Tourism in Romania is focused on the country's natural landscapes and its history, and forms an important component of the economy of Romania. The total number of foreign tourist arrivals in the year 2014 was 1,911,800, an increase of 6.6% from the 2013 number of 1,714,500. In 2014, Romania had 32,500 companies which were active in the hotel and restaurant industry, with a total turnover of EUR 2.6 billion. However, the number of tourists has decreased dramatically in recent years, in fact, in 2004 there were 5,9 millions of tourists. Only in 2012 the number of tourists has started to grow again.
Facilities for disabled travellers in Romania range from patchy to nonexistent. Anyone with mobility problems should go prepared and ideally have local contacts. Although it has made some slow strides towards disabled access since then, and new buildings need to be wheelchair-accessible, implementation has been very poor. In practice Romania remains by and large off-limits to disabled travellers.
2015 - Access for people with disabilities to Romania's tourist attractions has improved in recent years, and it remains a priority. However, it is advisable to check with all service providers prior to your visit, ensuring that they are able to meet your particular needs. Advance notice and reservations will also help ensure that you receive the best possible assistance. Major hotels in Romania do offer facilities for disabled travellers.
Industrial tourism, as a niche of tourism in Romania and as a solution to the restructuring and disappearance of former large industrial sites (mining, metallurgy, heavy industry), takes on interest in the country still slowly, despite the country's join to the European Union in 2007. Even if presently the country is confronted with a long and difficult economic transition, it has a rich industrial and scientific history with many of the world's priorities and still has surviving authentic traditional crafts and rural communities. Limited to some geographic areas and not yet on a large scale, by the means of European funds and projects, a sustainable revival of the traditional sector is supported, which also implies creative tourism participatory activities.
Against this big potential, there are relatively few entities, the majority being state owned, that are organizing, providing or permitting public visits, a main cause of this still being the weak implication and support of many public authorities. Meanwhile, the tourism stakeholders pay a relatively weak attention to the hard core of this niche (industrial heritage, technique, science and living industry), and practically there aren't many package offers of this kind on the market, with some notable exceptions: ethnographic and wine tourism, also some rehabilitated industrial and forest narrow railways and steam engines still operating.
According, an industrial and creative tourism attractions web directory for Romania and some neighbouring countries, providing photos and short English descriptions of each objective, the main attractions open to the public are:
the national and regional technical and ethnographic museums: the Dimitrie Leonida National Technical Museum and the Aviation Museum in Bucharest, the mining museums in Brad, Petrosani, Rosia Montana, a technical museum in Iasi, the tram museum in Timisoara, the Oil Museum in Ploiesti, the astronomic observatories in Bucharest and Bacau, the village museums from Bucharest, Pitesti, Sibiu, Cluj, Timisoara, Valcea, Suceava;
the railway tourism on the recently rehabilitated narrow gauges from Brad, Abrud, Covasna, Moldovita, Agnita, Vaser, the Oravita - Anina mountain railway opened in 1864;
the power plant museums from Cernavoda (nuclear), Iron Gates (hydro, on the Danube, 2200 MW, the biggest in European Union), Sadu (hydro, built in 1896), Sinaia (hydro, built in 1899), Grebla - Resita (hydro, built in 1904);
factory tours: exception making some food (chocolate, soft drinks, yogurt) factories which provide visits for school children, there are no important companies (car, manufacturing, porcelain, textile, high technology, etc.) to promote such tourist visits. However, some reference enterprises may accept visits at special requests (the Resita Works, metallurgy, heavy machinery, founded in 1771, having a very interesting museum too, The Ruschita Marble Exploitation). A remarkable visit program, started in October 2013, offers the Timisoreana brewery, a factory founded in 1718, with very valuable heritage;
industrial heritage: even if valuable, a large majority of the monuments are still abandoned by their owners. However, a few exceptions could be mentioned;
motorsports: despite the missing of an international standard infrastructure like raceways, there are national federations organizing events for many categories and racing schools offering participatory courses;
the salt mines from: Turda, Praid, Cacica, Slanic Prahova, Ocnele Mari, Ocna Sibiului (salt lakes) are equally famous for their tourism interest (museums, underground entertainment parks) as well as therapeutic exploitation (respiratory diseases)
traditional crafts: wood carving, weaving, pottery, glass, embroidery. Many craftsmen preserved the traditions in some village areas from Moldavia, Transylvania and Oltenia. The majority are only selling their products on local markets, but they begin to organize and a few open their workshops to the tourists too;
wineries: some vineyards have incredible landscapes and the wines produced here have a well established and long tradition. Wine tourism provides presentations of the technologies and the storage caves, and is well developed in Romania. Famous big wineries: Murfatlar, Dragasani, Recas, Prahova Valley, Odobesti, Husi, Recas, Cricova (near Chisinau, in the Republic of Moldova, is huge, with about 80 kilometres of tunnels and caves)