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The Impact of the 2007 European Cultural Capital in Sibiu: A long term perspective

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This study of the impact of the European Cultural Capital in Sibiu in 2007 is part of an ongoing programme of research initiated by the European Association for Tourism and Leisure Education (ATLAS) in 1999. This programme of research aims to examine the implementation and effects of this increasingly popular event throughout Europe. The European Capital of Culture staged in Sibiu during 2007 was a unique event. It was the first European Capital of Culture (ECOC) to be staged in one of the post-2004 EU accession countries, and it represented a major challenge in being staged just as Romania was joining the EU. The original evaluation report published in 2007 by ATLAS (Richards and Rotariu, 2007), indicated that the event programme had successfully met many of the short-term aims, attracting large numbers of visitors, increasing cultural participation and improving the image of the city in Romania and abroad. Measuring the other, often less tangible impacts of the event requires a longer-term monitoring strategy. ATLAS has therefore undertaken a continuous monitoring programme for the City of Sibiu over the past three years. This research includes a number of different elements:regular surveys of residents and visitors, analysis of tourism flows and other statistics, Interviews with stakeholders in the city, Data from the regular surveys carried out by ATLAS in other parts of Europe. This report provides a summary of some of the major findings of the research to date, mainly based on the resident and visitor surveys.
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1
The Impact of the 2007 European Cultural Capital in Sibiu:
A long term perspective
A Report to the City of Sibiu / Hermannstadt
Greg Richards
Ilie Rotariu
February 2010
2
Published by the Association for Tourism and Leisure Education (ATLAS)
PO Box 3042
6802 DA Arnhem
The Netherlands
Tel: +31-26-4452699
Fax: +31-26-4452932
Email: admin@atlas-euro.org
Authors
Greg Richards
Ilie Rotariu
Contact:
www.tram-research.com/ecoc
Tel: +34-93-217-4826
Email: ecoc@tram-research.com
© ATLAS and the authors 2010
No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted by any
means without permission from the publishers...
Descrierea CIP a Bibliotecii Naţionale a României
RICHARDS, GREG
The Impact of the 2007 European Cultural Capital
in Sibiu: A long term perspective / Richards Greg, Ilie
Rotariu. - Sibiu : Editura Universităţii „ Lucian Blaga” din
Sibiu, 2010
Bibliogr.
ISBN 978-973-739-954-0
I- Rotariu, Ilie
338.48(498 Sibiu
3
The Impact of the 2007 European Cultural Capital in Sibiu: A long term
perspective
A Report to the City of Sibiu / Hermannstadt
Contents
Background to the study page 4
A Report to the City of Sibiu page 5
Methodology page 6
Profile of visitors to Sibiu page 8
Previous visits to Sibiu page 17
Visit Characteristics page 19
Accommodation page 20
Information sources page 22
Visitor behavior page 26
Quality of visitor experience page 30
Aspects of the visitor experience page 33
Economic impact page 36
Total tourism expenditure trends page 39
Tourism Development Effects page 41
Perceived impacts of the ECOC page 44
The image of Sibiu page 48
Cultural impacts page 54
Business impacts page 56
Impacts on major stakeholders page 57
Sustainability page 66
To what extent did the ECOC meet its aims? page 67
Bibliography page 68
Appendices:
Appendix 1: Survey questionnaire 2007 page 69
Appendix 2: Tourism capacity in 2009 Sibiu County page 74
Appendix 3: Tourist flows in 2009 in Sibiu page 79
Appendix 4: events and visits statistics page 83
4
Acknowledgements
This study was made possible with the financial and logistical support of the City of Sibiu, which
has also kindly given permission for the results of this research to be published for academic
purposes.
This research would not have been possible without the support and assistance of many
individuals and organisations and the event organisers and venue managers who kindly
facilitated the visitor interviews. Bachelor and master students of the Faculty of Economic
Studies, supervised by their professors have completed the surveys and carried out the
interviews with local stakeholders.
Administrative support for the research was provided by Leontine Onderwater of ATLAS, and
various ATLAS members helped with the collection of comparative data in other European
cities.
Background to the study
This study of the impact of the European Cultural Capital in Sibiu in 2007 is part of an ongoing
programme of research initiated by the European Association for Tourism and Leisure
Education (ATLAS) in 1999. This programme of research aims to examine the implementation
and effects of this increasingly popular event throughout Europe. To date, ATLAS members
have been involved in assessments of the impacts of the ECOCs held in Helsinki (2000),
Rotterdam (2001), Porto (2001) and Salamanca (2002).
This study of the ECOC in Sibiu is the first such study to have been completed in an Eastern
European country, and therefore provides an interesting contrast to the previous research. This
study also benefits from the long association of the Lucian Blaga University in Sibiu with the
ATLAS network. The university has been collecting data on cultural consumption in the city for
number years as part of the ATLAS Cultural Tourism Project. This will eventually enable us to
monitor longer terms in cultural consumption in Sibiu and therefore to provide a longitudinal
assessment of the event.
5
The Impact of the 2007 European Cultural Capital in Sibiu: A long term
perspective
A Report to the City of Sibiu / Hermannstadt
The European Capital of Culture staged in Sibiu during 2007 was a unique event. It was the first
European Capital of Culture (ECOC) to be staged in one of the post-2004 EU accession
countries, and it represented a major challenge in being staged just as Romania was joining the
EU.
The main aims of the event were
Raising the international profile of Sibiu
Long term cultural development
Attracting international visitors
Enhancing feelings of pride and self-confidence
Growing and expanding the local audience for culture
Improving social cohesion and creating an economic downstream
Improving cultural and non cultural infrastructure
Developing relationships with other European cities/regions and promoting European
cultural cooperation
Promoting creativity and innovation
In addition there were a number of specific aims in the area of communications and promotion:
Raising the international profile of the city
Changing the image of the city
Increasing foreign and domestic tourism
Broadening audiences for culture
Improving the availability and dissemination of information about the programme is a
major task, now under the process of construction.
The original evaluation report published in 2007 by ATLAS (Richards and Rotariu, 2007),
indicated that the event programme had successfully met many of the short-term aims,
attracting large numbers of visitors, increasing cultural participation and improving the image of
the city in Romania and abroad. Measuring the other, often less tangible impacts of the event
requires a longer-term monitoring strategy. ATLAS has therefore undertaken a continuous
monitoring programme for the City of Sibiu over the past three years. This research includes a
number of different elements:
Regular surveys of residents and visitors
Analysis of tourism flows and other statistics
Interviews with stakeholders in the city
Data from the regular surveys carried out by ATLAS in other parts of Europe.
This report provides a summary of some of the major findings of the research to date, mainly
based on the resident and visitor surveys.
6
Methodology
A framework for monitoring the impacts of the 2007 ECOC in Sibiu was established in January
2007, as part of the ATLAS Winter University, which formed part of the ECOC programme. Pilot
surveys were carried out with residents and visitors in order to design the final research
instrument. This was largely based on questionnaires already utilized for other ECOCs,
including Rotterdam (2001), Salamanca (2002) and Luxemburg (2007).
The surveys were also designed to provide comparisons with earlier surveys conducted in Sibiu
             
Project. These surveys provide a useful benchmark for the period before the ECOC, with data
collection having started in 2001. The survey questionnaire can be found in Appendix 1.
In total, over 4100 surveys of residents and visitors have been completed over the period 2001-
2009.
Sibiu Surveys 2001 2009
2001
2004
2005
2007
2008
Theatre
Festival
Jazz
Festival
ASTRA
ECOC
May
279
88
August/September
413
193
October
426
230
December
Total
346
236
357
1118
511
The surveys were conducted in sites around the city, with sampling over different days and
times to try and achieve a representative sample of visitors.
Visitor interview main locations 2009
Location
Number of
interviews
%
Piata Mare
528
35,8
Piata Huet
170
11,5
Turnul Sfatului
104
7,1
Cazarma 90
90
6,1
Parcul Subarini
88
6,0
Teatrul Gong
75
5,1
Parcul Tineretului
62
4,2
Mall
59
4,0
Curmatura Pension
44
3,0
Facultatea Stiinte
Economice
28
1,9
Muzeul Bruckenthal
26
1,8
Muzeul Astra
26
1,8
7
Potter Fear Piata Mare
21
1,4
Terezian
18
1,2
Nicolae Balcescu
7
,5
Muzeul Satului
7
,5
Parc Hotel
7
,5
Teatrul Radu Stanca
5
,3
Piata Mica
5
,3
Club Liquid
3
,2
Foreign visitors were slightly more likely than other respondents to be encountered in the main
square.
Foreign visitor interviews 2009
Location
Number
%
Piata Mare
105
41,2
Piata Huet
24
9,4
Teatrul Gong
21
8,2
Turnul Sfatului
18
7,1
Parcul Tineretuliu
11
4,3
Cazarma 90
10
3,9
Parcul Subaini
10
3,9
Mall
8
3,1
Nicolae Balcescu
6
2,4
Curmatura Pension
6
2,4
Muzeul Bruckenthal
5
2,0
Terezian
5
2,0
Facultatea Stiinte
Economice
4
1,6
Potter Fear Piata
Mare
3
1,2
Teatrul Radu Stanca
2
,8
Muzeul Astra
2
,8
Piata Mica
1
,4
Parc Hotel
1
,4
The most important findings of the research to date, largely based on the resident and visitor
surveys, are presented below.
8
Profile of visitors to Sibiu

promoting high-quality, ecologically sound, tourist experiences in Sibiu and the
surrounding region.
providing satisfaction. Tourists must enjoy their stay here; they must be so satisfied with
their experience that they will be willing to tell others about the city. We intend to
integrate our tourism industry into an all-embracing concept, and connect it to a regional
services network which operates at high standards.
intensifying our tourism marketing. In this regard, the activities will include:
- the promotion of our historical city centre
- easy access to the sights and monuments in the region
- the promotion and reintegration of the tourism market of our mountain resort at Paltinis
(situated in the close proximity to the city)
- planning and organising local, regional, inter-regional, national and international events
- developing a gastronomic and hotel industry of high quality, enhanced by an attractive
calendar of cultural and artistic events
- developing new forms of tourism: religious, scientific and cultural, which can make
better use of the local and regional conditions.
The results of visitor research indicate that this new tourism concept was largely successful,
both in terms of the visitor profile (as demonstrated in this section of the report) and in terms of
high levels of satisfaction (see below).
The early results of the Sibiu surveys indicated a predominance of women attending cultural
events in the city, which coincides with the pattern found elsewhere in Europe. Over time,
however, the proportion of men has increased.
Gender distribution of visitors 2009
%
2001
2004
2005
2007
2008
2009
Male
41,6
39,1
46,7
49,3
60,5
51,6
Female
58,4
60,1
53,3
50,7
39,5
48,4
Foreign visitors were more likely than domestic tourists to be male, with almost 60% being men
in 2009.
Gender distribution of foreign visitors 2009
,0
10,0
20,0
30,0
40,0
50,0
60,0
70,0
Male Female
9
The age distribution of participants in cultural events in Sibiu also reflects general European
patterns. The largest single age group is consistently 20-29, although visitors over the age of 40
have consistently gained ground over the years. This may be an indication that Sibiu has
developed a more varied cultural offer which is able to cater for all age groups.
Age distribution of visitors
%
2001
2004
2005
2007
2008
2009
15 or
younger
2,6
0
1
2
1
16 - 19
17,4
9,8
8
8
8
5
20 - 29
52,0
76,6
45
50
35
38
30 - 39
13,1
8,1
28
24
25
28
40 - 49
9,9
1,7
13
10
17
16
50 - 59
3,2
2,6
5
4
9
7
60 or over
1,7
1,3
1
3
4
5
In general, foreign visitors tended to be younger than domestic tourists, with 35% being in the
30-39 year age group.
Age distribution of foreign visitors, 2009
,0
5,0
10,0
15,0
20,0
25,0
30,0
35,0
40,0
15 or
younger 16 - 19 20 - 29 30 - 39 40 - 49 50 - 59 60 or
over
%
The education level of participants in cultural events is consistently high, with almost three
quarters of respondents having some form of higher education qualification in 2009. This is far
higher than the level of higher education participation in Romania as a whole, and indicates that
cultural events are attracting highly educated people to the city.
Highest education level (%)
2001
2004
2005
2007
2008
2009
Primary school
4,1
0,4
0
0
10
2
Secondary school
12,1
8,1
3
4
8
8
Vocational education
41,4
26,5
20
11
20
16
Bachelor degree
29,6
55,1
66
16
40
58
Master or Doctoral
degree
12,7
9,8
10
68
22
15
The education level of foreign visitors was even higher than that of Romanian visitors.
10
Education level of foreign visitors, 2009
%
Primary school
0,8
Secondary school
7,1
Vocational education
11,1
Bachelor degree
61,3
Master or Doctoral
degree
19,8
This pattern is also reflected in the occupational profile of the respondents, most of whom have
a managerial or professional occupation.
Occupational profile (%)
2001
2004
2005
2007
2008
2009
Director or
Manager
9,4
18,8
16
16
12
13
Professional
(doctor, lawyer,
teacher, etc)
36,7
36,3
25
33
26
25
Technical
profession
(technicians,
nursing)
14,3
12,5
20
28
17
20
Clerical/
Administration
8,7
18,8
23
9
20
18
Service and sales
personnel
24,1
6,3
12
11
16
20
Manual and crafts
worker
6,6
7,5
4
3
9
6
Foreign visitors were even more likely to have managerial or professional backgrounds than
Romanian visitors.
Occupational profile of foreign visitors, 2009
%
Director or
Manager
19,9
Professional
(doctor, lawyer,
teacher, etc)
27,7
Technical
profession
(technicians,
nursing)
15,4
Clerical/
Administration
9,4
Service and sales
personnel
12,0
Manual and crafts
worker
4,5
11
Many of those attracted to cultural events in Sibiu also have an occupation related to culture.
This may be an indication that the successful events policy of the city has been able to raise the
profile of Sibiu as a cultural centre, which in turn will tend to attract those in the cultural and
creative occupations. This is a phenomenon noted by Richard Florida, who argues that the
'creative class' is attracted by places which offer a creative atmosphere and give people the
chance to meet other creatives.
The proportion of visitors with a cultural occupation has varied over the years. The high
proportion of cultural occupations in 2001 and 2004 was probably due to the data being
collected at specialist events, such as the ASTRA Film Festival. The ECOC seems to have
broadened the cultural audience, with a higher proportion of visitors outside the cultural sector.
Since the ECOC the visitor profile has again included a higher proportion of visits with a link to
culture.
Do you have a cultural occupation? (%)
2001
2004
2005
2007
2008
2009
Yes
42,0
58,5
25,9
23,9
41,7
33,5
When we look at the cultural occupations by visitor origin, we can see that in 2007 the ECOC
attracted a high proportion of cultural sector visitors from abroad, underlining the international
cultural appeal of the event. By 2009, however, the level of cultural occupations among local
residents and other Romanian visitors had increased significantly, perhaps indicating a shift
towards a more developed cultural economy in the country.
Cultural occupation by visitor origin
2009
%
Sibiu
33
Elsewhere in
Transylvania
34
Elsewhere in Romania
38
Abroad
31
Total
34
In line with the high education levels and occupation profiles of participants, their incomes also
tend to be relatively high. It is also notable that since 2001 there has been a steady increase in
the income levels of participants, reflecting the growth of the Romanian economy. This shift
towards higher incomes was particularly marked in 2007, when the ECOC also attracted large
numbers of foreign visitors.
12
Average household income levels 2001-2009
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
5,000 Euro or less
5,001 - 10,000 Euro
10,001 - 20,000 Euro
20,001 - 30,000 Euro
30,001 - 40,000 Euro
40,001 - 50,000 Euro
50,001 - 60,000 Euro
More than 60,000 Euro
%
2001
2004
2005
2007
2008
2009
Occupational profile has a strong influence on household income. Over 80% of those in
             of manual
and crafts workers.
Visitors with incomes over €5000 by occupation
0%
10%
20%
30%
40%
50%
60%
70%
80%
90%
Director or
Manager
Professional
(doctor,
lawyer,
teacher, etc)
Technical
profession
(technicians,
nursing)
Clerical/
Administration
Service and
sales
personnel
Manual and
crafts worker
Incomes were strongly related to visitor origin. Just over 30% of Sibiu residents had an income

not surprisingly had significantly higher incomes than Romanian visitors. This underlines the
potential economic impacts of tourism development, which can help attract wealthier consumers
to the city.
13
Household incomes over €5000 by visitor origin
0%
10%
20%
30%
40%
50%
60%
70%
80%
90%
Sibiu Elsewhere in
Transylvania Elsewhere in
Romania Abroad
Perhaps not surprisingly, the type of holiday most frequently taken by respondents is sun and
beach holidays. In 2009 the proportion of respondents who usually take cultural holidays was
markedly lower than in previous surveys.
Usual holiday type (%)
2007
2008
2009
Health/sports
2.9
13.9
5.1
Rural holiday
6.8
6.1
7.1
Touring holiday
15
18.2
13.7
Cultural holiday
16.5
19
11.1
City trip
16.9
9.9
15.2
Mountain
recreation
21.3
13.5
18.1
Countryside
recreation
6.1
7.9
Sun/ beach
holiday
23.5
21.6
28.8
For foreign visitors, cultural holidays and touring holidays were particularly important.
14
Holiday type for foreign visitors, 2009
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
Countryside
recreation
health/sport
orientated
Sun/beach
holiday
mountain
recreation
city break
cultural
holiday
touring
holiday
%
In general, those taking cultural holidays are older than those on city breaks. This fits the image
of the classic cultural tourist, and indicates         nable
product for younger people (particularly young couples).
Age distribution of visitors by usual holiday type 2009 (%)
Those usually taking cultural holidays tended more often to be female than other visitors. Again,
this reflects the patterns usually found in other research on cultural tourism.
15
Gender by cultural holiday 2009
Those taking cultural holidays were also more likely to have professional occupations than other
visitors.
Occupational profile of visitors by cultural holiday 2009
In terms of area of residence, the largest single group of visitors is drawn from Sibiu itself, which
accounted for almost half the respondents in 2009. Over the monitoring period, significant
changes have taken place in the origin of visitors to cultural events. In general, the proportion of
local participants has fallen while the number of visitors from elsewhere in Romania and abroad
has increased. The growth in foreign visitors was most noticeable in the years up to 2007, when
the ECOC recorded a record level of foreign visits, and has declined since then. This is at least
partly in line with national trends, which have seen international tourism fall dramatically as a
result of the economic crisis. However, the increasing importance of domestic cultural tourism is
also a trend seen in other countries, for example as measured in the ATLAS surveys in
Portugal.
16
Visitor origin 2001-2009
2001
2004
2005
2007
2008
2009
Sibiu
54,3
38,8
52,7
38
37
49
Elsewhere in
Transylvania
10
12
23
23
Elsewhere in
Romania
34,7
37,3
34,2
34
22
23
Abroad
11,0
22,9
13,2
16
18
5
Among the foreign tourists interviewed, the most important source countries were Germany,
Italy and France, which together accounted for over half the foreign visitors recorded. It is clear
that the bulk of the foreign visitors in Sibiu are drawn from the EU. In general, the most
important source markets are all in Western Europe.
Top origin countries for visitors to Sibiu, 2009
Number
% of total
foreign
visitors
Germany
111
36,4
Italy
33
10,8
France
25
8,2
Spain
21
6,9
Iceland
14
4,6
United
Kingdom
14
4,6
Austria
8
2,6
United
States
7
2,3
Belgium
4
1,3
Bulgaria
4
1,3
Canada
4
1,3
Greece
4
1,3
Azerbaijan
3
1,0
China
3
1,0
Jordan
3
1,0
Netherlands
3
1,0
Poland
3
1,0
Sweden
3
1,0
This picture in general reflects the pattern of visits to the ECOC in 2007 as well, except that the
Netherlands was a much more important source market for the ECOC event (which may be
related to specific events surveyed during the ECOC itself).
17
Origin countries of foreign visitors during the ECOC in 2007
Origin country
%
Germany
23
Netherlands
22
France
13
Italy
8
Spain
6
United Kingdom
4
Luxembourg
3
Austria
3
United States of America
2
Israel
2
Greece
2
Czech Republic
2
Belgium
2
Portugal
1
Poland
1
Norway
1
Jordan
1
Hungary
1
Croatia
1
Bulgaria
1
Previous visits to Sibiu
The proportion of visitors who have previously visited the city shows that it has steadily become
an established destination within Romania. In 2001 less than half the visitors had been to the
city before (even though most of the visitors came from Romania), whereas by 2009 about 80%
had been to the city before. This shows that Sibiu has succeeded in generating a higher level of
repeat visitation over the years, which is also related to improvements in the quality of the
tourism product (see below).
Have you made a previous visit to Sibiu?
2001
2004
2005
2007
2008
2009
Yes
49,6
54,9
67,9
63,5
68,1
80,0
No
50,4
45,1
32,1
36,5
31,9
20,0
Much of the repeat visitation since 2007 has been related to the EC OC. The proportion of
visitors who had been to the city in 2007 grew from 50% in 2008 to almost three quarters in
2009. It is highly probable that people who visited the city in 2007 were slightly less likely to
come back the following year, but they have now decided to repeat their positive experience
from the ECOC year, particularly as Romanians are now making more domestic trips as a result
of the economic crisis.
Did you visit Sibiu in 2007?
%
2008
2009
yes
50
74
no
50
26
There is also a strong relationship between those who visited the city in 2007 and those who
participated in at least one ECOC event in that year. Again, it seems that the active ECOC
18
participants have come back to Sibiu in relatively large numbers in 2009, adding considerably to
the long-term impact of the event.
Did you visit ECOC events in 2007?
%
2008
2009
yes
19,8
61,9
no
80,2
38,1
The proportion of first time visitors varies considerably according to the reason for travel. In
particular, cultural events and attractions generate a relatively high level of first time visitation,
whereas shopping or visiting friends and relatives are much more likely to be motivations for
repeat visitors.
First time and repeat visitors by visit motivation 2009 (%)
Motive
Repeat
visitors
First time
visitors
To come to this
attraction/event
61
39
Cultural visit
75
25
Holiday
79
21
Day trip
90
10
Business
91
9
Visiting friends/family
94
6
Shopping
100
0
Interestingly, there is also a relatively high level of repeat visitation for foreign as well as
domestic visitors. Although foreign visitors were less likely to have visited the city before than
domestic tourists, the level of repeat visitation in 2009 was almost 70%, which is very high. Most
of the foreign repeat visitors had been to the city in 2007, which underlines the importance of
the ECOC in attracting visitors to the city. In contrast, during the ECOC year itself the proportion
of foreigners making a repeat visit to Sibiu was just over a quarter, showing that the ECOC has
boosted repeat visitation.
Previous visits to Sibiu by visitor origin 2009
Visitor origin
Previous visit?
Total
Yes, many
times
Yes, once
or twice
No
Elsewhere in
Transylvania
82,6%
7,4%
10,0%
100,0%
Elsewhere in Romania
59,5%
23,8%
16,7%
100,0%
Abroad
43,1%
25,5%
31,4%
100,0%
Total
67,5%
17,2%
15,3%
100,0%
19
Visit Characteristics
The reasons given by visitors for coming to Sibiu have shifted over the years. Because the
2004 data were collected at the ASTRA Festival, there was a very high level of visitors who
were only coming to Sibiu for that particular event. This was also the case for a lot of visitors to
the ECOC in 2007. Since 2007 the proportion of cultural visitors has been maintained, but the
effect of the economic downturn is probably reflected in the higher number of visitors travelling
to stay with friends and relatives in 2009.
Purpose of visit 2004-2009
2004
2007
2008
2009
Shopping
1
2
3
Business
9
6
23
14
to come to this
attraction/event
9
22
12
Day trip
9
4
10
visiting
friends/family
6
16
11
27
Cultural visit
80
17
19
20
Holiday
5
19
16
14
Cultural Capital
33
For foreign visitors in 2009, the most important motivation was cultural visit, followed by visiting
friends and relatives. Foreign visitors are also more likely to be on a holiday trip than domestic
visitors.
Visit motivation for foreign visitors, 2009
%
Shopping
1.5
Business
12.4
to come to this
attraction/event
11.2
Day trip
3.7
visiting
friends/family
22.1
Cultural visit
31.5
Holiday
19.1
20
Accommodation
Almost a third of overnight visitors stayed with friends and relatives, and almost a quarter stayed
in hotels. Not surprisingly, foreign visitors are most likely to stay in hotels.
Accommodation use (all visitors, 2009)
Over time, the proportion of visitors staying in hotels has remained fairly constant, although
increased tourist numbers will mean that there were more hotel guests in 2009 than in 2005.
The proportion of vistors staying with friends and relatives or in their own home increased
substantially in 2009, perhaps as a result of economic pressures from the crisis. However, the
diversification of commercial accommodation in recent years is also clear.
Accommodation used
2001
2005
2007
2008
2009
Campsite
5
5
1
4
2
Youth hostel
2
2
5
14
7
Own home
7
6
8
10
14
Guest house
0
10
7
14
Self catering
14
4
11
10
6
Bed and breakfast
13
2
15
7
5
Hotel
24
28
23
23
21
Friends, family
35
53
26
15
31
100
100
100
100
21
Hotel accommodation by visit motivation 2009
Visit motivation
% hotel
guests
business
43
cultural visit
35
event
31
holiday
27
day trip
16
shopping
5
visiting friends and
relatives
3
There is little difference between visitors from the region and from the rest of Romania as far as
length of stay is concerned, but foreign guests tend to stay a slightly shorter time.
Nights away from home
Mean
2001
2004
2005
2007
2008
2009
Visitor origin
Sibiu Region
6,1
12,1
10,5
Elsewhere in
Romania
6,4
4,1
8,9
10,4
Abroad
10,0
6,7
9,9
7,9
Total
6,6
5,4
7,4
5,5
11,5
9,8
An important aspect of the economic impact of tourism is the proportion of visitors who actually
stay in the city or local region. Tourists using accommodation locally spend money directly in the
local economy, whereas visitors staying elsewhere have a much lower impact. In the case of
Sibiu the proportion of visitors staying in the city itself is very high, and has increased since
2007. This again indicates that the economic impact of tourism has grown since the ECOC.
Location of accommodation used by visitors to Sibiu
%
2007
2008
2009
Staying in Sibiu
69
76
72
Staying in Sibiu
region
18
21
19
Staying in
Transylvania
6
2
4
Staying elsewhere
5
1
3
Staying abroad
2
0
1
100
100
100
For those visitors actually staying in Sibiu, the average length of total journey including Sibiu is
slightly more than 9 nights.
22
Information sources
The main information sources for visitors in 2009 were family and friends and previous visits
made to the city. This reflects the high proportion of repeat visitors in 2009, most of whom will
have gathered information on Sibiu from earlier visits.
Apart from personal contacts and experience, the most important information sources were
websites. The Sibiu website was the most frequently used source of Internet information
consulted by the visitors.
Information sources consulted by visitors 2009
Information sources varied considerably for first time and repeat visitors. First time visitors were
far more likely to use the Tourist Information Centre, websites, brochures and other external
information sources than repeat visitors, who rely extensively on their own experience and their
family and friends.
Information sources used by first time and repeat visitors, 2009
23
There has been a clear shift in the use of different information sources since the ECOC in 2007.
During 2007 extensive use was made of the Sibiu 2007 website and the specific promotional
material produced for the ECOC, such as the programme brochure. In subsequent years it is
clear from the data that Sibiu does not have the media profile it achieved during the ECOC year,
with falling numbers of people gathering information on the city via the media and from the Sibiu
website. In contrast previous visits have become more important as an information source,
underlining the important role of the ECOC in stimulating repeat visitation.
Information sources used by visitors 2007-2009
2007
2008
2009
Previous visit
16,9
24
19
Family and friends
20,4
24
23
TV/Radio
12,5
4,6
4,3
TIC
15,5
5,5
3,8
Sibiu 2007 info point
5,6
Sibiu website
30,3
23,2
7,7
Other website
21,3
Sibiu brochure
4,8
5,9
2,7
Newspapers/magazines
9,1
2,6
3,7
Tour operator brochure
3,5
4,2
2,6
Guide books
2,4
4,2
3,6
For foreign visitors, previous visits have also become important as a source of information,
again emphasizing the role of repeat visits. Websites and guide books are also more important
for foreign tourists than Romanian visitors.
Information sources for foreign tourists, 2009
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35
Previous visit
Family and friends
TV/Radio
TIC
Sibiu website
Other website
Sibiu brochure
Newspapers/magazines
Tour operator brochure
Guide books
%
24
Booking channels
The vast majority of visitors did not make any advance booking for their trip. Only about 20% of
visitors booked some form of travel or accommodation arrangements separately, and around
15% booked an all inclusive package.
Booking behavior 2009
Of those who did book travel or accommodation in advance, the majority made their booking
direct with the supplier. Just over a third booked via Internet and around 17% made a booking
through a travel agent or tour operator.
Booking channels used 2009
In general, foreign visitors were much more likely than domestic visitors to have made travel or
accommodation bookings in advance. Over 70% of domestic tourists made no prior booking.
25
Booking behavior by visitor origin 2009
In terms of the channels used by those making bookings, Internet was the most important
channels for foreign visitors. For Romanian tourists Internet bookings were more important than
personal visits to a travel agent, but most frequently they made booking direct with hotels or
transport companies.
Booking channels used by visitor origin 2009
A comparison with the booking channels used in 2007 underlines the growing importance of
Internet as a booking channel, particularly for Romanian visitors. In 2007 less than 20% of
Romanian visitors booked via Internet, compared with over 30% in 2009. Interestingly, Internet
booking is more common among older visitors. Over half the visitors over the age of 50 who
booked in advance did so over the Internet, compared with less than 30% of younger visitors.
26
Visitor behavior
One of the key questions about a major cultural event such as the ECOC is the effect it has on
the consumption of cultural attractions by visitors. People who came to the ECOC in 2007
primarily to participate in an event in the ECOC programme obviously have a positive impact on
the economy and the cultural life of the city. But if they also get involved in the wider cultural life
of the city and visit other attractions, this may help to spread the impact of the event and to
persuade visitors to stay longer in the city.
The evidence from 2007 suggests that almost two thirds of respondents also made visits to
other cultural sites in and around Sibiu.
Since 2007, it is clear that visitors to the city have been visiting an even wider range of
attractions. In particular, visits to the Lower Town and the Fortifications have steadily increased,
reflecting the investment in these areas.
Sites visited in and around Sibiu (% of visitors)
2007
2008
2009
Orthodox Cathedral
27
40
50
Bruckenthal Museum
27
71
61
Evangelic Church
25
60
46
The Lower Town
25
35
52
ASTRA Museum
20
58
58
The fortification
19
25
38
Thalia Hall
14
National Theater Radu
Stanca
13
Fortified Churches
around Sibiu
12
24
24
Street animation
50
42
None of these
36
4
7
Multiple responses allowed
A positive trend is the increasing number of different sites visited by tourists in and around the
city. In the ECOC year itself the average number of sites visited was just under two per person,
but this has increased to nearly four per person in 2009. This rise is probably due to the more
focused nature of visitors in 2007, who were also visiting specific events in the ECOC
programme. However, the general trend does indicate that there is now more interest in seeing
more of the cultural sites.
Average number of sites visited in and around Sibiu 2007-2009
Origin
2007
2008
2009
Sibiu
1,8
3,9
4,2
Elsewhere in
Transylvania
1,4
3,5
3,2
Elsewhere in
Romania
2,2
3,7
3,3
Abroad
2,0
3,3
3,7
Total
1,9
3,6
3,7
The data indicate that residents of Sibiu are making more cultural visits, along with foreign
tourists. The number of visits for Romanian tourists has declined slightly.
27
The sites visited depended to some extent on the profile of the visitors. For example, visitors to
the lower town were more likely to be younger, more highly educated women.
Visits to the Lower Town by age group 2009
Visitors to the fortified churches around Sibiu were more likely to have a cultural occupation
than those who did not visit.
Visits to the fortified churches around Sibiu by cultural occupation 2009
The fortified chrches were also more likely to appeal to visitors from abroad than those from the
Sibiu region, perhaps because these sites are unusual for foreigners compared with local
visitors.
28
Visits to the fortified churches around Sibiu by visitor origin, 2009
In contrast, street animation was more likely to appeal to local visitors.
Visitors to street animation performances by origin, 2009
The type of attractions visited al have a close relationship with the background of visitors in
terms of eduction and occuaption. For example, craft workers and those in the technical
professions were particularly likely to have visited the city fortifications.
29
Visits to the city fortifications by occupation, 2009
The longer visitors stay in the city, the more likely they are to visit a wide range of different sites.
Visitors who stayed at least four nights visited twice as many sites as those staying one night or
less. Visitors staying four or more nights were particularly likely to visit sites outside Sibiu such
as the fortified churches.
Number of sites visited by length of stay, 2009
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
1 night or less 2-3 nights 4-5 nights 6-7 nights More than 7
nights
Number of sites visited
30
Quality of visitor experience
As Sibiu has developed its tourism and cultural product, so the visitor experience has improved
as well. When asked to score the quality of their visit to Sibiu, the perceived quality has
improved considerably since 2001. The ECOC in 2007 did not in itself produce an increase in
the quality of experience, which may point to a more critical cultural audience being attracted by
that event. However, it seems that one legacy of the event is a markedly increased visit quality.
Quality of visit (scale 1-10)
7
7,5
8
8,5
9
9,5
2001 2004 2005 2007 2008 2009
Score 1-10
The improved quality scores in 2008 and 2009 are related to improvements in the tourism
product and the provision of better destination facilities. Visitors therefore gave Sibiu a higher
score as a tourist destination after 2007.
City as a tourist destination (Scale 1-10)
8,85
8,9
8,95
9
9,05
9,1
9,15
9,2
9,25
9,3
2007 2008 2009
Score 1-10
Women were more likely to give a higher rating for the quality of visit and for Sibiu as a tourist
destination.
31
Quality scores by gender 2009
Quality ratings tended to be highest for the older age groups. However there were also
indications that those people with young familes (between 30 and 40) also tended to give the
lowest scores for Sibiu as a tourist destination.
Quality scores by age group 2009
Those with lower education levels tended to give the lowest quality scores. This may be
because certain aspects of the cultural offer are not so easily accessible to those with a lower
education level.
32
Quality scores by highest education level 2009
In terms of occupational profile, the quality ratings for Sibiu tended to be highest among
professionals and manual and crafts workers.
Quality scores by occupational group 2009
There was relatively little variation in quality scores by visitor origin. In general, residents of
Sibiu tended to be more critical than visitors, and foreign visitors also tended to give lower
scores than Romanian visitors. This is probably because the foreign visitors are more likely to
compare Sibiu with other cities abroad, whereas for Romanian tourists the comparisons will be
made with other Romanian cities. This underlines the relatively strong position of Sibiu in the
domestic market, but shows that it still needs to develop against international standards.
33
Quality scores by visitor origin 2009
8,80
8,85
8,90
8,95
9,00
9,05
9,10
9,15
9,20
Sibiu
Elsewhere in
Transylvania
Elsewhere in
Romania
Abroad
Quality of visit
sibiu as tourist
destination
Even though foreign visitors scored Sibiu lower on average than Romanian visitors, it is clear
that they also tend to give relatively high scores, with over three quarters scoring a 9 or 10.
Quality score distributions for foreign visitors
,0
5,0
10,0
15,0
20,0
25,0
30,0
35,0
40,0
45,0
1,0 2,0 3,0 4,0 5,0 6,0 7,0 8,0 9,0 10,0
Aspects of the visitor experience
When asked about more specific aspects of their experience, visitors were most likely to
emphasize the atmosphere of Sibiu. This matches the ATLAS surveys carried out in other
areas, although cultural tourists in particular are more likely to emphasize learning outcomes
than other visitors.
34
Aspects of visitor experience in Sibiu 2009
Just as with the quality scores, it seems that most aspects of the visitor experience have
improved in recent years. In particular, visitors were more likely to agree that there were lots of
interesting things to see in 2009 than in 2007.
Aspects of visitor experience in 2007 and 2009
50
55
60
65
70
75
80
85
90
This experience
has increased
my knowledge
It was very
relaxing being
here
There are a lot of
interesting things
to see
I want to
experience the
atmosphere of
this area
% agree
2007
2009
Older visitors were the most likely to agree that their visit had been positive in all aspects of the
experience, whereas younger visitors tended to give a much higher score to the atmosphere
than to the learning aspects of the experience.
35
Aspects of visitor experience by age group, 2009
Foreign visitors tended to emphasize all the different aspects of the experience more strongly
than domestic visitors or local residents. This suggests that Sibiu is able to offer an all-round
experience for foreign tourists. There was a particularly big difference in term of learning
aspects, probably because locals already feel they know Sibiu well. The learning aspect of the
visit was also more important for first-time visitors than repeat visitors.
Aspects of visitor experience by visitor origin, 2009
36
Economic impact
An important aspect of the ECOC is the economic impact that it can have on the host city. The
bulk of the economic impact of the ECOC usually comes from visitor spending, because visitors
inject new money into the local economy. In 2007 we estimated that the total economic impact
directly attributa
this figure directly with other years, because the ECOC as a direct visit motivation is no longer
there.
However, the figures on average visitor spending show that spend levels have increased since
2007. The average visitor to Sibiu now spends almost twice as much as the average visitor
before 2007. Again, this underlines the structural change in the nature of the tourist market.
Average total visitor spend 2001-2009
0
50
100
150
200
250
300
350
400
450
2001 2004 2007 2008 2009
Euros
Total average visitor expenditure increased very little between 2007 and 2009. This is basically
because the ECOC attracted a relatively high number of foreign tourists and other high
spending guests. However, the average daily spend has increased significantly since 2007,
largely as a result of a shift in spending patterns (see below).
Average spend per day (Euros) 2007 and 2009
0
20
40
60
80
100
120
140
2007 2009
Average total daily spend (euros)
Not surprisingly the average daily spend of foreign tourists is significantly higher than that of
Romanian visitors. However, the difference in daily spend between tourists from other parts of
Romania and from abroad is perhaps lower than might be expected, probably because these
visitors are more likely to be using commercial tourism accommodation.
37
Average spend per day (Euros) by visitor origin 2009
0
20
40
60
80
100
120
140
160
180
Elsewhere in
Transylvania Elsewhere in Romania Abroad
Daily spend (euro)
In 2009 relatively more was spent on shopping and admissions, and less on travel (reflecting
the higher level of domestic tourism).
Visitor spend by category 2007 (excludes Sibiu residents)
Travel spend
30%
Admission
4%
Food and drink
17%
Shopping
16%
Accommodation
33%
38
Visitor spend by category 2009 (excludes Sibiu residents)
Travel spend
15%
Admission
9%
Food and drink
20%
Shopping
27%
Accommodation
29%
If we exclude travel expenditure, however, the spending by visitors in the city of Sibiu itself was
significantly higher in 2009.
Spend in Sibiu (excluding travel costs)
Total
2007
303,06
2009
406,58
Expenditure was particularly high for hotel guests, who tended to spend almost twice as much
as other visitors.
Spend by hotel guests in Euros
Travel
spend
Admission
Food and
drink
Shopping
Accommodation
2007
212,14
21,53
126,24
87,89
250,19
2009
157,69
62,44
145,27
277,18
269,39
Not surprisingly, the highest spend was made by visitors from abroad, who tend to have much
higher travel and accommodation costs than Romanian visitors. However, the economic impact
of foreign visitors on the local economy is not as great as the total expenditure suggests,
because a large proportion of the total is spent on transportation to reach Sibiu. Even if travel
costs are excluded, however, spending by foreign visitors in the city is still much greater than for
domestic tourists.
39
Spend by visitor origin in Euros
Visitor origin
Travel
spend
Admission
Food and
drink
Shopping
Accommodation
Elsewhere in
Transylvania
36.79
26.22
65.37
95.74
150.26
Elsewhere in Romania
66.11
35.84
108.83
140.58
159.58
Abroad
300.50
152.49
186.13
281.59
314.16
Total
77.82
49.22
99.58
136.91
178.93
For the local economy, the most important data relates to those tourists actually staying in the
Sibiu region, because these visitors spend money on accommodation in the region, and
therefore have a greater economic impact. Visitors staying in Sibiu spent considerably more
than visitors staying in the region around Sibiu, mainly because they spent far less on shopping.
The accommodation spend in the Sibiu region was however higher than for visitors staying in
other parts of Romania, a sign that the accommodation facilities in the region have been
upgraded in recent years.
Spend by visitor origin in Euros for tourists staying in Sibiu city
Travel
spend
Admission
Food and
drink
Shopping
Accommodation
Total
Sibiu Region
41.33
3.00
20.33
50.00
160.00
132.33
Transylvania
30.22
40.00
60.24
130.67
132.00
226.09
Elsewhere in
Romania
33.36
22.50
76.54
120.50
103.75
255.50
Total tourism expenditure trends
Although the ECOC is no longer a specific motivation for tourists to visit Sibiu, we can still
calculate the total tourism spend in the city for the period before, during and after the ECOC to
see if spend levels have increased.
Tourist arrivals and bednights in Sibiu 2006-2009
Arrivals
Bednights
2006
150,000
235,000
2007
178,532
280,993
2008
147,000
204,005
2009
120,373
164,281
The data for 2008 and 2009 show a sharp decline in tourist arrivals and overnights, which is
probably related in 2008 to post-ECOC decline and in 2009 to the economic crisis. It is clear
that the decline in arrivals and expenditure follows national and regional trends. Compared to
other cities in Transylvania, for example, the decline in arrivals in 2009 has been lower in Sibiu
than in any other city except those of Mures County. Nationally, the first 11 months of 2009 saw
a decline in tourist overnights of more than 16%, which indicates that Transylvania as a whole
has been hit by the decline in tourism worse than the country as a whole. However, evidence
from the interviews (see below) also indicates that many individual businesses in Sibiu have
seen an increase in tourism, in spite of the general economic climate.
40
Change in arrivals in major towns in the region 2009
The other important point to note about the trends in arrivals is that recent data indicate a
significant shift away from officially registered accommodation into unregistered accommodation
or staying with friends and relatives. In Sibiu County, for example, over 30% of accommodation
capacity inventoried is not classified according to the standards of the Ministry of Tourism (see
also Appendix 4). This may tend to exaggerate the extent of the decline in tourism arrivals and
expenditure.
In estimating total expenditure we have used the official tourism statistics on the number of
bednights spent in hotels and other registered forms of accommodation, This excludes people
staying with friends and family, which in 2009 for example might have increased the total
expenditure in Sibiu by around 20% (see Appendix 4).
Total spending by visitors staying in Sibiu according to official statistics, 2007-2009
overnights
spend per
night
Total spend
(million euro)
2007
280,993
91
25.6
2008
204,005
85
17.3
2009
164,281
130
21.4
On the basis of the tourists staying in registered accommodation in Sibiu city alone, total tourism
spend was around  million in 2007, the ECOC year. Most of this impact was due to visitors
coming for the ECOC, as these visitors tended to spend far more on average than other tourists,
particularly as the event attracted many foreign tourists. It is not surprising, therefore, that the
economic impact of tourism declined in 2008. But the higher average spends in 2009 has
maintained the overall economic impact at a higher level than in 2008. It seems that the
increased number of high spending tourists attracted by the cultural image and new attractions
of the city has to some extent mitigated the effects of the decline in tourism as a result of the
crisis.
If we add the impact of visitors staying with friends and relatives, then the indications are that
total tourism spending has been maintained at around the same level as in 2007, in spite of the
economic crisis. This is partly due to the increased spending by hotel guests, many of whom are
now staying in higher quality hotels accommodation thanks to the development of the hotel
41
stock for the ECOC, and partly due to the growth in VFR travel. The surveys also indicate that
many of the visitors coming to Sibiu in 2009 had visited previously in 2007. This seems to
suggest that the ECOC had a direct impact on repeat visitation, with many of those returning
now staying with friends and relatives instead of in commercial accommodation.
Total visitor spending including VFR tourists
Total spend by
tourists in
official
accommodation
(million euro)
% VFR
visitors
Total
spend by
VFR
tourists
(million
euro)
Total
spend by
all tourists
(million
euro)
2007
25.6
26
8.5
34.1
2008
17.3
15
6.4
23.7
2009
21.4
31
13.7
35.1
Tourism Development Effects
It is difficult to separate the impacts of the ECOC itself from the general growth in tourism supply
in Sibiu, which would probably have shown some growth without the ECOC as well. However,
looking at the pace of growth, it is clear that the period after 2007 has seen a substantial
increase in the supply of hotels and other accommodation facilities.
In particular there was a sharp increase in the number of hotels and hotel beds in the city of
Sibiu itself.
Capacity in Sibiu county hotels, 2006-2009 according to official statistics
2006
2007
2009
units
22
27
43
rooms
1072
1227
1988
However, this growth has been reflected to some extent across the county of Sibiu and in other
categories of accommodation as well.
Capacity in Sibiu county all accommodation, 2006-2009 according to official statistics
2006
2007
2009
units
271
359
481
rooms
2316
3057
5039
The overall result has been a doubling of total accommodation supply since 2006. See also
Appendix 4 for no registered capacities
42
% growth in accommodation supply 2006-2009
0
20
40
60
80
100
120
140
hotels all accommodation
% change 2006-2009
units
rooms
Trends in the economic impact of tourism are also evident from the data on tourism tax
revenues. These show clearly that 2007 marked a giant leap forward in terms of the
development of the tourism economy of the city and the contribution of tourism to civic finances.
Tourism tax revenues grew by over 70% between 2006 and 2007, and have remained at these
high levels in 2008 and 2009. In spite of the general downturn in tourism in Romania, tax
revenues were still 70% higher in the first half of 2009 than they were in 2006. This shows that
the ECOC was successful in stimulating a qualitative change in the development of the tourism
industry in the city.
Accommodation tax revenues, 2005-2009
0,00
20.000,00
40.000,00
60.000,00
80.000,00
100.000,00
120.000,00
140.000,00
160.000,00
180.000,00
200.000,00
ianuarie
februarie
martie
aprilie
mai
iunie
iulie
august
septembrie
octombrie
noiembrie
decembrie
Tax revenues RON
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
43
Accommodation tax revenues fell in 2009, with a particularly sharp decline in the latter
part of the year as the effects of the economic crisis became acute. Even so, the
indications are that hotel turnover in 2009 was still significantly above 2006 levels.
Total hotel tax revenues 2005-2009
0,00
200.000,00
400.000,00
600.000,00
800.000,00
1.000.000,00
1.200.000,00
1.400.000,00
1.600.000,00
1.800.000,00
2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Tax revenues (RON)
(data for 2009 only from January October)
Some of the increase in hotel revenues is due to tourism growth, but there is also an
important effect from the upgrading in the hotel stock. By 2009 Sibiu had an additional 6
four or five star hotels compared with 2006.
Category of hotel accommodation in Sibiu
unclassified
1*
2*
3*
4*
5*
total
2006
6
6
1
13
2008
5
9
1
15
2009
3
1
7
12
6
1
30
Because many of the hotel projects related to the ECOC were not actually operational until
2007 or even in 2008, the biggest effects of hotel development were actually felt the year after
the ECOC. Not only did tourism increase, but visitors also stayed in higher grade
accommodation and therefore paid higher average room rates. This picture only began to
reverse in 2009 with the effects of the crisis, but this decline is also in line with national trends.
The growth of hotel accommodation in Sibiu itself also had a strong impact on the surrounding
region. Growth in the regions close to Sibiu was just as strong as in the city itself.
44
Perceived impacts of the ECOC
Our surveys demonstrate clearly that the vast majority of people feel that the ECOC has had a
positive impact on Sibiu. The impacts most frequently mentioned by respondents are an
improvement in the image of the city, bringing the city closer to Europe, the economic impact of
the event and improvements to cultural facilities.
Statements about the impact of the ECOC on Sibiu, 2009 (all respondents)
0
20
40
60
80
100
120
Improved the
image of
Sibiu
Brought
more money
to Sibiu
Improved
cultural
facilities
Created
more social
cohesion
Improved the
quality of life Closer to
Europe
% totally agree
2006 2007 2009
0
1000
2000
3000
4000
5000
434
628
450
Acc omm od ation u nits in S ibi u Coun ty
sibiu sibiu s urrounding
area
othe r loc ations
45
The majority of respondents also agreed that the ECOC had created more social cohesion in
Sibiu and improved the overall quality of life. This is a very good result, given the more
intangible nature of these impacts.
It is also significant that the perceptions of impacts have remained strong even in the years after
ECOC. In most other cities the memory of the ECOC quickly fades, and people are often far
less able to see the benefits. But Sibiu exhibits relatively little decline in appreciation of the
impacts, which suggests the dramatic nature of the changes in some areas.
Statements about the impact on Sibiu 2007-2009
% totally agree
2007
2008
2009
Improved the image of
Sibiu
98
92
94
Brought more money to
Sibiu
94
82
78
Improved cultural
facilities
89
79
78
Created more social
cohesion
67
62
65
Improved the quality of
life
53
61
52
Brought Sibiu closer to
the rest of Europe
85
86
When asked about the media attention generated by the ECOC, the vast majority of
respondents agreed that the city had received more national and international coverage as a
result of the event. It seems that people feel that there was more international attention for Sibiu
in 2009, but this is not surprising given the tendency for the international media to turn their
attention on the new Capitals of Culture as soon as the ECOC year is finished.
More attention for Sibiu in the national media as a result of the European Capital of Culture?
2008
2009
Yes
83
76
No
3
7
Don't
know
14
17
More attention for Sibiu in the international media as a result of the European Capital of
Culture?
2008
2009
Yes
76
61
No
8
8
Don't
know
17
31
In terms of the overall evaluation of the ECOC, 84% of those surveyed in 2009 agreed that
Sibiu had made good use of the ECOC, only slightly lower than the level in 2008.
46
Overall, do you think Sibiu made good use of the opportunity of being European Capital of
Culture in 2007?
%
2008
2009
Yes
86
84
No
3
4
Don't
know
11
12
The impressions of the impacts of the ECOC tended to be even more positive among residents.
This is not surprising, since they are better able to see and feel the changes in the city. Almost
all Sibiu residents totally agreed that the ECOC had improved the image of the city, had brought
more money and have improved cultural facilities. Visitors from abroad were often less likely to
agree, but usually because they did not know about the changes.
Impacts of ECOC 2007 by origin
% totally agree
Sibiu
Elsewhere
in
Transylvania
Elsewhere
in
Romania
Abroad
Improved the image of Sibiu
99,1%
95,4%
95,8%
88,7%
Brought more money to Sibiu
86,3%
72,3%
77,5%
75,5%
Improved cultural facilities
85,8%
79,0%
79,3%
79,2%
Created more social cohesion
69,2%
67,5%
57,3%
60,4%
Improved the quality of life
60,0%
56,4%
55,9%
44,2%
brought Sibiu closer to the rest of Europe
90,1%
83,4%
86,0%
77,4%
Do you think there is more attention for
Sibiu in the national media as a result of the
European Capital of Culture?
86,5%
80,7%
79,1%
61,5%
Do you think there is more attention for
Sibiu in the international media as a result
of the European Capital of Culture?
63,3%
55,1%
57,7%
54,7%
Overall, do you think Sibiu made good use
of the opportunity of being European Capital
of Culture in 2007?
91,9%
78,7%
82,8%
81,1%
For those people from outside Sibiu who visited the European Capital of Culture in 2007, their
impressions tended to be more positive than people who did not visit in 2007. This indicates that
the ECOC had a lasting effect in improving the image of the city and making visitors positive
about Sibiu. In particular, those who visited the city in 2007 were much more likely to appreciate
the social cohesion impacts of the event than other visitors.
Improved image of Sibiu by visit to the ECOC programme
Did you visit any of the
ECOC 2007 events?
Total
Yes
No
Improved the image of
Sibiu
Totally
99,2%
93,7%
97,1%
Partially
2,1%
,8%
Not at
all
0,8%
4,2%
2,1%
Total
100,0%
100,0%
100,0%
47
Brought more money to Sibiu by previous visit in 2007
Visited Sibiu in 2007?
Total
Yes
No
Brought more money
to Sibiu
Totally
77,1%
67,0%
74,7%
Partially
2,8%
0,9%
2,4%
Not at
all
20,1%
32,1%
22,9%
Total
100,0%
100,0%
100,0%
There was a particularly significant difference between perceived social cohesion impacts of the
ECOC and whether or not the respondents had visited in 2007.
Created more social cohesion by previous visit in 2007
Visited Sibiu in 2007?
Total
Yes
No
Created more social
cohesion
Totally
63,4%
48,1%
59,8%
Partially
8,2%
5,6%
7,6%
Not at
all
28,4%
46,3%
32,6%
Total
100,0%
100,0%
100,0%
Sibiu made good use of the opportunity of being European Capital of Culture by previous visit in
2007
Visited Sibiu in 2007?
Total
Yes
No
Overall, do you think
Sibiu made good use
of the opportunity of
being European
Capital of Culture in
2007?
Yes
86,8%
71,6%
83,2%
No
2,0%
2,8%
2,2%
Don't
know
11,2%
25,7%
14,6%
Total
100,0%
100,0%
100,0%
Those who visited Sibiu in 2007 were also more likely than others to agree that Sibiu had
improved. It therefore seems that improvements have taken place since 2007, not just during
the ECOC year itself.
48
Sibiu has improved as a tourism destination since 2007 by previous visit in 2007
Visited Sibiu in 2007?
Total
Yes
No
Do you think Sibiu has
improved as a tourism
destination since
2007?
Same
16,9%
9,2%
15,0%
Better
33,4%
22,9%
30,9%
worse
32,6%
25,7%
30,9%
don't
know
17,1%
42,2%
23,1%
Total
100,0%
100,0%
100,0%
The image of Sibiu
The image of Sibiu has remained fairly positive since 2007. The strength of its image as a city
with history and culture and art has increased slightly, as has its image as a European city.
Image elements for Sibiu, 2007 and 2009, all respondents
020 40 60 80 100
Unsafe
Shopping
Working city
Nightlife
Spectacular events
International
Dynamic
Something for everybody
European city
Multicultural
Culture and art
Friendly
Historic
%
2009
2007
It is obvious that the image of Sibiu for a wide range of elements is not as strong for foreign
visitors as Romanians, who are much more likely to have been to the city before. Foreign
visitors are less likely to see Sibiu as international or European, but on the other hand they are
just as likely as Romanian visitors to see the city as a friendly, historic city of culture and art,
which shows the positive image impacts of the ECOC and other recent developments.
49
Image elements of Sibiu by visitor origin 2009
Sibiu
Elsewhere
in
Transylvania
Elsewhere
in
Romania
Abroad
International
43,9%
47,9%
41,5%
36,5%
Culture and art
69,1%
66,2%
68,4%
67,9%
Friendly
61,8%
63,1%
65,3%
66,0%
European city
63,1%
55,7%
60,1%
43,4%
Multicultural
56,8%
53,8%
57,1%
49,1%
Shopping
24,8%
25,6%
24,1%
9,4%
Working city
31,2%
21,5%
22,1%
13,2%
Unsafe
11,2%
11,9%
3,8%
13,2%
Nightlife
30,3%
37,8%
28,7%
26,4%
Dynamic
40,7%
41,7%
43,4%
39,6%
Historic
83,4%
81,5%
88,7%
88,7%
Something for
everybody
52,9%
53,1%
56,8%
62,3%
Spectacular events
46,2%
45,6%
50,7%
47,2%
Visitors with a cultural occupation were more likely than other respondents to agree that Sibiu
has a cultural image.
Cultural image of Sibiu by occupation (% agree)
60,0%
62,0%
64,0%
66,0%
68,0%
70,0%
72,0%
74,0%
76,0%
78,0%
Cultural occupation Other visitors
Interestingly, the image of Sibiu as a city with lots of events was strongest among those in the
younger and older age groups. Those aged between 30 and 50 were much less likely to agree.
This may indicate that Sibiu does not cater as well in terms of events for those with young
families as it does for other groups.
50
Image of Sibiu as a city with lots of events by age group (% agree)
,0%
10,0%
20,0%
30,0%
40,0%
50,0%
60,0%
70,0%
80,0%
90,0%
15 or
younger 16 - 19 20 - 29 30 - 39 40 - 49 50 - 59 60 or over
The image of Sibiu relative to other cultural destinations in Europe has also improved, reflecting
the increased quality of the tourism offer. The relatively high scores for Sibiu as a cultural
destination are of course caused mainly by Romanian respondents Sibiu tends to score lower
among foreign visitors relative to other European cities.
51
Image of Sibiu as a cultural tourism destination (ATLAS Surveys 2007 and 2009)
010 20 30 40 50 60
Porto
Pecs
Glasgow
Edinburgh
Warsaw
Stockholm
Linz
Riga
Helsinki
Belgrade
Liverpool
Copenhag
Rotterdam
Dublin
Lisbon
Luxembur
Brussels
Budapest
Istanbul
Moscow
Florence
Berlin
Barcelona
Madrid
Prague
Amsterda
Venice
Vienna
Sibiu
London
Rome
Athens
Paris
%
2009
2007
It is interesting to note that there is relatively little difference in the rating of Sibiu as a cultural
destination according to visitor origin. One might expect residents of Sibiu to score their own city
higher than visitors, but in fact visitors from abroad were most likely to see Sibiu as a top
cultural destination relative to other European cities.
52
Sibiu as one of the five top destinations by visitor origin 2009
,0%
5,0%
10,0%
15,0%
20,0%
25,0%
30,0%
35,0%
40,0%
Sibiu Elsewhere in
Transylvania Elsewhere in
Romania Abroad
Respondents with a cultural occupation also tended to rate Sibiu higher as a cultural destination
than other visitors.
Sibiu as one of the five top destinations by cultural occupation 2009
,0%
5,0%
10,0%
15,0%
20,0%
25,0%
30,0%
35,0%
40,0%
Cultural occupation Other occupations
For the ATLAS surveys conducted in other parts of Europe, Sibiu of course scores much lower,
as many people outside Romania will not even have heard of the city. In this light, the fact that
Sibiu received as many votes as Linz (cultural capital in 2009) and Pecs (Cultural capital in
2010) in 2008 can be regarded as a good result. Initial results of the ATLAS surveys for 2009
also indicate that Sibiu has maintained its position above Pecs and Linz.
53
City rankings as cultural destinations 2008 (ATLAS surveys in other European countries).
010 20 30 40 50 60 70
Linz
Pecs
Sibiu/Hermanstad
Oporto
Luxemburg
Warsaw
Glasgow
Liverpool
Belgrade
Edinburgh
Stockholm
Dublin
Helsinki
Brussels
Budapest
Lisbon
Istanbul
Moscow
Madrid
Vienna
Berlin
Amsterdam
Florence
Prague
Venice
Athens
Barcelona
London
Rome
Paris
%
Looking at the ATLAS surveys conducted in other parts of Europe over the past few years, it is
also clear that Sibiu has had a positive impact from the ECOC outside Romania as well.
Particularly in 2007 the external image of Sibiu rose very strongly, particularly as a result of the
novelty value of a new European destination being exposed in the international media (this was
a complaint voiced in Luxemburg in 2007, because there was a perception that Sibiu had
obtained more media coverage with a smaller marketing budget than Luxemburg had
generated). Although Sibiu has not scored as highly in subsequent ATLAS surveys, it still has a
much higher score than before the ECOC.
54
Image of Liverpool, Luxemburg and Sibiu as cultural destinations in ATLAS surveys in Europe
0
1
2
3
4
5
2006 2007 2008
%
Liverpool
Luxemburg
Sibiu
Cultural impacts
The ECOC has given a substantial boost to the cultural sector in the city. Cultural visitation not
only increased in 2007, but has continued to grow in the following years. Attendance at the
major cultural attractions in the city has more than tripled since 2006.
Attendance at the major attractions in Sibiu
According to Corneliu Bucur, Director of the ASTRA museum, the ECOC led to a boom in visitor
numbers, which led to the museum introducing an extended visiting programme, with visits
between 10.00 and 3.00. Special lighting was installed to allow nighttime visitation. Growth in
visitation to the Brukenthal Muzeum continued in both 2008 and 2009. This seems to indicate
that the ECOC had the effect of increasing awareness of Sibiu museums in the domestic
tourism market. By 2009 the total number of visits to the main museums in the city had reached
almost 700,000.
2006 2007 2008 2009
0
25000
50000
75000
100000
125000
150000
175000
200000
225000
250000
275000
300000
325000
350000
375000
55
Visits to museums in Sibiu, 2009
Museum
Visitor
numbers 2009
Muzeul National Brukenthal
366410
CNM ASTRA
297190
Icons on glass Museum , Sibiel
12730
TOTAL
676330
The internationalization of Sibiu museums has continued, with an exhibition of works from the
collection of the Brukenthal Museum in Paris from September 2009 to January 20210 attracting
200,000 visitors. The exchange of works with Paris has undoubtedly strengthened the
attractiveness of the museum offer in Sibiu.
Nationally, museum visits dropped by 20 per cent in 2009 compared to 2008 and cinema
attendance has fallen by 17 per cent. Theatre attendance has dropped by 15 per cent
compared to 2008. This contrasts with the picture in Sibiu, where cultural attendances
continued to rise in 2009.
In contrast to the increase in visits to the major attractions, the post ECOC period has seen a
significant slowdown in cultural events. The boost given to the cultural calendar of the city by
the ECOC was clear, with over 1400 events being staged. However, this momentum was not
maintained in 2008, which saw less than 300 events. There has been some recovery in 2009,
but in the current climate of public sector funding challenges it is unlikely that the city can
maintain the levels of eventfulness seen in 2007.
Cultural events in Sibiu, 2007-2009
2007
2008
2009
Month
Number of events
January
56
22
37
February
56
38
53
March
100
54
70
April
92
38
63
May
166
53
67
June
145
53
53
July
158
11
66
August
368
9
45
September
165
4
15
October
81
4
26
November
33
4
20
December
27
7
22
Total
1447
297
537
56
Business impacts
As the stakeholder interviews indicate (see below), the ECOC had significant impacts on the
economy of the city, both in 2007 and beyond. Figures on the turnover of the local economy in
2006 and 2007 show that there was an increase of almost 10% in 2007.
Economic impact of the ECOC 2006 compared with 2007
Turnover of the local
economy


%
increase
Cultural production and
services
9,398,786
10,109,335
7.6
Hotels & Pensions
5,078,987
5,612,280
10.5
Restaurants & Bars
16,162,843
17,439,708
7.9
Tourist companies
3,118,924
3,546,216
13.7
Transport companies
24,210,094
26,848,994
10.9
Rental income
3,654,337
3,946,684
8
Total
61,623,971
67,503,217
9.5
Source: Nistor (2008)
The ECOC in 2007 also coincided with an increase in passengers to the airport of 50%. This
rate of increase was also sustained in 2008.
Passengers and flights to Sibiu airport
Year
Passengers
Fights
2006
73,103
3,820
2007
112,077
5,014
2008
165,057
5,995
57
Impacts on major stakeholders
In order to gauge the impact of the event on the stakeholders in and around Sibiu, depth
interviews were held with representatives of a number of major stakeholder groups.
Of these interviews, 48 were held in the City of Sibiu, 10 in the region around Sibiu, and 15 in
the rest of Romania. The main interview groups were: travel agents and tour operators, banking
and insurance, media, hotels and restaurants, businesses and tourism organizations. The
interviews covered the main aspects of the perceptions of stakeholders regarding the ECOC
and its impacts:
1. Opinions about the programme of Sibiu capital cultural 2007, its impact on the city and
how the event was valorized, including long-term impacts.
2. 
how this affected their professional activity, personal life, image of the city, etc.
3. Perception of weaknesses of Sibiu as a destination: what improvements could be made
4. Level of personal involvement in the development of Sibiu as a tourist destination and
willingness to be involved in future.
The analysis of the interviews was conducted using the main items in the interview schedule,
and the responses were coded according to the sector and location of respondents.
Interview respondent coding
Location
Sibiu
S
Sibiu Region
A
Elsewhere in Romania
R
Sector
Travel agents and tour operator
TA
Banking and insurance
B
Media
M
Business and other
C
The analysis of the interviews largely supported the quantitative survey findings, indicating that
almost all stakeholders were positive about the results of the ECOC both in the short and long
term. A number of key issues emerged from the interviews which were emphasized by almost
all the different stakeholder groups.
58
Image of Sibiu
There was a widespread feeling that the ECOC had put Sibiu on the map not just nationally but
internationally as well. Typical remarks were:
Another positive aspect resulting from Sibiu European Cultural Capital Sibiu in 2007 is to
increase visibility both nationally and internationally through cultural events of the highest
class. SB
Our city has been promoted and created a very good image about it. I believe that around
Sibiu has benefited from the programme and became known and it was appreciated more
ST
The status of European Capital of Culture of Sibiu brought a positive international image.
STA
The image impacts were not just external, but internal as well:
Of course Sibiu leave a good image because its history and medieval air that persist like,
through the beauty of places, the hosts, etc.., which has aroused the curiosity of many
Europeans, bringing them here in 2007. I think this programme has been exploited
bringing many benefits to residents of the town. I am of Sibiu and attended many events
held in 2007 in Sibiu and organizers were pleasantly surprised by the seriousness and
extraordinary ideas. AB
These kinds of remarks reflect the pride created by the improved image of the city (see below)
as well as the increased involvement which many people felt as a result of 2007.
More tourism
One of the most immediate impacts of the increased visibility of Sibiu was a greater flow of
domestic and international tourists. As one interviewee commented there was
A significantly increased number of tourists from the country and abroad; SB
The tourism industry in Sibiu experienced:
A significantly increased number of tourists from the country and abroad. SB
This impact was felt not just in the city, but also in the surrounding region:
2007, was the best opportunity to show also the values and history. In Sibiu and around
Sibiu also to find many things that draw in any way by tourists so that is still preserved a
bit of tradition and the beautiful surroundings AB
I think this opportunity has been recovered fully, of brought many tourists, people of
culture, both in the city of Sibiu, but also in its surroundings. Yes, the programme effects
were fully felt, opening new horizons of rural tourism in the villages around Sibiu. AB
The impacts of tourism growth were felt not just during the ECOC, but also in 2008 and 2009:
The fact that tourists came to Sibiu in the following years (2008 and 2009) is due largely
to the image that led home those who were visitors in 2007. SC
One of the reasons that Sibiu has attracted more foreign tourists is because the city has now
been placed on the European and International tourism map, largely thanks to the impact of the
59
ECOC. The fact that Sibiu was nominated by Forbes Magazine as one of the top global
destinations did not escape the interview respondents:
the former European cultural capital in 2007 is on the list of most attractive holiday
destinations. STA
Economic impacts
The growth of tourism stimulated the local economy, and the impacts were clear for all
stakeholders.
this event registered benefits in many units: hotel, restaurants and stores, as sales have
seen significant increases. SC
First, the fact that Sibiu was the cultural capital of Europe in 2007 meant the creation of
my job, and I think that says it all. STA
In addition, the city economically benefited from attracting funds from the EU, external
funding from other institutions, but also funding from the government for the development
of Sibiu in the service sector: STA
The economic effects were felt directly in terms of increased turnover for local businesses,
especially those related to tourism, but there was also evidence of considerable induced
impacts from this expenditure, for example for the banks and other services in the city:
In my capacity as branch manager of a bank (our) Financial Institution has (seen)
increased turnover and profit (for) companies working in the Horeca sector. SB
This reality, Sibiu tourist destination, has benefited professionally because many people
in the sphere of national and international affairs have made deposits in November,
having confidence that they will return soon to open a business in Sibiu. SB
The economic impacts were felt not just in terms of increased turnover for local businesses, but
also through the increased investment in the city by public and private bodies.
Sibiu has benefited from domestic and international funds, which led to improve all living
conditions, including the improvement of tourist offers and to provide a varied programme
as cultural and artistic has attracted many tourists SB
60
Cultural and social impacts
Many interviewees emphasized that the impacts of the ECOC were wider than just economic:
Sibiu European Cultural Capital had a strong impact in 2007 in all respects but especially
socially, culturally and economic. SB
Sibiu-European Cultural Capital in 2007 was designed so as to provide opportunities for
issues of inclusion and social cohesion, education, heritage tourism and urban
regeneration at all levels. The programme puts culture at the heart of city life and looking
into her inspiration for driving community forward. AB
In particular, the opportunities offered by the extensive cultural programme were appreciated by
a large number of stakeholders:
The ECOC in 2007 as well as 2008 both gave the opportunity for me and other one
thousand inhabitants of the town to watch shows and events culture that otherwise would
not have been present in Sibiu (ex. Vienna Philharmonic). SB

concerts are held every Thursday. The summer is full of festivals, plays. SB
Cinema and theatre was the height in that period. The city grew as a cultural value, SB
is a cultural city where there were very many artistic events that have developed the
cultural forming links with other cities and other important figures of world culture. SC
The fact that the ECOC highlighted the cultural diversity of the city was also seen as a positive
factor:
It was a year when Sibiu presented Europe its cultural diversity, linguistic and religious
and how this diversity still live on the German fortress foundation in the eleventh century.
SB
Renovation
One of the crucial elements in improving the image of the city was the renovation of the old
town. This was a measure which was appreciate by a large number of stakeholders, not just for
the tourism and economic impacts, but also because of the general improvement of the quality
of life.
Very visible in the eyes of the people was the renovation historical centre which otherwise
would not have happened very quickly. Both the historical centre and the renovation of an
impressive number of monuments and cultural organization of the various events had a
favorable effect on the town. ST
In 2005 and 2006, extensive renovation activities took place in Sibiu. They have changed
the facades of buildings in Piata Mare, Piata Mica, street city, City Theater was renovated
and they held the Youth Park redevelopment and Astra Park. SC
After renovations are completed, Sibiu has restored life ... or so it seems to me. ST
Because of this programme, authorities had to make a series of works including:
rehabilitation of the historic center, renovation of major buildings in terms of travel, repair
of city streets etc... ST
61
These investments had a significant impact not just on the city centre itself, but also in other
parts of the region:
large investments in conservation, renovation and highlighting the historical centre, has
attracted a number of investments that have led to the development of tourism, both in
Sibiu and its surroundings. SB
Pride in the city
The increased visibility of the city and the restoration of some of its most prestigious landmarks
also clearly had an impact on the pride that the citizens of Sibiu felt in their city.
I developed a special sensitivity for everything you call "my city". The fact that Sibiu was
named European Cultural Capital together with Luxembourg is a proud moment. Also, the
image to make a potential cue ball in Romania. SB
We have to be proud that we are locals and try to make known Sibiu in Romania and
abroad SB
Considering the fact that I was born in Sibiu city and is my soul I was proud that I was
given a big chance of being recognized internationally. For me, Sibiu is a city with strong
potential and we are proud, SB
Being from Sibiu was suddenly something to take pride in, especially as the city was recognized
not just as national, but also European level. The fact that people from other parts of the world
felt that Sibiu was worth visiting had an important role in stimulating local pride:
I read in a magazine, do not know exactly where, that Sibiu is one of Europe's top cities
that deserve to be visited, for this we should be proud of our Sibiu SB
We saw in Cluj people wearing caps and shirts with the inscription "Sibiu - European
Cultural Capital" and then I enjoyed it. SC
The appreciation from outside also increased the appreciation of locals for what their city had
achieved:
as inhabitants of this town I am very impressed by how well developed in Sibiu. SB
I gained a sense of pride, a kind of: here as you can, you can do something good,
something of quality, here we are appreciated SB
Transformation
The renewed pride of the citizens of Sibiu was also a reflection of the fact that something
significant had taken place that had transformed the city.
Sibiu has changed a lot lately, mostly due to the great event held in 2007 SB
I think BCR Sibiu experienced only benefit from the nominations because 2007 was an
impetus that Sibiu was able to capitalize on the most, both culturally and in terms of
growth but the visibility of Sibiu, the cultural location, tourism and not least economic SB
long term this programme has been transforming our city into a tourist magnet STA
62
The transformation of the city has had a number of broader impacts, culturally and socially as
well as economically.
Sibiu, in these conditions provides more possibilities for young people who decide to stay
in this city and not just young people. SC
a change of pace of life has become more intense, more concentrated, the streets
become more crowded SC
               
cosmopolitan:
I noticed this year that the city is visited by tourists (Spanish, Italian), appears to be
cosmopolitan city.
My personal life has changed in the sense that in my spare time walking on downtown
Sibiu noticed different people from different corners of the world, SB
Not just the people coming to the city have changed, but stakeholders also feel that the city
itself has gained a greater capacity to undertake major initiatives as well.
This programme helped the evolution of the organization of events and highlighted the
organizational capabilities of companies in this area SC
Role of the Local Authority
Many stakeholders emphasized the important role that the civic administration had played in the
development and the success of the ECOC.
Locally, in my view local authorities were very much involved, have managed to attract
funds and manage them as effectively all in the interests of the community and the city
that was very visible in the eyes of the people was the renovation of the historical centre.
SB
The 2007 event was very well managed by local authorities in Sibiu; AB
Much of the success of the event was attributed to the leadership given by the Local Authority,
and particularly the Mayor:
I can say that I was involved in decisions that influenced Sibiu by the fact that I expressed
my point of view in terms of choosing the mayor of the city. ST
I'm proud that Sibiu and we are a good and think about those who lead this city SB
Sibiu received significant funding from the Government, Minister of Culture and by funds
from Germany, following the steps mayor Klaus Johannis. Many events took place in
Sibiu ST
Sibiu and Romania
A number of respondents emphasized that the ECOC was not just an advantage for Sibiu, but
for the whole country. Because the ECOC took place at the time that Romania became a
63
member of the EU, it had the effect of putting Romania in the spotlight and helping to change
the image of the country as a whole.
Also, the image of Sibiu can be a potential catalyst in Romania. Nobody talks about Sibiu
without mentioning the country to which it belongs. SB
What has followed in this project was to improve national and especially international
image of Sibiu, attracting visitors, improve social links. ST
Sibiu - European Capital of Culture 2007 is the most important cultural project in
Romania. STA
I think Sibiu ECC 2007 event was a positive point for both city and for the whole country. I
noticed that those who come to our office want to know first about Sibiu as ECOC and
then find other information on Romania STA
I am sure that through this programme the European cultural, Romania has become more
known. AB
The national impact of the ECOC was appreciated not just by respondents in Sibiu itself, but
also those in other parts of the country, including Bucharest:
From my point of view, this programme was a great chance offered Sibiu and Romania
default to show a new image, other than those known so far outside the borders. In the
same time not be omitted many economic and cultural benefits, and here I refer to funds
raised in the development of infrastructure, recovery objectives and increasing the sense
of cultural belonging. RB
It was the best thing possible both for Sibiu and for Romania, as Sibiu has benefited not
only from this programme but especially what concerns our tourism. RB
I am sure that through this programme the European cultural, Romania has become more
known. AB
The improved image of Sibiu and Romania was contrasted by some respondents 
image of the country in other parts of Europe:
We must improve the image of the country as much time we can. I left with a bitter taste
when I was last year at the Romanian Cultural Institute in Vienna, where I saw the
pictures made by the Romans about the Romanians, who were only pictures with Gypsies
and misery, so they promoted a very bad image about our country. SB
Remaining challenges
Although the vast majority of stakeholders were positive about the impacts of the ECOC, they
were also keenly aware that there remains much to be done to address the weaknesses of the
city. One of the key points was the work that still needs to be done on the infrastructure of the
city:
The main weakness that I think at this point is the poor infrastructure of Sibiu SB
Weaknesses in Sibiu as a tourist destination are especially the infrastructure system that
needs improvement SC
A review of the more detailed comments indicates that the major infrastructure weaknesses
relate specifically to roads and parking facilities.
64
I think one weakness of both the city of Sibiu and as a tourism destination are narrow
streets making difficult traffic. Another problem would be lack of parking. SB
Other interviewees mentioned the need to improve the tourism and leisure product as well:
I think that Sibiu needs more means of entertainment such as an amusement park,
several swimming pools, upgraded rear different sports, etc... think that Sibiu needs more
means of entertainment such as an amusement park, several swimming pools, upgraded
rear different sports, etc... SB
The changes produced by the ECOC were not always experienced as positive. A number of
people mentioned the increase in prices, while others feared for the loss of the tranquil
atmosphere of the city.
Prices were increased to terraces, bars, are prices for tourists, not locals. SB
I do not want to be promoted Sibiu as commercial city, but to keep the medieval spirit. It
was not too much excitement among the population. To maintain a quiet spirit. SB
A potential area of improvement indicated by many respondents was the attitude of some
citizens, who were felt not t
A weakness I would see that has not enough civilized people. SB
To contribute to improving the image of Sibiu, people should give more evidence of
civilization. Unfortunately this is one of the most important things. ST
To be more civilized! Namely to be more civilized! ST
Other aspects of the city were also felt to detract from the otherwise positive image of the
ECOC:
In the centre you can find a trash at every step ST
The problem with vagrants and beggars has to be solved, SB
Other, longer term problems were indicated by some respondents:
I think Sibiu has accumulated some debt in 2007 and this will mean higher taxes and fees
for city residents. Prices are now related to nutrition, housing, rents are now compared
with those not in the country, but those from abroad, in developed countries. STA
There were also some question marks about the balance of new developments in the city.
Although stakeholders were generally pleased with the renovations made in the city centre,
some felt that this contrasted with the relatively lack of improvements in other parts of the city.
Overall assessment of the interviews
In general, the picture that emerges from the depth interviews is that all stakeholder groups
were very happy with the ECOC and its outcomes. The economic impacts and the growth in
tourism were remarked upon by those in the tourism sector as well as other stakeholders.
It is also clear that the event had a significant impact on the image of the city. Residents of Sibiu
were aware that Sibiu had become more widely known, and this made them feel more proud of
65
being from Sibiu. They felt that the city had made significant achievements in 2007, and
attributed a significant part of this success to the leadership shown by the Municipality and the
Mayor.
These feelings were echoed by respondents from outside Sibiu as well. Stakeholders in the
Sibiu region in general felt that the region as a whole had benefitted from the ECOC, which
reflects the evidence from the statistics on hotel supply and occupancy as well. Respondents in
other parts of Romania were also positive about the effects of the ECOC, as they generally saw
that the success of Sibiu had reflected on Romania as a whole.
66
Sustainability
An important question regarding any ECOC is the extent to which the outcomes are sustainable
over the longer term. Before the event the Sibiu 2007 association outlined the following long
term benefits which were expected from the event:
making the city a better place to live in, a more interesting place to visit, work and invest
in

 cultural life
a positive change in the image of Sibiu/Hermannstadt and Romania
The results of our research indicate that all of these goals have been achieved to a greater or
lesser extent.
The visitor interviews show conclusively that the image of the city has improved over time, and
that this improvement has been sustained after 2007. The effect of the marketing activity in
2007 has been extended by continued media coverage for the city, for example by the listing in
the Fortune ranking of top 10 places to visit.
The stakeholder interviews also reveal that many businesses benefited from the ECOC not only
in 2007, but also in 2008 and (early) 2009. Many tourism businesses had increased custom in
the post-ECOC period, although it is difficult to judge whether the economic crisis has now
reduced many of these gains, or if an ECOC effect still remains three years on.
The broader impacts of the ECOC can also be seen in the enthusiasm of stakeholders outside
Sibiu, many of whom are keen to emulate its success. Other cities in Romania are now following
the Sibiu model, for example in considering becoming candidates for the ECOC in future.
67
To what extent did the ECOC meet its aims?
The ultimate measure of success for any project is the extent to which it has been able to meet
the aims set for it. If we look back to the original aims for Sibiu 2007, we can see that the most
important aspirations were:
Raising the profile and changing the image of the city
Attracting more tourists
Enhancing local pride
Growing the local audience for culture
Reflecting on the results of the research with regard to these aims, it certainly seems that the
city was able to meet all of these aims. The image of Sibiu improved, not only domestically but
internationally, as a result of the ECOC. The visitor surveys indicated that those visiting Sibiu
placed the city very high on their personal list of cultural cities to visit. Surveys conducted in
other parts of Europe also indicated that Sibiu improved its ranking among the top European
destinations in 2007 and afterwards. This impression was also strengthened by the listing of
Sibiu by Forbes Magazine as one of the top places to visit.
There is no doubt that the ECOC attracted more tourists to the city in 2007. The number of
visitors and overnights increased significantly in 2007, and levels of tourism activity generally
remained high in 2008 and early 2009. The impact of the economic crisis has tended to obscure
the positive effects of the ECOC from mid-2009 onwards, but there are still indications that
general levels of tourism activity and expenditure remain above pre-ECOC levels. The ECOC
was particularly effective as a means of attracting foreign visitors, as overnights by foreign
tourists increased substantially, and spend by foreign tourists contributed to the significant
economic impact of the event. The years after 2007 also saw a significant increase in repeat
visitation from those visitors who had been to the city during 2007, which shows that there was
a long-term impact on tourism. The development of new hotels in the city also indicates that
there has been a structural change in the tourism industry in Sibiu as a result of the ECOC, with
greater capacity, higher quality facilities and therefore greater turnover for the HORECA sector.
The surveys of local residents and depth interviews with stakeholders confirm that there has
been a significant boost to local pride and sense of identity as a result of the ECOC. Local
people were proud that the city had been elected Cultural Capital, but also that the event had
been so successful. The large number of tourists coming to the city was also significant, as this
had boosted the cosmopolitan nature of the city and the feeling that the city had something to
show the rest of the world.
The events in 2007 clearly strengthened cultural consumption in the city. The sheer weight of
events was sufficient to ensure a high level of participation on the part of the local population,
but there is also evidence to suggest that this has continued since 2007. This is in spite of the
fact that the number of cultural events declined significantly in 2007, which suggests that
interest in culture in general was awakened by the ECOC. One of the major challenges for the
city will now be to live up to the expectations it has created among residents and visitors in the
area of cultural production and consumption.
An overall conclusion, based on close observation of the city and nearly 10 years of survey
research is that the ECOC in 2007 was the first time that Sibiu had developed a clear (cultural)
tourism product. To meet the challenges of developing this new product, the Municipality needs
to create a Destination Marketing Organization that can develop cultural tourism, business travel
and events in order to effectively utilize the vastly increased accommodation supply and cultural
and leisure facilities of the city and the surrounding region.
68
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Appendices
Appendix 1: Survey questionnaire 2007
Sibiu
Cultural Capital 2007
Visitor Survey
1. Where do you live?
Sibiu (go to question 9)
Elsewhere in Transylvania