An analysis of the tourist potential of Causeni district, identification of the distinguishable characteristics of the area and new development opportunities in the tourist market was undertaken by Mihaela Taranu, tourism expert and intern with the Mayors for Economic Growth Initiative (M4EG).
The visit aimed to identify the tourism potential of the region, the role of actors, services and products that exist or that can be developed. As a result, the expert came up with recommendations in creating the offer and tourist image of the destination, taking into account the actions of the Local Economic Development Plan of the city and of the district.
Together with Causeni City Hall and District Council representatives, and with the help of local stakeholders in the tourism sector, Mihaela explored the city of Causeni and the surrounding rural areas, such as the villages of Zaim, Salcuta, Copanca, Leuntea, Gradinita, Opaci, Cirnateni, and Hagimus for several days. This area is defined by religious, wine and cultural tourism, with potential to develop the rural tourism (agro tourism), nature (ecological, adventure tourism) and industrial tourism.
The specialists identified one component of the Ramsar Zone “Lower Dniester”, specialised handicraft in woodcarving in Copanca village, the Assumption Church from Causeni, Gogu Winery, one tourist complex (with lake, gazeboes, tourist houses, vineyards, orchards, and a stable for animals and poultry), Ethnography and History Museum of Causeni, Monastery Marta and Maria, the ”Alexei Mateevici” Museum-house from Zaim village, the ”Ioan Zlotea Monk” museum complex, Salcuta Winery, etc.
Both the city and the district consider tourism one of the development priorities, also mentioned in their Local Economic Development Plans. The local authorities, together with the M4EG intern, examined several ideas to develop forms of tourism that are existent or have a high potential for development. They also plan to create some tourism routes for hiking, to organise locally-specific festivals, to elaborate promotional materials, and have a website related to tourist destinations and services in Causeni district.
Mihaela Taranu, the M4EG intern, took similar visits to Criva, Selemet and Lalova municipalities in order to talk to local actors and identify the tourism potential at the local level. All visits concluded with an analysis of the destination that includes: (1) the current situation (the assessment of the tourism potential, unique selling points, current market, stakeholders in the region and their role); (2) the development analysis (developments, target markets, forms of tourism that can be developed and the preferable scenarios based on the conducted interviews); and (3) recommendations on how to achieve the preferable future. The analysis is in the form of a document that is handed over to local public authorities, based on which they can further implement their actions from the Local Economic Development Plans.
Lilian Danilov, Country Coordinator for Moldova