Romania - Tourism, travel, and recreation

The Romanian tourist industry, like its other state monopolies, is undergoing privatization. The Carpathian Mountains, the Black Sea coast, and the Danube region are being developed to attract and accommodate larger numbers of tourists. Major tourist attractions include many old cities and towns (Brasov, Constanta, Sibiu, Sighisoara, Suceava, Timisoara, and others) and more than 120 health resorts and spas. The monasteries in Bukovina are famous for their exterior frescoes. Castle Dracula, the castle of Prince Vlad of Walachia, has been a tourist attraction since the 1970s.

Popular sports are soccer, skiing, hiking, swimming, canoeing, wrestling, handball, and gymnastics. Between 1965 and 1984, Romanian athletes won 176 Olympic medals (48 gold, 52 silver, and 76 bronze). Romania was the only Socialist country to send athletes to the 1984 games in Los Angeles; all the others, following the USSR's lead, boycotted these games. All visitors to Romania must have a visa, obtainable from Romanian embassies abroad or at border stations.

In 1998 tourist arrivals numbered 2,965,707. Tourism payments totaled $359 million that year. There were 95,404 hotel rooms with 199,333 beds and an occupancy rate of 35%.

In 2002, the US government estimated the daily cost of staying in Bucharest at $220. Travel expenses elsewhere in the country were estimated at $111 per day.

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