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Datenbank der Projekte zur ländlichen Entwicklung

Invigorating rural heritage and tourism in UNESCO site Viscri

Summary

Thanks to the EU co-financing under EAFRD and support from local NGOs the Gligors family could develop a successful and sustainable rural tourism business which respects the heritage value of Viscri, a UNESCO cultural heritage and NATURA 2000 site.

Photo:

Background

The location of this rural tourism project is Viscri, a village within a Natura 2000 site. Viscri, a well-preserved Saxon village, has a UNESCO World Heritage Site church . Mihai and Raluca Grigor, from Bucharest, gave up upper management jobs to invest in this project, since they were attracted by the quality of life and the idea of owning and running a small business in one of the most beautiful farmed landscapes in Romania.

Objective

The Gligors' vision is to develop profitable tourism activities, so that rural heritage, as a tourism product of excellence, becomes a mean to support the rural community and traditional way of life. Their objective was to develop the Saxon farmhouses into an accommodation while remaining faithful to the traditional architecture and layout of the farmhouse, to provide small conference facilities and cooking experience for visitors.

Main activities

The Gligors bought and converted two guesthouses in Viscri,Transylvania, providing accommodation, high quality food products and tourism services for their guests. In 2011, their first year, dissemination activities were undertaken, namely: - a film unit from a UK travel programme, which featured the guesthouses on national TV in late 2011 - the regional conference for a major international conservation NGO, Fauna and Flora International (Eurasia regional conference).

Results & Benefits

Building work were completed in May 2011 and the official opening of the guesthouse was in June 2011. In this first year of operation main results were: - creation of 8 full-time jobs for local villagers - 40% occupancy between May-September 2011 - with Raluca and Mihai's help, Southern Transylvania was featured in a wildlife documentary called Wild Carpathia, funded by the European Nature Trust. - the guesthouse, called 'Viscri nr 125' is the host and casting scene of a new movie 'Casanova'.

Lessons learnt

This project shows that if capital costs can be covered with EU assistance, jobs for young people can be created, an important factor in relatively poor rural communities. However, sometimes national bureaucracy seemed excessive, and to be over and above EU requirements. This particular conversion is sympathetic to its surroundings and local traditions, but this was not a requirement under measure 313, while it should be, the Gligors suggested.

Project location and other information

Viscri, Brasov County, Transylvania, Romania

Region

Centru

RDP Territory

Romania

Total project cost (€)

400 000

EAFRD contribution (€)

200 000

Private contribution (€)

200 000

Project website

Contact name

Mihai Grigore

Telephone

+40723579489

Languages for contact

English, French, Romanian

At a glance

Country

Romania

Final beneficiary type

Non-farm or non-forest entreprises

Budget range

€100 000 - €500 000

Start date:

01/05/2010

End Date:

31/05/2012

Theme / Measure:

• Rural Quality of Life & Economic Diversification
• Rural economic diversification
• 313. Encouragement of tourism activities

Keywords:

Rural heritage, Rural tourism, Eco-tourism, Natura 2000, Farm buildings

Last update

20/08/2012