Lonely Planet Writer

Romania is the fastest-growing destination for UK travellers

If you’re looking for inspiration on where to go on your next holiday, a report has revealed the fastest-growing destinations for UK travellers. Guided group tour company, On The Go Tours, analysed data from the United Nations World Tourism Organization 2018 Tourism Highlights Report to find that Romania is the fastest-growing holiday destination for UK travellers, with a total increase of 638% between 2007 and 2017.

Victory Avenue, the main road of central Bucharest. Image: liorpt/Getty Images

Romania has a lot of varied experiences to offer visitors, of course. Its stone churches and dazzling monasteries dot a pristine landscape of rocky mountains and rolling hills. Transylvanian towns have stepped out of time and have jaw-dropping castles pitched precariously on rocky hilltops, while vibrant Bucharest is all energy. The rocky peaks of Transylvania and Moldavia, snow-capped from mid-October in some years, call out for conquering, and well-marked trails lead to summits from all directions.

The Danube gorge ‘iron gate’ on the Serbian-Romanian border. Image: Slavica Stajić/500px

For centuries, a highly-productive peasant culture thrived in much of Romania. The hilly geography and lack of passable roads necessitated the emergence of hundreds of self-sufficient villages, where old-school crafts such as bread-making, pottery, tanning and weaving were honed to an art. Folk museums, particularly the open-air skansens and village museums, are a must for visitors.

A colourful street in Mures, Romania. Image: Sami OV/500px

Lithuania comes in second place on the report, having seen a 187% growth in tourists over the last decade. The third-fastest growing destination, increasing by 183,000 in the last decade, is Mexico with 145% overall growth. Hungary came in fourth place and the United Arab Emirates in fifth place, and the rest were 6. Poland 7. Portugal 8. Denmark 9. Nigeria and 10. Morocco.

The Retezat Mountains, Southern Carpathians, Romania. Image: Marcel Doup/500px

For further information on this On the Go Tours report, please see here.