Moldovan-Romanian partnership in tourism sector, joint development strategies. IPN debate

Tourism is currently considered, on a global scale, one of the most dynamic economic sectors, being, as figures show, the most profitable industry. About 170 countries set the development of this sector as a priority. The world list also includes Romania and the Republic of Moldova, two Romanian states that signed cooperation agreements with each other to develop tourism on both banks of the Prut. The focus will be on medical tourism, which has good indicators in both countries. The experts invited to IPN’s public debate “Moldovan-Romanian partnership in tourism sector, joint development strategies” discussed joint strategies for promoting tourist destinations in Romania and the Republic of Moldova on target markets, the establishment of joint cross-border tourist routes and tourism development objectives

According to state secretary of the Ministry of Culture Andrei Chistol, in the first quarter of 2024, tourism recovery worldwide is close to 100% compared to the situation in 2019, the reference year before the pandemic. Basically, there is large recovery, especially on particular destinations, such as those in Asia and on the European continent. The European destinations have potential. There are countries that invest a lot in promotion, in communication campaigns, in the development of tourism products, in improving tourism infrastructure.

The state secretary believes that, in the regional context, given the situation of insecurity in the region, but also considering the historical, cultural connections, common cultural heritage, it is important to promote Moldova and Romania as a common destination, in joint tourist packages, joint tourist offers, through a common tourist approach. At the same time, he noted that the element of insecurity existing on the border with Ukraine has particular disadvantages, of connection and credibility, and of safety. But they are working with foreign partners and development partners to improve the climate so that the Republic of Moldova becomes an authentic tourist destination.

Alexandru Constantin, president of the Romanian Medical Tourism Association, said that, for 15 years, their Association has tended to bring medical tourism to a level somewhat comparable to that of other countries, such as Hungary, Poland, or Turkey. This part of Europe has extremely high potential for particular medical services, which must be exploited with great care, namely in order to be able to reach the top in a few years. From the beginning he understood that in relation to the Republic of Moldova they cannot be competitors, but only partners and can develop together. The Republic of Moldova has a great advantage because, although it is at the beginning, it can follow examples and learn exactly from what others did, in terms of good practices. “Together with the Medical Tourism Association of Moldova, we already have a series of projects, those financed with European funds, and a project regarding the international accreditation of clinics and hospitals in the Republic of Moldova,” he stated.

According to Alexandru Constantin, if we do not work for these partnerships to be solid and to succeed in incorporating Romania and the Republic of Moldova as a destination in this part of Europe, more problems can arise and this is not what is wanted. There are many Romanian investors in the Republic of Moldova in the health sector, which is an additional incentive to develop this destination in Europe and benefit together.

Andrei Revenco, executive director of the Medical Tourism Association of Moldova, argued that Romania is not perceived as a competitor, but it rather goes to cooperation between the two states. This is because Moldova has services where the quality and price are better than in Romania and, vice versa, Romania has services, for example the spa sector, where Moldova can promote Romania. Romania can promote services from Moldova, such as dentistry or in vitro fertilization, plastic surgery and many other things.

According to Andrei Revenco, the Republic of Moldova is known as a tourist destination in terms of dental tourism, being a highly developed sector. Plastic surgery is also popular and Moldova has very good specialists here. In vitro fertilization is also an area in which medical tourism is successful. In vitro fertilization in the Republic of Moldova has a very high success rate, of over 50% nationwide, while some clinics have a success rate of over 50%. This is a great result and patients from abroad come and look for such clinics, where there is a very high success rate. At the same time, Moldova offers a very good price/quality ratio.

The public debate entitled “Moldovan-Romanian partnership in tourism sector, joint development strategies” was the seventh edition of the project “Double integration through cooperation and information. Continuity”, which is funded by the Department for Relations with the Republic of Moldova. The content of this debate does not represent the official position of the Department for Relations with the Republic of Moldova.

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