Romania will thus be the fifth largest east-European market by tourism receipt, after Russia, Ukraine, Poland and Croatia.

“As for tourism expenditures in the country, Romania takes the last but one spot in the region, with €125 per visit, outranking Lithuania”, Mantas Kalunia, Euromonitor expert said at the Hospitality Forum organized by HRB Expert magazine.

Expenditure by non-resident tourists in Eastern European countries averaged €334/person last year, down 5% from 2008. “Tourists from UK in Romania spent the most, €900 in average”, said the representative of Euromonitor.

Hungry has been the main market of origin and accounted for almost a quarter of international tourism receipts in Romania. Moldova ranked second with 15% followed by Bulgaria with 14%.

As for business tourism, the segment has a potential of 3.6 million international receipts per year in Romania by 2014.

“However, the event and conference segment took a heavier loss compared to other sectors”, Kalunia added.

According to Euromonitor data, the low-cost segment doubled over the past five years in Romania, to a market share of 30%. “Low-cost carriers have prevented the market from taking a heavier blow from the financial crisis in 2009”, Euromonitor representative added.

Euromonitor International has eight offices across the world and a team of over 600 analysts.