Tourism destinations preferred by Moldovans

Touristic escapades represent one of the most efficient methods to get away from the stress accumulated at work and from the problems of the daily life. No matter how short the vacation is, during the holiday time the body gets to rest and therefore, gets to accumulate new forces, and be more productive and efficient once he/she returns to work. In order to have a vacation as dreamed, it’s necessary to answer to 3 vital questions: Where do I go? When do I go? and How much can I spend?

Magenta Consulting has therefore launched a survey, via the Magenta National Screening, through which was determined how often and where did Moldovans go on holidays over the last 3 years. The sample of the research included 1400 respondents from 24 urban localities of the country. It should also be mentioned that the data gathered was collected in 2 rounds: the first one in April and the second in June ths year.

Analyzing the frequency with which the participants of the study use to go on holidays, it can be stated that most often, i.e. 43% of those questioned in the first wave, and 47% of those questioned in the second, go on holidays only once a year. Although the share of people who go on vacation twice a year has declined in fall by 2 p.p. as compared to spring (from 13% to 11%), the average frequency level has increased due to lower share of respondents who go in general on holidays (from 24% in spring to 19% in autumn).

Based on the multicriterial analysis of respondents frequency of going on vacations, can be noted that with age people tend to have less vacations, while with the increase of the income level, the tendency is vice-versa – the frequency increases. In terms of age, most often tend to take vacations those aged up to 19 years and in terms of income those with over 7000 MDL (each 19% or +7 p.p.) – twice a year. This trend might be explained by the adventurous spirit of young people, while for those with income over average – by their financial availability.

In terms of education, the study concluded that once the respondent has graduated a higher level of education, he is more liable to invest in holiday trips. Thus, in 72% of cases, people with postgraduate diplomas, go on vacation at least once a year, i.e. with 14 p.p. higher as compared to the general sample. At the same time, 30% (or + 11 p.p.) of respondents with secondary education generally do not go on holidays at all.

Taking in consideration respondents occupation, we can say that pupils/ students and entrepreneurs are the most active tourists, going on holiday at least once a year - respectively 74% (+ 16 p.p.) and 63% (+5 p.p.). These numbers can be explained to a large extent by the halving effect of these categories, as they turned to be also the most active respondents in terms of age and income.

Over the last three years, the most frequented resorts turned to be those located in Ukraine (mentioned by 63% of respondents), followed by the Romanian ones - at almost half of the value - 32%. At the same time, the interest for the Turkish resorts has increased by 3 p.p., from 11% in spring to 14% of respondents who mentioned this destination in summer (2009). It is also worth mentioning that the significant decrease in the number of visits to Moldovan resorts, from 44% in spring to 29% in autumn, is mostly due to the flood on the Nistru River, that has put out of touristic circuit for the entire summer the most popular resort of the country (Vadul lui Voda).

Respondents preferences towards a specific holiday resort evolve depending on their age. Thus, it is noted that those aged up to 24 years have picked more often the Romanian resorts (38% or + 9 p.p.) or even the Moldavian ones, options picked at the same time and by those aged over 45 (33 % or +4 p.p.). At the same time, Ukrainian services were preferred by most of 25-29 years old (70% or +11 p.p.), while the Turkish resorts were mostly preferred by the 30-34 aged ones.

Based on gender, it can be concluded that more men prefer to spend their holidays in Romania (35% or +3 p.p.), while more women incline for local resorts (33% or + 4 p.p.). Rest of directions were picked almost at equal share by both men and women.

Also, it terms of income, the study highlighted an increased share of respondents choosing exotic destinations. Thus, those earning over 9000 MDL per month generally chose Turkey (45% or +32 p.p.), the Mediterranean Europe (18% or +12 p.p.) or the Far East (9% or +7 p.p.). At the same time, those who receive less than 3000 MDL as earnings, gave preference mostly to local resorts (36% or +7 p.p.). Ukrainian destinations were selected by most of the respondents with 3-5 ths. MDL per month (68% or +5 p.p.), while Romania was of interest to those earning 5-7 ths. MDL (39% or +7 p.p.).

Analyzing respondents occupation, it may be stated that state employees most often chose local resorts as vacation destinations (37% or +8 p.p.), while those hired in private companies generally favor Turkish services (18% or + 4 p.p.), which are also preferred by entrepreneurs, in 26% of cases. Ukraine was of interest for most unemployed (68% or +5 p.p.) and Romania – for most of the students/ pupils (43% or +11 p.p.).

We would also like to mention that the present research has shown there is a considerable share of people preferring to organize their holidays individually, without the help of a travel agency. Many of respondents believe that these agencies charge a very high fee for their services. Therefore, some tourists prefer to resort to the services of travel agencies located in the neighboring countries, like Romania, Ukraine and Russia.

In conclusion we can assert that Moldovans shifted their touristic preferences, to a certain extent (rather insignificant change however), from economy to medium class services, due to the increase in the quality requirements of touristic services. However, considering the economic crisis and the fact that vacations represent a luxury for most of our people, we can expect a reduction in the number of those planning to go on holiday this summer.