27 Apr 2017 Padurea Craiului, the next Ecotourism Destination in Romania
Romania's heritage is packed with beautiful nature, small hamlets, old traditions and culture. It's a country of unique discoveries and amazing places with hidden treasures. You may never have heard about Padurea Craiului, but it is soon to become the next ecotourism destination in Romania. The Padurea Craiului project is situated in the protected areas of Defileul Crisului Repede and Padurea Craiului Natura 2000. Located in The North Western Apuseni Mountains in Bihor County, it is the nearest mountain area to the county capital of Oradea, which is close to the Hungarian border. The project is a contribution to create positive economic development and growth to conserve its natural and cultural history. The purpose is to sustain and operate an ecotourism destination at not only national, but also international levels. The project was proposed for funding by The Centre for Protected Areas and Sustainable Development Bihor, together with Rosia Commune and and Ethical Travel Portal in Norway. It was recently granted financial support by the EEA grants and the ONG Fund. It is crucial that tourism development in this area is sustainable and ethical.
The Apuseni Mountain region is breathtaking and the possibilities for tourism development are huge. This project is built on solid principles for responsible tourism with its focus to develop the area in the best way possible for locals, nature and visitors alike so that it becomes sustainable and benefits everyone. Beneficiaries of the project are local inhabitants, authorities, tourists, private entrepreneurs and NGOs. The plan is to develop four new eco tourism services over eleven months and establish the operation of six criteria based on the information and promotion of the destination in the next nineteen months and development of two ecotourism plans in Padurea Craiului over 10 months. This will lead to a superior tourism experience and enable the certification of five local products including the improvement of interpretation systems. In addition, there will be development of two functional participatory frameworks for destination management and financing over the next ten months and as a result there will be: - two mountain bike rental business, five designated mountain bike routes, two interpretation infrastructures, a museum, a visitor centre, one interpretation plan, one ecotourism development concept and one local event. Included in the project will be promotional materials such as brochures, ecotourism maps, monographs, a new web page, participation at two eco tourism fairs and one financial mechanism. Ethical Travel Portal is very happy to be part of this project.
Our role is to support and give feedback from an international tour operator’s point of view with the aim of promoting the destination. We will also give specific support during the implementation in some of the activities. By working together we will see this stunning area of natural beauty and cultural significance evolve into an eco tourism destination with structures that benefit the community, its custodians and its heritage.
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