A very good new summer season for IRI Travel

George Marinescu
English Section / 19 septembrie

The management of IRI Travel and the representative of the Prestige hotel presenting the balance of the 2023 summer season.

The management of IRI Travel and the representative of the Prestige hotel presenting the balance of the 2023 summer season.

Versiunea în limba română

The 2023 summer season, which ends these days, was a successful one for the IRI Travel company, one of the best-known tour operators in Romania, which recorded a 42% increase in sales and a 30% increase in the number of tourists compared to 2022, after last year saw a 100% increase over 2021.

Greece with an increase of 62% and Bulgaria (+53%) remain the favorite holiday destinations of Romanian tourists, they are followed at a distance by Turkey - with an increase of 11% and Romania with an increase of only 10%.

"The results are very good, especially since we exceeded our proposed goals for this summer season. We started 2023 with emotions, especially since tourism went through two years of pandemic, after which in 2022 we faced the effects of the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, events that had an impact on our activity. Regarding the time of booking, the majority of bookings for the 2023 season were made within the Early Booking programs, with the most sales between October 2022 and March 2023. This strategy allowed tourists to benefit from significant discounts, so that, despite the increase in prices by approximately 10-15% compared to the previous year, they had access to rates similar to those in 2022", Lucian Bădîrcea, CEO of IRI Travel, told us.

His lordship mentioned that there were some fears after the Kherson dam was destroyed and there were rumors about the Black Sea water being infected with various bacteria harmful to the health of tourists, this moment passed well, because the press in our country dismantled the fake news related to the above aspects.

"Thanks to the media for presenting the news matter-of-factly, without creating panic, and we managed to get past this episode from the beginning of June, when more than 70% of summer season holidays were already paid and confirmed, and we didn't faced with no wave of leave cancellations", Lucian Bădîrcea told us.

Regarding the evolution of the average cost of the stay, it experienced a slight increase compared to last year. Thus, in Bulgaria the average cost of a stay was 405 euros/person in 2023, compared to 364 euros/person in 2022. An average stay in Greece was 414 euros/person, compared to 405 euros/person last year, and in Turkey there was a decrease from 510 euros/person in 2022 to 441 euros/person in 2023. A decrease in the cost of the average stay was also recorded in the resorts on the Romanian coast, from 1080 lei/person in 2022 to 820 lei/person in 2023.

According to the CEO of IRI Travel, the average price of the stay per person has increased in Bulgaria and Greece, especially due to inflation, and the decreases recorded in Turkey and Romania are recorded through the prism of the decrease in the duration of the average stay. This is also reflected in the statistical data showing that in Bulgaria and Greece the average stay remained almost at the same level 5.35 days/stay and 6.3 days/stay respectively, while in Turkey it decreased from 6.68 days/stay to 5.62 days/stay, and in Romania from 4.58 days/stay to 4.1 days/stay.

The most sought-after resorts by Romanians on the Bulgarian coast were Golden Sands - where there was a 58% increase in the number of tourists, Sunny Beach - +41%, Albena - +75%, Obzor - +72% and Kavarna with an increase of 61%.

In Greece, the favorite destinations of Romanian tourists remained Halkidiki and Thassos, and in Turkey - Kusadasi and Antalya.

Regarding the Romanian coast, according to the data provided by IRI Travel, which works with 1500 partner agencies in our country, the most sought-after resorts were: Mamaia, with an increase of 25%, followed by Eforie Nord with an increase of 18% and Venus by +12%, with pluses also being recorded in the stations of Saturn and Neptune compared to 2022.

Discounts of maximum 40% for Early-booking

"If we talk about the next summer season, 2024, the offers for May are already in the reservation systems, they are advertised, tourists know them and have started making reservations. We hope that next year will be better than 2023, if things will happen without unpleasant events, 2024 will become a reference year for everyone", said Lucian Bădîrcea, CEO of IRI Travel.

For early booking offers for the 2024 season, discounts for bookings made until 30.11/31.12.2023 (depending on the hotel) vary between 20% and 40%. As in 2023, IRI Travel consultants expect the majority of bookings for the 2024 season to be made within the early booking program, offering tourists significantly discounted rates and excellent choices in the best hotels.

Here are the starting prices for a 5-night stay from 15/06/2024, including Early Booking discounts:

- Bulgaria:

Hotel 3*: 153 euros/person with all-inclusive

Hotel 4*: 165 euros/person with all-inclusive

- Romania:

Hotel 3*: 537 lei/person with breakfast

Hotel 4*: 1268 lei/person with all-inclusive

- Greece:

Hotel 3*: 173 euros/person with breakfast

Hotel 4*: 196 euros/person with breakfast

- Turkey:

Hotel 3*: 123 euros/person with breakfast

Hotel 4*: 174 euros/person with all-inclusive

Hotel 5*: 209 euros/person with all-inclusive

In addition to the offers for next season, during this period Romanian tourists can also make reservations for ski destinations in Bulgaria, Austria, Italy, France and Serbia, with early booking discounts between 10% and 30% for reservations made until 30.09/31.10. 2023, with special offers for the winter holidays.

Thus, for those who want to spend New Year's Eve on the Bulgarian coast, the offer at a four-star hotel is 218 euros/person for 3 nights of all-inclusive accommodation (New Year's Eve dinner included). In the mountain resort of Bansko, prices vary from 187 euros/person for 3 nights' accommodation with breakfast and dinner on New Year's Eve - at a three-star hotel, to 238 euros/person for 3 nights' accommodation with breakfast and dinner on New Year's Eve , at a four-star hotel, while for the Borovets mountain resort, the price for a three-star hotel is 230 euros/person, and for a four-star hotel, 339 euros/person.

Regarding the offers for the end of the year in our country, IRI Travel offers 3-night stays with breakfast or half board - depending on the hotel, plus New Year's Eve dinner, at prices ranging from 1685 lei/person at a hotel of three stars in the Buşteni resort, 1711 lei/person at a three-star hotel in Fundata up to 2196 lei/person at a three-star hotel in Băile Felix.

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