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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to evaluate the feasibility of opening a traditional designed boutique hotel in
Viseu de Sus, Romania. The proposed framework to assess the macro environment is PEST.
The guideline used to develop the design of the hotel is the Servicescape Model with support
of Lo's Emotional Design theory. The two theories deal with the guest response to the made
environment and how to use it to enhance experiences. In this case, the author wants to
highlight the reinvention of the guest's authentic traditional experience in Maramures. One
problem that was encountered was some discomfort due to the traditional heating system and
the authentic bed linen.

Methodology

Primary research was carried out based on the survey strategy, that is, the questionnaires that
were filled in by 29 tourists and 4 active local business owners, in order to measure the
demand for lodging facilities and to evaluate the importance of comfort versus the importance
of authenticity. This was performed with the scope of evaluating both the guest and business
owners perspective. The six week research was both quantitative and qualitative.

Findings

The data resulted from the primary research was linked to the literature review. It is striking,
as it resulted in a discrepancy between the business owners' mindset and the tourists'.
Hoteliers believe that comfort is a main aspect taken into consideration by the Romanian
tourists, but, on the other hand, the same tourists said they preferred authenticity to comfort.
The majority of them confirmed Bitner's theory and argued that such a hotel concept would
make their stay in Maramures more pleasant and comfortable.

The PEST framework highlighted the most significant factors that would have an impact on
the opening. Firstly, there is an increased need for facilities and tourists would happily
embrace such a concept. Secondly, the government offers financial support to the new
entrepreneurs, who are willing to set up rural businesses which are to promote tourism.
Thirdly, Romania is aggressively promoted overseas to attract tourists.
Research Limitations

This stage of the research has evaluated only the Romanian tourism market and future
research could be carried out during the summer season, to evaluate more international
tourists. The second limitation is the location of the research. As the time was limited, only
one set of questionnaires was conducted at the Steam Train, which is the main landmark in
Viseu de Sus, and consequently, that could hinder the way of appreciating the interests of the
guest. They might be interested in the nature rather than in visiting the traditional churches.
Other locations should be chosen for future investigation.

Value

The research provides us with a basis for a hotel concept in Viseu de Sus, as it is a location
that needs heavy investments in touristic facilities.

Keywords

Feasibility Study, Romanian Tourism, Authenticity, Traditions, Culture, Design Implications