Green Entrepreneurship 2 – Development of Ecotourism Destinations in Romania – a joint program of Romanian - American Foundation and Environmental Partnership Foundation
Program manager: Environmental Partnership Foundation
Funding partner: Romanian - American Foundation
Strategic partner: Association of Ecotourism in Romania
Budget: two grants from RAF, in a total amount of US$ 1,660,000 (US$ 1,100,000+ US$ 560,000 RAF contribution), US$ 53,000 REPF contribution and US$ 1,795,308 leveraged by REPF through ecotourism grants in targeted regions
Duration: 64 months (July 1st, 2014 – October 31st, 2019)
To enhance the establishment and consolidation of a country wide ecotourism network, that will contribute to local sustainable development and nature conservation.
An ecotourism destination is a micro-region with remarkable natural and cultural assets, where sustainable tourism can be conducted, offering integrated experiences with minimal environment impact, by aggregating a network of complementary ecotourism service providers under the same common marketing and development strategy. The destination needs to be “managed” by an entity, the Ecotourism Destination Management Unit – EDMU, that is entrusted by the community with delegated power to coordinate and implement the community plans.
• To enhance the setting up of the national network of ecotourism destinations that will meet the specific requirements established by the National Tourism Authority;
• To transform ecotourism in a strategic tourism product segment that will contribute to the sustainable development of at least 7 micro regions of Romania that are suitable for such kind of activities;
• To develop the needed management capacities at the level of at least 7 ecotourism destinations through the creation of Ecotourism Destination Management Units (EDMU).
- 7 functional and successful DMUs created;
- 554 local entrepreneurs (local service providers and producers) are benefitting from the activities of DMUs;
- 196 products and services gathered and promoted under the brand of the ecotourism destinations;
- 67 new ecotourism related start-up businesses established;
- 141 new jobs created thanks to the ecotourism destinations development;
- over 1000 appearances in the media about the destinations over the last five years;
- REPF succeeded to leverage more than US$ 1,79 million through the other programs that were/are administered by it;
- an increase of almost 70% in the number of tourists;
- a 50% increase of the average length of stay in the destinations;
- a 170% rise of the number of overnight stays;
- 4 destinations out of 7 officially certified as ecotourism destination by the Ministry of Tourism (Mara-Cosau, Hateg - Retezat, Tinutul Zimbrului and Tara Dornelor);
- A brochure, both in English and Romanian about the methodology, the process and the results of the Green Entrepreneurship 2 Program;
- 8 short presentation movies (5-7 min.), one about each destination and a separate one about the whole ecotourism network;
- A short promotional video clip about each of the destinations.
Locations of the ecotourism destinations developed in the framework of the program