Rebranding Romania as ‘Most Beautiful Dental Clinic in the World’ 

Dentistry and travel agent associations join forces to encourage Brits to visit Romania with dual packages

Romania has been struggling to attract foreign tourists, losing out to neighbouring countries. Meanwhile, the UK continues to suffer from a post-pandemic NHS dentist shortage and people in Britain remain on waiting lists for treatment.

Inspired by that insight, the Romanian National Association of Travel Agents and The Society of Esthetic Dentistry in Romania partnered to offer tourism packages that combine Romania’s cultural sites with a trip to the dentist. 

Launched in December 2022, each package is available to purchase from the Romania, the Most Beautiful Dental Clinic in the World website and combines a dental treatment and a getaway inspired by the treatment.

Tourists can visit a waterfall and get their teeth rinsed with the ‘Professional Cleaning and Sparkling Waterfalls’ package, try the ‘Dental Crowns and Royal Castles’ package or plump for the ‘Root Canal Treatments and Delta Canal Trips’ offering. 

According to the press release, the cost of a white filling in the UK can be as much as £250 ($320), but in Romania, Brits can get a filling (from a well-trained, English-speaking dentist) as well as three nights in a four-star hotel for around the same price (£280/$360). ​​​​​​​

The campaign was created with McCann, Romania, and was promoted in the UK at the end of March 2023 at the British Tourism and Travel Show. At the Romanian booth, agents dressed in scrubs and masks and invited visitors to take a seat in a dentist’s chair and wear a VR mask to take a virtual tour through the country’s landscapes. The campaign was also promoted on billboards in places such as London’s Waterloo and Euston train stations.

Results / According to the agency, the campaign had a reach of 11 million and the amount spent by foreign tourists on medical tourism increased by 70%.

Contagious Insight 

Give me a reason / Speaking to Contagious, Olivia Spanu, senior copywriter at McCann Bucharest, said: ‘Romania has the highest economic growth in the EU, but also a very low level of tourism with a 5.3% share of GDP versus neighbouring Bulgaria with 12.8% and Hungary with 10.2%. It is a beautiful country with unspoiled natural beauty and rich history, but it never settled for a clear touristic brand identity, nor a defined strategy.’ Spanu added, ‘The same goes for its health tourism. Where Romania has a clear price/quality advantage, it is outperformed by the likes of Hungary, Turkey or even the more expensive Austria.’ This campaign redresses the lack of tourism strategy with a clear, engaging offering of unique holiday packages that combine the best of Romania. The organisation leans into the country’s beautiful landscape and affordable quality healthcare, giving people a reason to visit Romania when they need dental care, even if they’ve never considered visiting the country before.

Better than you / According to the agency, rather than competing with other countries, the campaign’s strategy was to start competing with other dentists, to rebrand Romania as The Most Beautiful Dental Clinic in the World. Spanu told us, ‘Our media strategy was to target the UK as they had an NHS dentist shortage and Romania’s dental holiday offering was very competitive. In the UK, you could pay up to £280 for a dental filling, while in Romania you would get three-in-one for that price: the dental treatment, a guided tour, plus three nights at a four-star hotel.’ By identifying dentists in the UK as their competitors, the organisations could tailor their offerings to appeal to British tourists. Apart from selecting the pre-paid packages, visitors can also use the chatbot on the campaign website to customise their trips. These elements provide medical travellers with flexibility and gives Romania a unique selling point to attract visitors to the country to get their dental procedures done.

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