Polska pomoc

 

Development of rural tourism in the territory of Ungheni region through sustainable use of natural environment resources

The Moldovan Ungheni region borders on Romania and has a population of 111,000, of which 75,600 live in rural areas. There are 13,000 farms in the region and about 100 agriculture related businesses. The average individual farm has an area of only 1.5 ha. The owners of the smallest agricultural holdings are not able to support themselves purely from agriculture, which is why they also work in urban industrial plants. The basic crops include: cereals, legumes, vegetables and fruit, including vines.

With its rich natural and cultural resources, the Ungheni region has enormous potential for the development of rural tourism. Beautiful beech forests occupy ​​30,000 ha of the region and, in part, form the “Beech Country” National Park. The region has 32 folklore groups as well as many craftsmen engaged in sculpture, embroidery and ceramics.

The projects implemented by the Romincka Forest Foundation in the years 2015-2016 created tourist infrastructure, launched new tourist products and set up a folk bazaar. The region’s attractions were promoted internationally (at trade fairs), while those of its inhabitants engaged in the tourism industry gained new skills through training courses and study tours in Poland. A website promoting local products was developed (www.productungheni.md), new agri-tourism accommodation was created and the existing accommodation options expanded.

Moreover, the National Tourism Development Strategy 2020 (approved by the government of Moldova on 15 May 2014) recognises the importance of developing ecotourism and the need for building information centres. In turn, the Strategy of Social and Economic Development of the Ungheni Region for the years 2012-2020, approved in February 2012, pays much attention to the development of the region’s tourism potential, primarily in rural areas. The strategy paper underscores the need to support those enterprises wishing to operate in the area of rural tourism. The strategy paper also takes note of the need to improve accessibility to the region’s natural resources for the purposes of tourism through the development of the relevant infrastructure.

The implementation of the aforementioned projects led to, among other things, an increase in the number of tourists visiting the “Beech Country” National Park in recent years (1,200 in 2014 and 2,200 in 2016). The national park and the entire Ungheni region still do not offer a location where tourists can obtain complete information about the local tourist attractions.

Development of rural tourism in the territory of Ungheni region through sustainable use of natural environment resources

The project is a continuation and expansion of the measures carried out by the Romincka Forest Foundation in the Ungheni region in the years 2015-2016. The project objective is to build an Information and Educational Centre (through the refurbishment of a neglected building, which is the property of the “Beech Country” National Park) for the purposes of tourism development and the creation of a rural tourism cluster in the years 2017-2018 (a two-module project). In 2015 and 2016, the Foundation prepared a technical project detailing the renovation and adaptation of the building in order to convert it into the aforementioned centre and obtained a construction permit. The works were scheduled to take place over two years. In the first year (2017) of the project, the core and shell of the building were completed. The plans for 2018 provide for the completion of works and the opening of the centre. Tourists will be able to obtain from the centre any and all information and current offers; the centre will also develop new tourist products and promote local products. The centre will also be a venue for training courses and workshops and will actively engage in environmental education.

The US Forest Service has decided to fund a number of soft measures aimed at developing a rural tourism cluster around the “Beech Country” National Park. The Americans chose the National Park cognisant of the measures the Romincka Forest Foundation implemented there earlier.

Development of rural tourism in the territory of Ungheni region through sustainable use of natural environment resources

Within the first module of the project, which was implemented in 2017:

- construction works on the core and shell of the building designated to serve as the Information and Educational Centre were completed;

- the concept design and action plans for tourism-related services were developed: training sessions, concept and business plans for specific initiatives;

- 15 producers from around the Ungheni region received training on the principles of development of rural tourism: business activity concepts and 15 business plans were developed;

- six employees of the “Beech Country” National Park and of the local administration of Ungheni took part in a study tour of Poland for the purpose of acquainting themselves with the work of several Polish information centres.

Moreover, the employees of the “Beech Country” National Park will hold traineeships in two Polish information centres of the Romincka Forest Landscape Park and the Wigry National Park in 2018.