is directly related with the guests’ demands and needs. All in all, these demands
open a new development and innovation direction for hotels that need to be open to change.

The hotel trends for 2016 regard the development of new technologies and innovative hotel
solutions, as well as new marketing practices.

Adopting these hotel trends will make the difference between a competitive hotel on the
saturated hospitality market and consequently on its income. This is why it is important to
bring the latest hotel trends for 2016 to the audience’s attention.

Studies show that 3 out of 4 tourists said that using their smartphones while traveling is
crucial. Even more, 1 out of 3 admitted that they use their mobile phone more when they
travel, compared to when they stay at home.

The hi-tech and hi-touch hotel experiences are seeing more and more popularity in 2016,
with the rising number of tourists who use mobile devices and apps.

This trend can have beneficial consequences for hotels if they are willing to embrace the
innovative solutions to meet this new demand. First off, the hoteliers will have the chance
to create personalized or even ultra-personalized services for their guests.
For this, the Senso Touch solution was developed, which allows the hotel guest to control
room access, lights, thermostat, DND (do not disturb) and MRC (make room clean)
functions directly from their smartphone.

Until recently, hoteliers were obliged to use multiple separated software solutions for the
smooth running of hotel operations. For instance, separate reservation systems, guest
management systems, e-mail solutions and so on.

For this, it has been developed the first complete hospitality solution on the Romanian
market, namely Senso Smart Touch.

Senso Smart Touch is the 100% online hotel system that allows clients to operate the most
important room functionalities from the reception and it is fully integrated in the Calirom
hotel management system.

With Senso Smart Touch it is possible to:

 Control the room functionalities online from the reception

 Have a complete hotel management software

 Have more control with real-time operations reports

 Enjoy high-end touch screen equipment with luxurious finishing that are custom made

Cloud functions for hotel software data storage are now the new thing, due to the
possibilities they bring to the hotel. The cloud solutions for data storage are more secure
and reliable, because they reduce the costs of security maintenance.

In short DRM, this new marketing practice, represents the future of hotel marketing
strategies, as experts in the field claim. DRM emerged in order to suit the tourists’ demand
for access to real-time hotel rates, updated and clear.

This type of marketing has already been used by the largest tourism or booking websites
like TripAdvisor, Google Hotel Finder and HPA, Kayak.com or Trivago. More efficient
marketing campaigns and a rapid growth in online bookings directly on the hotel’s website.
In other word: more income for the hotel.

In order to support the new hospitality marketing directions, we have designed InfoStream,
a revolutionary concept on the Romanian market, but also abroad. This solution is specially
created to allow the hotel guest to fully benefit from all the facilities and services the hotel
has to offer, using a mobile app. At the same time, InfoStream helps the hotelier get to
know its clients better and thus, offer each one of them a fully personalized experience.
In conclusion, the latest hotel trends for 2016 speak of an upgrade in hotel software and
consumer-facing technology solutions for the new emerging type of tourists who use mobile
devices, and have a different purchase behavior.

5.1 FIVE SERVICES FOR A CAREFREE TRIP

Both available in Google Play for Android users, and in the App Store for those who own an
iPhone / iPad or iPod Touch, this apps are the most skillful and most appreciated by users
who travel a lot. And, perhaps most importantly, they are free to download.

Wi-Fi Finder. Even if you are on vacation, it is impossible not to stay connected with your
friends through social networks or news from home. For those users, the company JiWire
created this app that helps searchers find their router signal pair and save money.

The application automatically enters a detector near hotspots nearby. If you find some,
application guides you to where you have a stronger signal. Another plus of this application
is that you can download before starting the journey offline database of hotspots in over
144 countries, including nearly 650,000 access points.

A limitation of this application is a small error that does not look each time the same access
points and on Google Play there is no paid version, without ads.

TripIt Travel Organizer. If you like to be neat and have traveled in many places, this
application is required. TripIt combines organizing with data safety and connects with social
networks. The app syncs with Google Calendar account and all data and schedules (plus
hints moment) arrive in real time on your phone or tablet.

Another plus of the application is that you can find alternative routes or means of transport
in case plans do not go as you want. Free version ensures a common user everything it
needs and, in addition, the user can tell friends places where he has been to, using the
most popular social networks.

Clever Taxi. It is the application that makes you completely quitting the habit to call the
dispatcher to order a taxi. In just a few seconds and 3 MB of internet, the user calls a cab
from the major taxi companies in Romania. The application uses an automated system to
locate your address on the map if the client is an unknown area. Another important
advantage is that the application allows to order a car from one or more taxi companies at
the same time. Also, there are information and comments from previous users on each taxi
company present in the application.
The application is available for operating systems iOS, Android, and Windows Phone and
works in Bucharest, Iasi, Ploiesti, Cluj-Napoca and Galati.

The menu is very easy to use, so in just seconds favorite fare and taxi companies can be
selected. Then the application finds on the spot nearest free machine. The driver will
confirm the order with the help of a smartphone and tell how many minutes are left until
reaching the identification data he has.

Booking.com. The applications of the website with the same name is one of the most used
methods to reserve a hotel room in hundreds of thousands of places in the world. Although
initially the project developers thought to have only the portal booking.com, millions of
users have been surprised to see and application in the App Store. It exists there since
2010 and in Google Play came a little later.

Over 19 million users have made it famous and useful idea because they vote and leave
reviews of hotels and places in more than 180 countries and 310,000 properties they have
stayed. The application also recommends places with the best accommodation services and
with low prices.

Google Translate. The user can choose between three input methods: the voice, which
involves manually typing the message, and the one with the camera that can scan text
from a book to translate it later. Another plus of the application is to translate expressions,
which before were recognized harder.

Perhaps the greatest merit of the application is the offline sync. The application has
language packs, downloadable for those leaving for other countries and do not have internet
connection at an affordable price.

DISCUSSION

Certainly, online tourism and niche tourism are the two directions of tourism towards which
Romania starts to move. However, the need of travel agencies and classic destinations,
where mass tourism practice (ex. The seaside stays in Greece, Spain, Cyprus, Turkey, etc.)
is still here.

It can be said that three digital trends for online tourism in Romania exist:

1. Mobile area has experienced and continues to experience a strong development


2. Maturation of the Romanian tourism blogosphere
- travel bloggers community has approximately 270 members, is a united community
- bloggers could cooperate with travel agencies as consultants destinations
3. Social Media vs. Sales - social media for promotion are very important and in some cases
can help in selling the product/service more efficiently. Nonetheless, this very much
depends on each business separately.

Romania has a valuable potential, which capitalized properly, could turn the country into
one very competitive, capable of achieving high standards of European tourism market.
Focusing on Romanian potential to attract more tourists and not just focus on natural
heritage, but also on the adoption of the latest information technologies and
communications, is crucial.

Unfortunately, insufficient use of information technology, marketing and reservations PCU


is one reason that Romania still face as a touristic destination.

As mentioned several times during the study conducted above, using the “modern” and
“trendy” methods in the tourism and hospitality market brings various benefits to a
business and even to a country as a whole: broadening the supply of information; cost
reduction ; reducing the inefficiency and uncertainty; overcome constraints due to distance
or elements geographic; economic market awareness of comparative advantage; increasing
access to global supply channels and expanding markets; improve transparency.

There are no data on Internet connections in every region of Romania, but data from
players on the market shows that most existing connections are in major urban areas and
remote rural areas of the country receive a limited or no Internet user. Therefore,
technology is not yet the most utilized method of acquisition, information or even for
travelling.

But all is not lost. Given all the data and all the resources, Romania may recover easily. All
it takes is more national involvement. Especially that the expansion of the Internet has
changed the travels’ industry structure around the world. This is possible in Romania too.
LIST OF REFERENCES:

[1] http://www.turismmarket.com/

[2] http://lumeamare.ro/

[3] http://www.omegahotels.ro/

[4] https://www.proalpin.ro

[5] http://www.infotravelromania.ro/

[6] http://amfostacolo.ro/

[7] IPK International. ITB World Travel Trends Report. Berlin: Messe Berlin GmbH; 2014.

[8] http://cursdeguvernare.ro/

[9] http://www.yoda.ro/