Wine Routes of Moldova awarded as a Sustainable Cultural Tourism Destination in 2020 by the European Cultural Tourism Network

Wine Routes of Moldova, the first tourist route from the Republic of Moldova, certified as a cultural-European route by the Council of Europe, has been awarded amongst the finalists of the “Destination of Sustainable Cultural Tourism Awards 2020” Competition, organized by the European Cultural Tourism Network (ECTN).

There were submitted 43 applications for the contest “Destination of Sustainable Cultural Tourism Awards 2020”, 15 of which were candidates in the category “Wine Tourism”, within the cultural-European route “Iter Vitis – Les Chemins de la Vigne” certified by the Council of Europe. Wine Routes of Moldova was selected amongst the finalists in the field of wine tourism, having the goal to promote a cultural and sustainable type of tourism. Amongst the award criteria were highlighted the complexity of the proposed project, its ability to strengthen the collaboration between multiple representatives of the working sector: such as wine producers, travel agencies, profile associations; also, the project should present innovative visions in regard to promoting touristic experiences and having a responsible attitude for the cultural, social and natural heritage of the country.

„Wine experience tourism is the basic pillar of the tourist offer of the Republic of Moldova, wine being a heritage, cultivated through the living legend and traditions. This industry has been substantially more dynamic over the previous period, which is indicated by the 70% increase in the number of travelers interested in immersions in the wine world, and the number of wineries with tourist capacity has tripled in the last five years. This distinction awarded for the “Wine Routes of Moldova” is a European recognition of the authenticity of the wine tourism offer, which honors us”, said Cristina Frolov, President of the National Inbound Tourism Association of Moldova (ANTRIM), the association that developed and accredited the Wine Routes of Moldova as a cultural-European route by the Council of Europe.

Since February 28, 2020, the Wine Routes of Moldova has been integrated into the “Iter Vitis – Les Chemins de la Vigne” route and promotes the diverse culture of the Republic of Moldova and its valuable heritage in the field of wine tourism, as a part of the cultural and rural tourism. The Wine Routes of Moldova, includes 7 unique wine and gastronomic itineraries, 30 visits to wineries, wine bars, dozens of cultural-tourist events, and numerous cultural, historical, and gastronomic experiences.

“On the eve of the National Wine Day of Moldova, we congratulate the dozens of wineries, agro-pensions, tour operators and associations in the field of the wine industry and tourism for a remarkable achievement of consolidation, partnership and collaborative development environment exemplified by the Wine Routes of Moldova, awarded on a European level. USAID provided technical assistance and grants for 38 wineries that have developed tourism facilities, thus boosting the economic circuit in the regions, which have benefited dozens of other small businesses, agro-pensions, rural houses, farms, etc. The destinations included in the “Wine Routes of Moldova” meet the standards of the cultural-European routes and impress with their authenticity and the promotion of sustainable tourism”, mentioned Scott Hocklander, head of the USAID mission in Moldova.

The opportunities used to highlight the culture and national specificities represent important factors in strengthening the visibility of the Republic of Moldova for tourists, but also for the local community. It can stimulate the spirit of national pride, resilience, and optimism for the sustainable development of Moldova in the international tourism arena.

The official awards ceremony, organized by the European Cultural Tourism Network and the Iter Vitis European Federation, will take place on October 22, online, where the finalists will have the opportunity to present new visions directed towards rehabilitating tourism focused on sustainable cultural tourism, outlined by the components of culture and history of wine tourism.

“Iter Vitis – Les Chemins de la Vigne” is the European-cultural wine tourism route that integrates the landscapes and wine heritage of 18 wine-producing states, having the goal to recognize, preserve, and promote it. The “Wine Routes of Moldova” represents the first route in the Republic of Moldova to be registered under the “Iter Vitis – Les Chemins de la Vigne”, this initiative being promoted by the National Inbound Tourism Association of Moldova (ANTRIM), with the support of the Moldova Competitiveness Project, funded by USAID, the Government of Sweden and the UK aid.

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