A few weeks ago, we kicked off our first ever Capacity Development Lab (CDL) action. Today we are happy to announce the first action under our Diaspora Professionals 4 Development (DP4D) mechanism, a heritage tourism initiative in Moldova supported by diaspora in Sweden.
In collaboration with the Museum of Ethnography and Natural History in Moldova, we have recruited two diaspora professionals based in Sweden to work on modernising the Țipova-Saharna landscape reserve, a beautiful tourist route two hours north of Chișinău that attracts over 35,000 tourists annually.
The Țipova-Saharna route, which is managed by the museum, is only one of many scenic gems in Moldova, a country with a rich cultural heritage and an ambitious plan to boost its tourism industry through heritage tourism.
Although just a budding sector in Moldova, heritage tourism is an established form of tourism elsewhere and refers to when visitors come to a region or country to immerse themselves in the culture and history of local communities. Visitors get to experience the places, artefacts and activities that reflect the richness of the site’s culture and history.
Țipova-Saharna has lots of potential for heritage tourism just waiting to be unlocked. In contrast to its immense natural beauty, the site lacks infrastructure and leisure and education facilities. It is under-marketed and has limited cultural management or interest from the local community to boost its potential.
The power of diaspora
To address these challenges, the museum has requested assistance from EUDiF’s DP4D mechanism to bring in support from Moldovan diaspora professionals based in Sweden. Romeo Cemirtan, Ph.D., and Viorica Olaru-Cemirtan, Ph.D. are both guest post-doctoral researchers at Uppsala University and have previously worked on cultural projects with the museum. They are tasked to share their knowledge and experience in heritage tourism based on the Swedish model and effectively adapt it to local needs and contexts. Romeo and Viorica’s emotional bond with Moldova, deep knowledge of the country’s culture, language skills, and access to both local communities and overseas networks put them in a unique position to successfully take on the task of unlocking Țipova-Saharna’s potential as a heritage tourism destination that will benefit the diaspora and the local communities.
Being diaspora professionals, having knowledge, skills and experience in cultural heritage, sustainable management, and intercultural communication, we expect the National Museum of Ethnography and Natural History to make the most of our expertise and, together with central and local stakeholders, foster heritage tourism development and entrepreneurship. – Viorica Olaru-Cemirtan, Ph.D.
Under this DP4D Action, Romeo and Viorica share their knowledge on heritage tourism and facilitate the development of heritage tourism entrepreneurship in Țipova-Saharna. They are making use of their valuable skills:
- To conduct on-site visits to assess the needs of Museum and jointly develop strategic documents for the modernisation of the route;
- To conduct knowledge transfer events that increase the organisational capacity of the museum to engage in heritage tourism, sustainable tourism and environmental protection;
- To conduct awareness raising activities with national authorities and local communities about the strategic importance and entrepreneurial potential of heritage tourism.
Through this Action, we leverage the Moldovan diaspora’s rich repertoire of skills, knowledge and experience as valuable resources for the museum and local communities to unlock the potential of heritage tourism in the country. Through the collaboration and knowledge exchange, the museum will enhance its organisational capacities to engage in sustainable tourism activities, including fundraising and cultural management practices. To find out how EUDiF is facilitating this knowledge transfer from the diaspora to local communities, see our step-by-step methodology:
Curious to hear more about this Action? Diana, our Capacity Development Specialist, will be presenting it at the Moldova Tourism Forum 2021 on Thursday, 27 May 2021. The event is public, free and available in English, Romanian and Russian – register now!
EUDiF greatly values the work of the diaspora and fairly compensates all assignments and deployments made under the DP4D mechanism. For more information about DP4D, click here.