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The tourist offer of the Republic of Moldova for those who visit the country includes a tour of well-known wineries and cellars, gastronomy and traditions. Director of the Tourism Agency of Moldova Stanislav Rusu has told IPN that besides the traditional offer, there is also the tourism sector of the Transnistrian region, where the Soviet culture was kept and can be “touched”.
“The most popular offers are those that include trips to wineries and cellars that are very popular abroad, such as the cellars of Milestii Mici, which were included in the Guinness World Records Book, and the Cricova cellars whose file is being prepared for seeking inclusion in the UNESCO Heritage. The wine tourism is interesting because it is unique by its infrastructure,” stated Stanislav Rusu.
The tourist offer based on the wine tourism easily turns into the gastronomic offer. The national cuisine is highly appreciated by foreign tourists as it is very diverse, delicious and, what is the most important, contains authentic products with an authentic taste. It is based on the same meat, cornmeal porridge, tomatoes, etc. “Some pensions said that during six years they have had loyal guests from France who come only with the aim of finding inner peace and relishing the authentic taste of tomatoes that cannot be found in markets in France,” said the Agency’s director. He added that among the Moldovan traditions popular with foreigners are also the round dance and other folk dances.
The Moldovan tourist offer also includes trips to heritage sitess, such as the cave monasteries, combined with ecotourism, namely the natural reserves. The given offer is popular with tourists from Japan. The Soroca fortress, together with the Roma Hill and the local traditions and culture, enjoys widespread popularity now. A foreign tourist usually comes to Moldova for three or four days.
There are also tourists who prefer to independently decide the itinerary of their trip through the country. These do not come to visit particular tourist attractions. They break stereotypes as they come to interact with people and learn their stories. “We try to be standardized in offers. If we have a museum, we spend several million lei and repair it and wait for tourists there. But these look for something else, more original. We often do not know what goal is pursued by a tourist – to see a museum or to be witness to a life story,” noted Stanislav Rusu.
The school and university students make up the basis of internal tourism. These visit mainly the Eiffel Bridge in Ungheni, which unites Moldova and Romania, Naslavcea, the area near the Prut and other places. The events staged all over the country, such as festivals, national holidays and events to promote the national costumes also create flows of tourists, including foreign ones.
Five years ago, the foreign tourists paid over €1,000 per person for a tourist package in Moldova, mainly owing to the expensive plane tickets. Now that there are more direct flights, the price fell to €400-500. In the course of 2016, foreigners made 3.4 million visits to Moldova.
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