Romania - one the last countries in Europe by the contribution to GDP of the hospitality sector

Hospitality industry (hotels, restaurants, event planning, and transport) had, directly or indirectly, a contribution of Euro 1,000 billion to the European economy in 2010, according to the EY study, The Hospitality Sector in Europe

The study was based on Eurostat statistical data covering the period 2000-2010, to ensure comparability of data in the 31 European countries analyzed.


According to the study, in 2010 the sector contributed with 126 billion Euros to government treasuries in excise duties, Value Added Tax (VAT) and employment and social security taxes, and supported approximately 16.6 million EU jobs, or one in every 13 jobs.


The hospitality sector provided 29% more jobs in 2010 than in 2000, whereas in the wider economy during the same period, the total number of jobs increased by just 7.1% or less than 1% per year.


The Hospitality sector in Romania


Romania ranks 27th among the 31 countries by contribution to GDP in 2010, with 2.1%. Same sector contributes to Bulgaria's GDP twice as much as in Romania, that is 4.2% of GDP. Romania is followed by Slovakia, Cyprus, Lithuania and Poland. Countries with the largest hospitality industry contribution to GDP are the traditional: Malta (7.9%), Greece (6.5%) and Spain (6.3%), while the EU average is 3.7%.


In Romania, the sector supports (directly, indirectly or induced) 4.5% of total employment in the economy and has the largest multiplier effect after Turkey of the 31 analyzed countries: 1.63 Euro. This means that for every 1 euro spent in this sector another 1.63 EURO are invested in economy. EU average of this indicator is 1.16 euro.


The Romanian hospitality sector grew to a peak of just under €3bn of turnover in 2008, followed by a 22% fall by the end of 2010, finishing the period at €2.3bn. Restaurants accounted for almost 40% of turnover in the sector, while employing 43% of the hospitality sector’s workforce (over 60,700 in 2010). The number of restaurants in Romania was higher in 2010 (at 8,200) than in 2008 (8,000), showing a particular resilience to a corresponding fall in turnover of 9%.


Hotels are the second largest Romanian sub-sector in turnover terms, accounting for 31% of the total in 2010, and employing around 35,500 people. Bars have been particularly impacted by tax (increases in VAT and excise duties) and regulatory changes (e.g. smoking ban), with a 7% reduction in enterprises in 2010.


Since 2000, the Romanian food and beverage sub-sector has increased its share of the hospitality sector from 54% to 62% (2010).This is owing to higher average growth across the period (16.1%) than the accommodation sub-sector (12.3%).


The trading environment in the hospitality sector has become more challenging since 2010 due to declining consumer confidence and spending power, increasing VAT rates, regulatory changes (such as the smoking ban) and increasing levels of off trade sales.