During 2009-2011 the tourism industry at the Black Sea shore experienced a significant downturn as a direct result of the global economic crisis and a shy growth in 2012-2013 period. In this context of difficult macroeconomic conditions and a hardly predictable number of tourists, the suppliers of tourism services need a constant revision of strategy in order to increase their competitiveness and adapt to external market conditions. The main objective of this study is to investigate the competitive strategies that hotels managers in Mamaia resort, Romania, could adopt considering customers` expectations and hospitality industry best practices. In order to achieve this, a best practice benchmarking analysis was performed considering several locations on the seaside in France, Italy, Spain and Turkey. Following this analysis, several strategies are drafted, such as: use of social media, creation of packaged deals, targeting the business segment and advertising by using the cultural and historical context of the location. Moreover, a short survey among social media users revealed some of the tourists` expectations regarding their holidays at the Romanian Black Sea shore, such as quality of accommodation facilities, personalized services and entertainment possibilities.