One of Europe's best kept secrets, Romania is throwing open its doors to Middle East visitors with its tempting array of innumerable - and largely undiscovered - treasures.
As part of a concerted campaign this year to attract regional tourists and boost tourism ties with the Middle East, the Romanian tourism ministry is making its debut at the MTF this month.
"The new approach started this year with the official visits of Matei Agathon Dan, the Romanian Minister of Tourism, to Egypt and Lebanon, our participation in AWTTE 2002 in Beirut (also for the first time), and the extension of the activities of the Romanian National Tourist Office in Istanbul, Turkey to Middle East countries," said Dan Gaman, the director in the Turkey office.
He said that at the MTF, the Romanian delegation which will include top representatives of the General Division of International Promotion from the ministry, will try to meet as many as representatives of travel agencies, tourism organisations as well as professionals.
Gaman said the delegation will be looking to encourage mutual tourist traffic; projects for tourist investments; cooperation in tourism training; and exchange of experts for the development of tourist infrastructure, environment protection as well as Mediterranean and Black Sea cruises.
"Some leading Romanian travel agencies will join us in the stand and others are invited as hosted buyers," he said.
"We are promoting Romania as a complete and safe travel destination.
"We also expect to build strong relations with the regional and local travel media, to market our future promotion campaigns and to organise fam trips to Romania for journalists."
Gaman said the increased profile in the region will boost the currently "unsatisfactory" inbound traffic figures.
He said Romania has much to offer tourists - adventure travel, ecotourism, cultural tours and sport vacations, all in clean and safe environment.
Visitors will find fairy-tale castles and opulent palaces, painted monasteries and high-steepled wooden churches, medieval cities and remote villages, a rich folk culture and a vibrant contemporary arts scene.
The Romanian landscape, with its haunting natural beauty, has some of Europe's most unspoiled scenery.
The towering Carpathian mountains, forming the frontier between the province of Transylvania and the provinces of Moldavia and Wallachia to the east and south, are home to bears, deer and eagles, among other wildlife.
The Danube Delta is a vast, watery wilderness and a main stop on one of the world's five major bird migration routes, while the golden beaches of the Black sea coast are replete with seaside resorts and water sports.
Gifted by nature with one-third of the natural springs of Europe, thermal lakes, therapeutic muds and mofettes, the Romanian spas are the alternative solution to many diseases.
Add to this potent mix of attractions the Romanian people's natural warmth and charm.
Romania has direct air access from all Middle East countries, a growing number of professional tour operators and new hotels, restaurants and transportation developments.
TTN is the most established trade publication in the Middle East distributed on a controlled circulation basis to members of the travel and tourism industry.
Published monthly by Al Hilal Publishing and Marketing Group, the region’s foremost trade publisher, TTN is aimed at professionals in the industry, from travel agents to airline and hotel personnel.
TTN provides in-depth and extensive coverage of relevant issues in the Middle East and North Africa as well as in other parts of the world. Travel related news, analysis, and new appointments together with information on up-coming exhibitions, marketing and promotional campaigns are presented in an innovative and striking colour tabloid.
Every issue also contains a collation of international and regional news and topical features of interest to readers.