Moldova has taken an important step in its commitment to sustainable tourism through a recent partnership with the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC).
An important component will be to promote the implementation of the GSTC Criteria to ensure that Moldova’s tourism sector is aligned with the industry’s highest global standards for sustainable tourism. This commitment was confirmed through signing a Partnership Agreement between the Moldovan Ministry of Culture, the government authority responsible for the tourism sector, and GSTC. This Partnership Agreement establishes a cooperation framework for developing a sustainable tourism industry in Moldova.
Moldova has significant potential to develop as a sustainable tourism destination. Recent investments and developments in the country’s wine and rural tourism have resulted in a range of new tourism products that highlight Moldova’s unique cultural, culinary, wine and adventure travel strengths. Moldova’s tourism strategy has been to conserve the country’s authentic culture and develop tourism in rural communities, thereby providing a strong foundation already in sustainability.
GSTC’s CEO Randy Durband stated, “The sustainability commitment signed in Moldova will be supported by the cooperation of the public and private sectors to develop sustainable management directions that would be applicable to various forms of tourism. The Moldovan tourism industry will benefit from GSTC’s expertise and assistance, to achieve an appropriate balance in the development of the sector and to guarantee its long-term sustainability.”
Furthermore, the Minister of Culture of the Republic of Moldova, Sergiu Prodan, added: “Moldova is an emerging tourism destination that has been dramatically impacted by the pandemic and the war in the region. The resilience paradigm, along with the development and recovery model, can only be based on the principles of sustainable development through a commitment to protect and enhance the environment and cultural heritage while maximizing social and economic benefits for the local communities.”
The Moldovan tourism industry, through adhering to GSTC’s globally recognized sustainability standards, encourages tourism businesses, government authorities, and destinations to embrace sustainability. According to the UN World Tourism Organization, this means operating “to take full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities.”
As a further sign of Moldova’s commitment to becoming a sustainable destination, the National Inbound and Domestic Tourism Association of Moldova (ANTRIM) that represents the private sector in tourism recently became a member of GSTC. They will work together with the public and private sectors to support and educate Moldova’s tourism businesses, government authorities and destinations about the importance of sustainability and advocate for development of sustainable tourism products.