Romania has a large number of churches, monasteries or places of worship as well as a great diversity of spiritual and religious destinations, thus explaining the development of forms of tourism such as religious tourism and pilgrimage. Previous researches confirm that in Romania religious tourism and pilgrimage has been on an ascending trend, Prislop Monastery being one of the most visited religious sites. A delimitation between the two types is difficult to make because of the different valences they have. This study starts from personal field observations, aiming to explore, based on qualitative methods, the motivations, perception or religious practices in the area, trying to differentiate distinct categories of visitors. The context of visits, the frequency, motivations and practices related to religious tourism or pilgrimage represented the basis of the analysis, relied on semi-structured interviews. The results showed that the motivations were mixed, starting from religious practices rigorously performed, to simple visits that were made out of curiosity and aroused by mass-media.
This paper aims to provide a model for the assessment of the religious-tourism potential in Romania. The religious practice has been in a continuous change over the past 20 years, making the pilgrimage phenomenon to have an upward trend. In the same time, many religious edifices are becoming more attractive to visitors, as they are included in package tours, and visited by large numbers of tourists. In Romania, there are many religious places visited both, by tourists or pilgrims; it is difficult to assess their numbers and also to distinguish between religious practices and touristic visits as no studies have been conducted in this direction. They are centres of religious (spiritual) power, in which people regularly spend money and time while around them it has been developed a real infrastructure, from roads or construction of facilities to more complex services that include accommodation, stores or commercial stalls, selling souvenirs or items more or less related to religious practice. Therefore, the objectives of this paper aimed at evaluating the tourist valences of religious edifices in Romania as well as the degree of their valorisation; in order to meet these objectives, three dimensions were considered and assessed: the historical-cultural dimension, the religious dimension, and the economic dimension. Many relevant elements for these dimensions have been quantified, giving them scores based on unitary criteria. The results help to see better the differentiation/association between the tourist value and the religious value of religious edifices in Romania, highlighting particularities at the national level, which will be the subject of further analysis.
Gates represent an important component of the Romanian domestic life since historical times. They function as a barrier between the sacred family space from inside the household and the space and potential dangers from outside it. Traditional wooden gates have been inscribed with specific elements, thus functioning simultaneously as a household utility and conserving a common identity through their symbolism. Szekely gates represent a lesser-known and studied element of ethnocultural heritage, although the area where they are located has been in the last few years and will probably continue to be a very dynamic and sought after tourism destination. The wooden Székely gates, found in areas inhabited by this ethnic minority, represent a true accumulation of both Romanian and Székely rituals and symbols. The aim of the study is to highlight the importance of the gates for the traditional ethnographic heritage of this ethnic minority with real implications for the development of local cultural and heritage tourism. The objectives of the study consist in identifying the main areas of distribution for Székely gates in Transylvania, the significance of their main symbols and the level of their current national and international promotion. The research methodology included direct observations, GIS techniques, and field investigations. The results of this exploratory study show the location of the traditional Székely gates and their diversity, and the coexistence of a Romanian symbolism with one that is exclusively local through specific motifs and colours. This diversity and coexistence of symbols gives the possibility of inserting Székely gates as added cultural values into an already visible and viable tourism area.
Deindustrialisation is one of the most complex and dynamic processes that have shaped the global economy over the past half century. This article aims to highlight the factors behind this process and their implications in the national state industry. In Romania, deindustrialization has profoundly marked recent history, after 1990, through the closure of hundreds of factories and the loss of over 2.5 million jobs. The process resulted in the rising of unemployment and of the crime rate and generated the phenomenon of poverty. The research results were obtained by studying the economic policies adopted by eight governments between 1990 and 2006. The study underlines that deindustrialization in Romania was a consequence of an accumulation of internal and external factors whose impact was amplified by the failure of government policies.