Operator Profile: Romanian Thrills
This past holiday season, Redeam once again hosted a survey contest for Operators, awarding two winners $100 in AmEx gift cards and a chance to be profiled on our website. We’re publishing the first of those two winners’ profiles, Romanian Thrills, here now. (Above Featured Image is of the Ravens Nest in Alba)
Exactly Who Is Romanian Thrills?
Romanian Thrills was founded by a Romanian couple, Vlad and Georgiana, who share a passion for traveling. They realized there were many people with Romanian roots that wanted to visit their ancestral country and might want a truly authentic experience led by local guides. After working abroad in hospitality for a few years, the couple realized that Romania deserves more international exposure on the tourism market. “Romania, with its tumultuous past, is one of the most beautiful countries in Eastern Europe with areas of pristine nature that still remain largely unexplored by tourists outside of Europe,” articulated co-founder Georgiana. With this realization in mind and a desire to help their homeland, Georgiana and Vlad returned home in 2018, and Romanian Thrills was born.
Today the company provides cultural, nature and adventure experiences around Romania. It focuses on boutique, bespoke travel style for private and small groups. To create their experiences, the couple conducted field research, pursuing fascinating landscapes, authentic and reinterpreted gastronomy, remarkable accommodations that preserve the Romanian heritage, and finding artisans who keep the country’s traditional crafts alive. The company’s 2020 expansion plans had to be put on hold when the pandemic hit, but they feel confident their plans are just a postponement.
People and Products
Romanian Thrills focuses on foreign travelers from the USA, Canada, and Australia, attracting them with “personalized experiences into enigmatic Romania.” Their customers are usually middle-aged and well-educated who typically travel to more established destinations and are looking for a different experience. “Our guests are curious about largely unknown Eastern European locations, which have some of the most charming countrysides in the world,” explained Vlad, “and they want to go to places still sheltered from mass tourism.” To accommodate these demands, Romanian Thrills designed off-the-beaten-path mixed itineraries. “We embrace the fact that Romania is known as the land of vampires, but we also want to move beyond that and expand the traveler’s interest, because there is so much more to discover!”
The company offers countryside tours with a hassle-free approach, taking care of all the details from arrival until departure, so guests’ time is solely spent enjoying their trip. Hallmarks of its tours include hand-picked accommodations, slow-travel itineraries, farm-to-table dining, and interactive cultural experiences with the locals allowing them to make a positive impact in their communities.
Since COVID ceased international travel, last year Romanian Thrills had to rethink its strategy. During the 2020 summer, they saw some domestic interest from expats and locals that wanted to discover their own country in a distinctive way, which allowed the business to stay afloat while they developed a virtual products line-up. They released their first online event on Halloween 2020 and continue to offer these in different forms every month such as interactive video tours or live virtual events. They plan on launching a boutique travel guide of Romania next.
Under non-COVID circumstances, Romanian Thrills lists its scheduled group tours on a select few online travel platforms but most of its marketing is done organically. They use social media and email to reach audiences directly. They also partner up with influencers for video collaborations, so travelers can get a sneak peek of how the company conducts its tours. More recently, their virtual tours have also benefited from PR and media exposure, having been featured in The Guardian, The World Post, Irish Times, and other publications.
Getting in Touch
Romanian Thrills encourages interaction and new suggestions through any of its primary channels:
Company website: www.romanianthrills.us