The National Network of Ecotourism Destinations – A Tool for Sustainable Development

Tourism Project

Title in original language: Reteaua nationala pentru destinatii de ecoturism - un instrument pentru dezvoltare durabila

Country/ies: Romania
Status: Closed after Sept 2014
Category: Projects and initiatives for sustainable tourism development
Link to the Tourism Strategy: Objective 1 - Establish supportive conditions for sustainable tourism products and services, including development of a marketing scheme for the promotion of the Carpathians as a unique sustainable tourism destination objectives of the strategy
Duration of the project: from 05.2014 to 04.2016
Objectives and results of the project:

The general objective of the project is to increase the operating capacity of the national ecotourism destination network that contributes to: a) local sustainable development through the implementation of development measures at destinations level and to their visibility on the Romanian and European market and b) nature conservation by integrating protected areas in regional development.

Specific objectives:
• The development of the national ecotourism destination network that meets the specific requirements of NTA (National Tourism Authority) and contributes to promote ecotourism as a strategic tool in the enhancement of sustainable tourism in Romania.
• Building an optimal capacity in each destination to stimulate concrete measures in order to achieve sustainable development through ecotourism.

Results of the project:
at national level:
 a guide that presents the stages of the development process of an ecotourism destination;
 assessment criteria of the destination are functional and updated according to the on-site situation after a first assessment round of the nine micro-regions level;
 criteria for ecotourism destinations in Romania have been assessed according to the standard elaborated by Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) in order to obtain international recognition;
 16 local representative of ANT able to provide relevant information about ecotourism destinations;
 Organizing the National Ecotourism Conference with 80 participants;
 39 articles in the national press about the project and funding sources.
at local level in 9 micro-regions:
 38 people trained in the management of the destination;
 14 participants at a study trip in a foreign destination with practical knowledge about the functioning of an ecotourism destination abroad;
 16 independent evaluators trained according to Eco-Romania Certification System for the improvement of ecotourism services at local level;
 local stakeholders have gained knowledge about ecotourism destinations and their role in it;
 36 touristic services (guesthouses or tours) have been evaluated according to the Eco-Romania ecotourism certification system;
 Promotional materials (maps and brochures) for the 10 ecotourism destinations included in the project;
 Attending 5 promotion events in Romania and abroad (Zurich, London, Berlin and Bucharest);
 promoting the nine ecotourism destinations at a representative national tourism fair;
 the information and promotional materials from the ecotourism destinations is available in visitor centres and tourist information locations;
 officially registering the ecotourism certification label;
 developing local souvenirs in a pilot destination.

Implementing organization / institution:

Association of Ecotourism in Romania

Project partners:

Romanian National Tourism Authority

Total amount of the project: 154.741,21 Euro
Financing institution(s): Others
Name of program(s): EEA grants 2009 – 2014, under the NGO Fund in Romania