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Tourism

Inbound tourism in the Republic of Moldova, facts and figures

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Since January to September 2019, 15 695 foreign tourists visited Moldova and used the services of local travel agencies, according to the National Bureau of Statistics of Moldova (NBS), the number of such tourists being by 4.2% more as compared to the same period in 2018.

Out of about 15.7 thousand foreign foreign tourists and visitors who benefited from the services of local travel agencies, 86.1% arrived for rest, recreation and leisure purposes, 11% for business and professional purposes and 2.9% for medical purposes. The top 10 countries of origin of the tourists who came to Moldova were as following:

  1. Austria (2 401 visitors);
  2. Romania (2 291 visitors);
  3. Germany (1 287 visitors);
  4. Ukraine (1 099 visitors);
  5. Russia (1 067 visitors);
  6. Poland (926 visitors);
  7. The United Kingdom and Northern Ireland (800 visitors);
  8. China (643 visitors);
  9. Italy (455 visitors);
  10. The United States of America (424 visitors).

On the other hand, the accommodation infrastructure of the Republic of Moldova recorded a much higher number of foreign tourists who visited the country (that meaning the tourists either used the services of their own countries’ travel agencies or organised their visits on their own).
Therefore, the NBS informed that between January and September 2019 the accommodation units from Moldova (hotels, motels, guest houses, villas and holiday camps) were attended by 130.3 thousand non-resident tourists (that representing 43.4% of the total number of recorded tourists). In 2019, the number of foreign tourists accommodated in Moldova increased by 3.5% as compared to the same period in 2018. Most of them came from the following 10 countries:

  1. Romania (33 877 visitors);
  2. Ukraine (16 026 visitors);
  3. Russia (11 075 visitors);
  4. The United States (7 687 visitors);
  5. Germany (6 124 visitors);
  6. Italy (5 342 visitors);
  7. Turkey (5 082 visitors);
  8. Poland (5 082 visitors);
  9. The United Kingdom and Northern Ireland (3 779 visitors)
  10. Israel (3 388 visitors).

Overall, the trends of the incoming tourism in Moldova are positive, as the number of tourists who visited the country and stayed at the accommodation units increased from 68 829 recorded tourists in 2004 to 160 233 tourists in 2018.

source: statbank.statistica.md/

The highest share is represented by the tourists coming from European countries – 96 592 persons in 2018 as compared to 30 391 persons in 2004, and the tourists coming from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) – 37 674 tourists in 2018 as compared to 19 894 tourists in 2004.

source: statbank.statistica.md/

Photo: pandatur.md

Tourism

Six countryside guesthouses from Moldova that are worth visiting

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Rural tourism is very popular nowadays. It is practised even in such small countries as Moldova, where one can travel and stay in a traditional style guesthouse or inn. They usually offer accommodation services, restaurants, spa, swimming pools, rent a bike, excursions’ services, etc.

Six of countryside guesthouses from the Republic of Moldova have been certified and became a part of the common CerTour network formed of 12 countries in the Black Sea and the Mediterranean areas. Here are the guesthouses:

1. Eco Resort Butuceni

source: pensiuneabutuceni.md

The inn is located in a picturesque place in Butuceni village, being classified as a 3-star guesthouse. The interior and exterior decoration of the buildings is adapted to the rustic style. In 2004, first houses were purchased, which were restored, refurbished and opened for accommodation in 2007. Nowadays, there is also a spa centre, a craft centre, conference rooms, swimming pools, a pond for fishing and a concert space.

source: pensiuneabutuceni.md

The houses have specific architectural elements of the Old Orhei ethnographic area. Thus, some houses contain local elements of decoration, local crafts, furniture, fabrics and everyday items with a great cultural value. The natural drinks and local dishes are served in clay dishes, being prepared using natural ingredients from old traditional recipes.

2. Casa din Luncă

source: casadinlunca.com

The guesthouse was built by the Benzing family in May 2002, in the village of Trebujeni near Old Orhei. It was the first guesthouse of its kind in the Republic of Moldova.

It is classified, according to national standards, as a 3-star guesthouse and consists of two courtyard houses. The area in the yards includes three pavilions, a playground, swings, a swimming pool and a Russian sauna.

source: casadinlunca.com

The guesthouse is an ecological residence, choosing to reduce all types of pollution (chemical, biological, visual, olfactory or sound ones). The efficient use of energy resources is a priority for the staff and clients. Hot water is obtained by using batteries to accumulate solar energy. The heating of the rooms is ensured by the heating system with wood and biomass. The illumination of the territory is mainly done with solar lamps. The guesthouse has an ecological container for the collection of household waste, located in a specially designed space. There is also an autonomous system for capturing and evacuating rainwater.

3. Casa Verde

One of the pioneers in the field of rural tourism was the guest house “Casa Verde”  built in 2001. It is a complex of 3 traditional houses where such traditions as painting Easter eggs is preserved and promoted. This craft is practised by several women from Trebujeni.

The guest house also includes a restaurant where a wide range of fresh, traditional, authentic food can be served or even prepared by visitors, along with non-alcoholic beverages (fresh compote, juices, herbal tea), as well as alcoholic beverages (homemade wines, brandy, sour cherries liquor).

4. Vila Roz

source: vilaroz.com

The countryside guest house was opened in 2011, in Trebujeni, after the reconstruction of the owner’s parent house. The guesthouses’s doors are open all year long, offering accommodation services in two buildings. The terrace is decorated with Moldovan carpets, table covers and other decor elements made by local craftsmen.

The guest house’s kitchen is specialised in traditional dishes, prepared from vegetables grown in the own garden and bought from local farmers. The most famous local dishes are the biscuits in the form of roses and the home-made roses jam.

source: vilaroz.com

5. Fata Morgana

source: fatamorgana.md

The inn is located in Molovata village, Dubasari district. It was opened for visitors in 2012 and accommodates them during the warm season of the year, as well as during the winter holidays. It was designed and built in accordance with local architectural traditions, using traditional materials: stone, wood, clay and reed.

The complex is formed of a big house and small bungalows for relaxation and fishing, as well as a summer terrace and the wine cellar that are decorated with traditional elements such as clay pots, traditional towels, wagon wheels, etc.

The menu of the local restaurant includes traditional dishes like crabs boiled in butter, accompanied by homemade wine and cvas.

6. Hanul lui Hanganu

source: hanulhanganu.md

The guesthouse is located in Lalova, Rezina district. It started its activity in 2006, offering, at that time, accommodation services in two rooms, meal and leisure. Now it represents a set of rooms built in rustic style: walls of clay, roof covered with ceramic tiles, furniture made of natural wood and woollen carpets.

source: hanulhanganu.md

The general objective of the CerTour project is to promote rural tourism in the partner regions and to improve the quality of the offered services by introducing a common quality standard and a certification process. The guesthouses receive certification for a number of criteria: proximity to cities, security, traditional products for sale, sustainable use of natural resources, minimal impact on the environment and others.

Information source: the catalogue of certified guesthouses in the Republic of Moldova

This text is a translation. The original article can be found here.

Photo: pensiuneabutuceni.md

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Culture

A building from Chișinău was declared “the ugliest building in the world”

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The “Romanița” building in the center of the Moldovan capital has been named by the French journalists as “the ugliest building in the world” in a documentary produced by Arte TV. The film is part of a French project that talks about socialist buildings, which are now abandoned.

This disappointed the artist from Moldova Tatiana Fiodorova, who appears as the protagonist in the documentary film and afterwards filed a complaint against the French channel Arte.TV.  “The documentary is more like an anti-communist horror movie than a research film. They cut and pasted the sequences in such a way that it changed the meaning of the words I said during the interview,” claimed the artist. Shortly after, Arte.TV renamed the documentary to “Moldova: The Colossal Communist Tower”.

Source: noi.md

The “Romanița” building has a height of about 73 meters, being the second tallest building in Chișinău. It has 22 floors, out of which 16 are inhabited by over 300 residents. A few years ago, this building attracted the attention of a team of Polish designers who made a selection of constructions from Eastern European countries that deserve attention, and which in time would degrade if no one intervenes.

In 2009, “Romanița” inspired Tatiana Fiodorova to realise an art project where she presented the uniqueness of this construction and the need to keep it. In this regard, she was contacted by several French journalists from Arte.TV who proposed to talk about the project and about the history of this building. “The filming for the documentary took 2 days. I talked about the project and how we collaborated with the locals, to give this building a new chance. The film’s producers asked me to invite some locals I told about. Some of them accepted. Now, the meaning of their message was transformed into a political one, although during the filming there was no ideological context, ” argued the artist.

Photo: noi.md

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Culture

5 family-owned wineries and their internationally awarded wines that could offer exclusive experience

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People who already had a chance to visit Moldova surely visited at least one of the most famous wineries of the country: Cricova, Purcari, Chateau Vartely, Mileștii Mici, Asconi or maybe Castel Mimi. Beside big and popular wineries, which produce a wide range of wines for import and export, there are also small, family-owned vineyards attached to wisely engineered wineries that deliver unique products, beloved and awarded internationally, and that are even more interesting to be discovered. So prepare a notebook and take some notes.

Fautor

The Fautor winery, belonging to Lipcan family, was founded at the end of the 20th century. The winemaker’s talent, advanced technologies, the unique area where the vineyards grow and the variety of produced wines are the main ingredients of the Fautor success story.
Both the winery and the plantations are located in the Tigheci microzone, being part of the Valul lui Traian area – a UNESCO protected wine-growing area in Southern Moldova where protected geographical indication (PGI) wines are obtained. The experts claim that this region’s environment is similar to those of the famous wine regions Bordeaux (France) and Piedmont (Italy).

Photo credit: Dumitru Brinzan

Fautor is one of the most awarded Moldovan wineries in the last years, having a unique portfolio of rare varieties and world exclusive blends, as the official page of the company states. The wine catalogue of Fautor includes a beautiful selection of wines, including their most internationally awarded varieties: Negre – a blend of Feteasca Neagra and Rara Neagra (red dry wine), Fumé Blanc – made of Sauvignion Blanc grape variety (white dry wine) and Illustro – a blend of Cabernet Sauvignion and Merlot (red dry wine).

Vinaria din Vale

Vinaria din Vale is one more family-owned winery (Davidești family) with deep roots in tradition and a great passion for excellence. It is another winery located in the Valul lui Traian area, the vineyards there having a favorable climate and fertile soils that ensure the personality and quality of grapes.

source: vinaria.md

Another important detail in their wine production is the maturation in oak barrels brought from France that offer soft taste and stunning aromas. The most appreciated wines of Vinaria din Vale are TraminerFeteasca Neagră (red dry wine), Rosé and their blend of Chardonnay and Fetească Albă (white dry wine).

Carpe Diem

For four generations, the Lucas family has been dedicated to crafting impressive wines that reflect the best of Moldovan terroir and local wine-making traditions, according to the official website of the winery.
Carpe Diem has a special story behind as in 1949 the family vineyards were nationalised and the whole family was deported to labour camps in Siberia. After severe years of deportation, a part of the family managed to return to wine-making. In 2011, the youngest generations of the family  presented for the first time the Carpe Diem wines.

source: carpediem.md

The harvesting on the 10,5 ha of vineyards located in the Codru region is done manually and begins in the late August, ending in the beginning of November.
Carpe Diem has gained  awards for their products at world-level contests. The most praised wines are Bad Boys, which is a blend of Feteasca Neagra and Saperavi (red dry wine), Breaking Red – a blend of Feteasca Neagra, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot (red dry wine) and Cuvee 19/11, which is a blend of Rara Neagra and Pinot Noir (red dry wine).

Gitana

Gitana winery is special because of its elegant wines that managed to preserve the personal identity of each variety of grapes in their flavor and structure, without much human intervention.  Thanks to the winery owners’ (Dulgher family) know-how and the specific of the region (Valul lui Traian) where the vineyards are located, Gitana was internationally recognised and won over time many awards in the specialised competitions. The most honoured with awards wines from Gitana are their Cabernet Sauvignon and Feteasca Regală varieties.

source: gitana.md

This winery marked a milestone in the rebirth of Moldovan wines when the Dulgher family purchased the “Tiganca” (tr. gipsy) wine factory in a deplorable state in 1999 and gave it a new life.

Novak

The family-owned winery Novak is a new look at the traditional wine-making, combining traditions and innovative technologies. As the majority of the described wineries, it is also located in the Valul lui Traian microzone.

The story of Novak winemaking dates back to the late 19th, being started by Emanuel Novak. Afterwards, the knowledge was transferred to his successors. The old-fashioned traditions served as a base for the today’s winery. At Novak winery both classic varieties (Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Malbec), traditional varieties (Rara Neagra, Feteasca Regala) and even some forgotten varieties of grapes (Alb de Onitcani, Floricica, Kaz Aya) are used in production. In such a way, in addition to the already well-known varieties of wines and blends, the Novak winery placed emphasis on the revival of the original Moldovan varieties, some of which, until recently, were forgotten or considered lost.  The Alb de Onițcani wine variety, for example, won the gold medal at Mundus Vini 2018 and other international contests.

source: novak.md

There are even more family-owned, worth mentioning wineries in Moldova, such as Gogu winery, Atu winery, Et cetera, Equinox, Kara Gani. They produce rich-flavoured wines and offer an unforgettable experience to their customers. Therefore, more is yet to come.

Photo: vinaria.md

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