RDP project database
Invigorating rural heritage and tourism in UNESCO site Viscri
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.
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.
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.
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'.
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
Total project cost (€)
EAFRD contribution (€)
Private contribution (€)
Languages for contact
English, French, Romanian
At a glance
Final beneficiary type
Non-farm or non-forest entreprises
€100 000 - €500 000
Theme / Measure:
Rural Quality of Life & Economic Diversification
Rural economic diversification
313. Encouragement of tourism activities
Rural heritage, Rural tourism, Eco-tourism, Natura 2000, Farm buildings