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EU4Moldova: Startup City Cahul launched the first Tourism Accelerator in Moldova to support the digitalisation of tourism businesses

The Cahul region is one of the most visited tourist areas in the Republic of Moldova and offers guests from the country and abroad numerous natural, anthropological, ethnographic and recreational resources. In order to fully highlight the tourism potential of the region, EU4Moldova: Startup City Cahul launched the first Tourism Accelerator in Moldova, in which 15 guesthouse and hotel owners from Cahul participated. They founded the website, a joint online platform of guesthouses in the south of the country, which will facilitate the choice of accommodation for tourists. At the same time, the participants of the Tourism Accelerator created a concept of an annual event to promote tourism in the Cahul region. 

The south of the Republic of Moldova surprises with attractive places, where the beauty of nature and millennial traditions intertwine to offer visitors an authentic experience. The Museum of Bread from Văleni village, the hundred-year-old oak trees from Doina village, Traian’s Wall, the Golden Hills and Petru Rareș’s Road from Văleni village, numerous churches, monuments, wineries and recreational areas are just some of the attractions on the map of the Cahul region.

Also here is the Lower Prut scientific reserve, registered in the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves. Beleu Lake, the largest natural lake in Moldova, is also part of the reserve.

Digital technologies are able to promote these unique destinations on a large scale. Aware of this, the owners of guesthouses and hotels in Cahul make efforts to use innovative tools for the benefit of their own businesses.

As part of the first Tourism Accelerator in Moldova, they took part in thematic workshops, created pages on social networks, had audits and recommendations, external mentoring from experts, as well as professional photo sessions of hotels and pensions.

One of the participants in the programme is Ana Capraru, the owner of the “La Cotihana” recreation guesthouse. Located near the town of Cahul, it offers tourists seven gazebos and a wooden house, all decorated in a traditional style.

One of the attractions of the guesthouse is the wooden hot tub, in which the water is heated by means of fireplace, fed with wood through the upper part, providing hot water for guests who want to relax, especially in the cold season of the year.

Due to the accelerator, 13 participants have diversified their offers, four participants have adjusted their prices and six participants are in the process of integrating online payment methods.

The tourism accelerator put my ideas in order, because I collaborated with tourism and marketing experts and because it united us on one platform. We are not competitors, but partners. We offer tourists the opportunity to choose, according to their preferences, the services they want to benefit from, starting from the type of accommodation, meals, but also the activity they want to practice. Thanks to the accelerator, we as service providers have become much more competitive and motivated to improve services, exchange experience with other guesthouses and, at the same time, accommodate a large group of tourists“, said Neagu Lorina, the founder of the “Potcoava Verde” agricultural pension from Slobozia Mare village.

Along with the owners of guesthouses and hotels, representatives of a balneary sanatorium in the region also participated in the accelerator.

At first glance, it seems that we have nothing to do with tourism, because our patients come for balneary procedures, but the today’s patient becomes the tomorrow’s tourist, being interested in beautiful places outside the territory. Thus, thanks to the Tourism Accelerator, we formed potential partners, we benefited from many informative workshops, tourist visits, workshops with experienced people, who explained to us techniques for attracting visitors, methods of promotion and digital marketing“, said Natalia Munteanu, representative of the “Nufărul Alb” Sanatorium from Cahul.

The official opening of the programme took place on September 7. In the Republic of Moldova, the Tourism Accelerator for the Cahul region is the first of its kind, being a programme that contributes to the development of the region, offering innovative solutions that can help overcome the difficulties in the sector and increase the regional potential.

XY Accelerator V was carried out by XY Partners within EU4Moldova: Startup City Cahul, a project implemented by ATIC and financed by the European Union in partnership with the Embassy of Sweden.