Ecotourism in Romania - from concept and EETLS to regional sustainable development
Ecotourism in Romania - from concept and EETLS
to regional sustainable development
The Association of Ecotourism in Romania
Established in 2003AER has achieved a partnership for nature conservation
and tourism between the tourist industry (tour-operatours, guesthouses) and
organisations acting in nature conservation (NGOs, protected areas, local
authorites, consultants, local individuals).
52 members & 4 partners:
• 3/5 privat sector (e.g. tur-operatours, guesthouses, guides);
• 1/5 entities based on nature conservation (e.g. NGOs likeWWF, CAPDD
Bihor, Mioritics Association, ADEPT Foundation etc.)
I am going to talk about...
1. Concepts: ecotourism and
2. Romanian case study:
Ecotourism: major components
• Contributes to biodiversity conservation
• Contains interpretative and educational features
• Implies responsible tourist behavior
• Low environmental impact
• Local participation, ownership
• Performed by small locally owned enterprises
• Sustains the well-being of local people situated in the rural area, close to a
A Slow Down experience!
“Slow down” concept tuned for ecotourism destination
• More days spent in a destination by less people!
• Wise money spending by guests on local services !
• Quality time through a learning nature and culture experience!
• More local beneficiaries out of tourism in the destination!
Responsible product and destination management are adapted to the targeted
The protected area becomes the core value of the destination
in marketing and “slowing down” experiences!
Ecotourism criteria in Europe and Romania
Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC)
European EcoTourism Labeling Standard (EETLS)
National Tourism Authority
Micro-regions in the process of becoming ecotourism destinations
Tarnava Mare Hartibaciu
The protected area and the
(surrounding) local communities that
adopted a responsible and integrated
local policy based on ecotourism
Developing the concept and criteria for ecotourism destination in
A clearly defined micro-region that has at least one protected area;
A minimum set of tourism services (e.g. 50 beds, medical care, bank, etc.);
The existence of a DMO managed by the partnership between the administration
of the protected area, business sector and local authorities;
A responsible approach towards the environmental ,social and cultural
components of the destination;
The existence of a critical mass of green businesses;
Good premises for visitors’ satisfaction with a high quality information and
A holistic image of the destination that integrates the images of the protected
area and that of the local communities.
Criteria and destination evaluation
• Developed and implemented by the partnership among National
Tourism Authority, National Research and Development
Institute, Environment Ministry and AER. Criteria:
2. Destination management;
3. Maximise social and economic benefits to local
communities and minimise negative impacts;
4. Maximise benefits to cultural heritage and minimise
5. Maximise benefits to the environment and minimise
Ecotourism destinations evaluation process
• First three micro-regions entered the evaluation process to be
officially recognized as ecotourism destinations;
• Six more regions are on the waiting list for evaluation;
• National Tourism Authority and AER are preparing a set of
marketing opportunities for these destinations.
Eco-Romania Certification System
• Established in 2006;
• Addresses to 2 categories of applicants:
• Tours provided by tour-operators (max. 15 participants);
• Small-scale accommodation facilities in rural & natural
areas (max. 25 rooms);
What’s in & the future?
Discover Eco-Romania forZenith Map Collection for destinations
•Sighisoara – Tarnava Mare
• Agreement on the ecotourism destination concept? •Postavaru – Poiana Brasov
•Tara Hategului – Retezat
• A common European platform for (developing &) •Valea Ariesului
•Zona Piatra Craiului
the ecotourism destinations and their related responsible
•Baile Tusnad and the
Ecotourism in Europe
A Slow Down experience
related with responsible, small scale
products in the micro-regions of
Thank you for your attention!
The Association of Ecotourism in Romania