According to data of the National Bank of Romania quoted by business daily Ziarul Financiar, Romanians spent EUR 73 million to travel abroad, a 46 per cent increase y/y and double the level registered in January 2005.

"In January 2007, we saw a 40 per cent increase in ticketing and a 40 per cent surge for leisure traveling against the same period last year. Tourists mainly chose CityBreak packages (two or three-night holidays in European cities). Trips abroad are becoming more and more accessible for tourists with an average spending budget. You no longer need a passport, and you have the choice of traveling with a low-cost company," says Elena Stoian, marketing assistant with Aerotravel travel agency.

Most trips abroad in January were for winter sports, in countries such as Austria, Switzerland, France, Italy, but also Bulgaria and Slovakia.

"For ski trips, 90 per cent of tourists chose Austria. Trips to exotic locations were fewer in number, with just 3,000 tourists going for these destinations. However, the gains they bring are much bigger than, for example, trips to European cities," said Traian Badulescu, spokesman of the National Association of Travel Agencies (ANAT).