Half a century ago, being a student at the end of the first high school class at Mihai Viteazu in Bucharest, I had the happy opportunity to be a member of the team that made a month-long trip through the country organized by a brilliant geographer but at the same time a teacher and leader - Professor Marculescu C. I traveled to Dobrogea, Moldova, the Carpathians, Transylvania and Banat using both train, boat, bus and hiking. Although I have been to excursions and camps before, I consider this trip as the one that marked not only my orientation towards Geography but also the beginning of the initiation in the complex secrets of knowledge and tourist organization. I learned to think of a route, to discern what is essential in a daily schedule, to see how to solve problems related to accommodation, meals, transport that seem simple, but which are extremely complex, especially when it involves a community, to get a best possible combination of the useful with the beautiful, ambiance and good mood in a large number of days.
The years of the student were added when we "stole with our eyes" the experience of organizing and carrying out the trips led impeccably by my teachers in almost all places in the country but also in Bulgaria. All of them helped me after 1965 when I became an apprentice and then gradually organized the practical applications with the students in spring, summer, autumn and sometimes the director of the student ski camps. On the one hand, the numerous trips from the I.T.H.R. portfolios had a special place in completing the preparation for tourism. and O.N.T. throughout Romania but also abroad, where I provided guidance services, as well as co-opting in the training teams for the profile activities in the two institutions.
Thus, Geography was my chosen profession and tourism gradually became a hobby in the second basic direction in activity and which directly or indirectly had an essential role in my training as a manager.
The cameras and the video camera were my permanent companions, contributing to the creation of photographs, slides, films in which the scientific elements were combined with the artistic ones. To these are added the rich and varied collection of books on tourism, many of them being sources of training for those who addressed me.
The experience and desire to present what is essential and necessary for various forms of tourist activity have guided me on the one hand in writing many books, guides, articles, albums for this field, and on the other hand in thinking and presenting lectures and conferences for students, teachers and all those who wanted to know something about my "accumulations". Moreover, I put my shoulder in the creation of a tourism specialization in the faculty, of a profile student circle and in thinking of some forms of practice that would bring the students as close as possible to the specific activities.
It was thus necessary to put an end to this stage, which I would conclude with a synthesis study carried out together with a young colleague who established herself through talent, depth and passion in the profession of geographer but also in tourism knowledge.
It was written for several years, a situation determined on the one hand by the desire to find a structure and rendering of problems and information as adequate as possible to the level of training but also in accordance with the directions imposed by the title. On the other hand, we did not want to fall "on the line of the many" who write and brag about mistakes often of a general nature taken from various works (which he forgets to quote), dictionaries, statistics, internet, etc. but which omit the essential - the cruel reality of the land.
As a result, we chose a form of presentation in three sections with different purposes. The first has more theoretical character, in it we wanted to present our point of view on some notions that we consider basic for understanding some aspects of the complex mechanisms of tourism. We insist not only on their scope but also on the relations between them, which are also established in a scheme.
The second includes the presentation of the national tourist system based on the existing tourist potential but in interference with some elements regarding the material basis and the specifics of the forms of activities that are carried out. A structural scheme was chosen which includes units with a degree of potential complexity and different relationships and which are part of a hierarchical system consisting of provinces - regions - areas - axes - centers-localities and tourist objectives. There is a lot of information but we consider it insufficient to highlight the huge tourist fund too little known and capitalized.
The realization of the last section, which has a methodological and applicative character, we wanted to write it out of the desire to present some lucrative aspects necessary in the process of understanding the fact that tourism is a complex social phenomenon that must be treated as such. To achievee not only the findings regarding the potential are sufficient, but they must be subjected to a proper capitalization for which both the most adequate means of knowledge are needed, but also the realization of endowments and the provision of services.
The paper is addressed not only to students who are preparing to provide services in tourism but to all those who want to know and apply at least part of the information provided (teachers, travel agents, guides, instructors).
Her writing thanks us for the moment, but since many problems have remained partially developed and argued and others need to be clarified, we intend to resume it, perhaps in a different structure.
That is why the words "from the beginning" present in the name of this preface.
Professor Mihai Ielenicz