The first Tourist Information Center (TIC) was launched today in Chisinau. All those who would like to spend their holidays in any corner of the Republic of Moldova may arrange all details of their stay. The Center provides information about events, boarding facilities, tours and itineraries to all visitors. Moreover, using virtual reality technology, tourists will “walk through” several touristic attractions before deciding upon what to visit.
The Chisinau Tourist Information Center was established with the financial support of the European Union under the “Support to Confidence Building Measures” Programme implemented by the UNDP, as well as the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Government of Sweden through its Competitiveness Project in Moldova.
The TIC is located in the heart of the capital city, at the ground floor of the city hall building. The tourists will also receive here information about the touristic destinations from the left side of the Nistru River.
“Moldovan touristic offer is ONE for both banks of the river. Indeed, a majority of tourists coming for leisure, when visiting Chisinau, pay a visit to Tiraspol. With this Tourist Information Center, the touristic sector is again a very concrete example of how both sides of the river can find common economic interest and advantage to create direct cooperation”, said Marco Gemmer, Deputy Head of Operations Section at the EU Delegation to the Republic of Moldova.
The establishment of the Centre was possible thanks to investments of 1.5 million MDL, out of which 235,000 MDL were provided by the European Union and 1.3 million MDL by the Competitiveness Project in Moldova.
“The USA Government has been supporting the tourism sector of the Republic of Moldova for over five years, and the launch of the Tourist Information Center in Chisinau will replenish the touristic ecosystem and will cover the biggest need of the tourists – access to information. According to surveys, 71% of the tourists interviewed when exiting the country mentioned about lack of information as the biggest challenge they had when travelling in the Republic of Moldova”, stated James D. Pettit, US Ambassador in the Republic of Moldova.
Besides information materials, tourist guides, postcards and images, the Center will also host art exhibitions and wine tasting events.
“The Tourist Information Center will be visitors’ first stop and it is launched during the full implementation of the campaign “Be Our Guest”, which points out Moldovans’ hospitality – the most appreciated feature of the nation, as mentioned by tourists and noted by surveys”, noted Adam Amberg, counsellor, head of Development Cooperation of the Sweden embassy in the Republic of Moldova.
TIC will boost the developing of a regional and national network of tourist information centers. The Center was created within a cooperation platform between the National Association for Inbound Tourism in Moldova (ANTRIM) and the Regional Development Agency from Tiraspol, where an information unit for tourists already operates.
“The recently established cross-river tourism cooperation platform is one of the 8 business platforms of this type that are now being supported by programme. It has two tourist information centers - one recently opened in Tiraspol and the other one in Chisinau, is yet another milestone in the reconciliation journey, and this is truly commendable. By developing joint touristic routes across the river Nistru we will boost tourism, jobs creation and sustainable local development”, said Dafina Gercheva, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Moldova.
The Chisinau TIC will operate under the umbrella of ANTRIM and will serve as its office for organizing relevant meetings and events.
Natalia Turcanu, the ANTRIM executive director, emphasized: “It is important not only to increase the number of tourists, but also the duration of their stay in our country. The Tourist Information Center will facilitate access to useful information for all tourists”.
The tourism sector in the Republic of Moldova has a development potential and represents a key factor for social-economic progress, contributing to reducing poverty and migration. Currently the tourism sector contributes with 2%-3.5% to the GDP, together with its related industries. Last year, 3.2 million foreigners visited our country, which represents 20% more than in the previous year. In 2014, USAID launched the touristic brand of the country “Life Tree: Discover the Routes of Life” through which the foreigners are invited to “discover the unknown ".
The “Support to Confidence Building Measures” Programme, financed by the EU and implemented by the UNDP, contributes to enhancing confidence among the inhabitants of the both sides of the River Nistru by involving in joint projects the representatives of business environment, civil society and local leaders.
Contact for media: Natalia Turcanu, project coordinator, ANTRIM, 069287060, firstname.lastname@example.org