Quality certification system in Agrotourism

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2nd Steering Committee Meeting in Republic of Moldova

The second Steering Committee Meeting was organized on 11-12 December 2013 in Republic of Moldova, Ialoveni Region at ”Stejaris” Complex, close to Suruceni Public Administration – partner organization within the CerTour Project.

The aim of the meeting was to evaluate the progress of the CerTour for July – December 2013 period and update the common action plat for the next semester.

At the meeting participated 14 representatives of partner organizations from all 6 countries involved in the project: Municipality of Xanthi (Greece); Black Sea Economic Centre (Varna, Bulgaria);Ecotourism Association NGO (Yerevan, Armenia); International Centre for Social Research and Policy Analysis (Tblisi, Georgia); and Regional Fund for the Support of the Entrepreneurship (Zaporozhze, Ucraina).

The event was open by the representatives of Ialoveni Regional Council: Mihai Silstraru – representative of the Government in the region, Valeriu Turcanu and Mihai Braga – vice presidents of Ialoveni Regional Council and Nicole Mereacre - Secretary of the Ialoveni Regional Council. The officials addressed welcoming messages and express the importance of CerTour for the region and for entire country. They recognized that except of possibility to conform to European standards, local agrotouristic pensions and rural communities will also have the opportunity to promote their image, culture, traditions and values both at national and international levels. Especially Ialoveni region, which is in the very center of the country, dotted with beautiful forests and lakes - has a wide potential to develop the agrotourism where at list 10 locations can be identified as agropensions.

During the two days meeting the foreign delegations had possibility to learn about agrotourism in Moldova. Thus there have been visited 4 touristic attractions from the region: “Saint George” Monastery, Wine Factory from Suruceni village, “Zoo Club” from Bardar village and Quality Wines Industrial Complex “Milestii Mici”. Participants were impressed by promising potential of the agrotourism in the region and considered that several conditions have to be ensured for the favorable development of this sector: roads infrastructure, better promotion of local products and offers, and improvements of customer service’ quality.

Participants defined the bases for the elaboration and implementation of common standard framework within the CerTour, that is expected to be formulated in March 2014 and considered that the close cooperation with state institutions and NGOs from the field, efficient training and promotion will ensure the good adaptation of the standards to local conditions and implementation of it in the relevant structures. 5 agropensions from each country will be certified for free as a result of the project and will represent as models for other pensions willing to be certified and promoted.

Also, it was deducted that because of the synergetic character of the project, the impact and the already achieved results are directly determined by participants’ commitment to gather all the efforts, to communicate efficiently and to share the experience.

By the moment, several actions can be defined as project results:

  • Brochure for project promotion in English and all national languages of the project partner countries;
  • Promotional events, reflection in mass-media in each partner country;
  • Study of currents situation in agrotourism sector and study of customers’ needs and expectations (the studies can be found on Project results section)
  • www.certour.eu project webpage which represents a unique platform to promote the project and to gather all actors interested to improve the quality of the agroturism in Black Sea Basin and not only.

As a result of the meeting, participants established new ways for communication, cooperation and experience exchange. The mayor of Suruceni village expressed the joy and honor to be part of this project and the opportunity that brings CerTour project for new international initiatives and partnerships that will base on common European values and aspirations.One of the perspectives refers to further cooperation of Suruceni Public Adiministration with Municipality of Xanthy.

Next common activity within the project is an international Trainig of Trainers in Varna, Bulgria, in the spring of 2014 aiming to guide partner countries in application of common standard framework and certification process. Back home, the trainers will train 10 local assessors able to evaluate and certificate the agropensions. The assessors that will pass a special attestation will be included in a common international register.

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