Interview with Sergiu Manea, President, APIT Moldova
1. How have you APIT and Moldova adapted to survive the crisis during this challenging time?
Difficult times and crise give birth to new ideas and initiatives. Like many other countries, our local tourism industry was badly hit, in particular hospitality. APIT came to the aid of its members in a dialogue with the Government of the Republic of Moldova to solve the problems faced in tourism. APIT is National Association of Tourism Industry Patrons in Moldova. We believe our membership with ETOA we believe can help us in Tourism and Hospitality to recover more efficiently after Covid19. Learning from other members, hearing their successes and getting inspired to develop new relationships, and talking to more Operators about different options in Moldova. It is still an undiscovered destination.
2. What makes Moldova an interesting and unique destination to travel, what to expect from the trip?
Moldova is a small and uniquely charming country, tucked away between Romania and Ukraine and is one of the least visited countries in the world. It is the people that make Moldova special!
Each corner of Moldova has its own unique identity. In the south, you can find the Găgăuz, a lively people with their own culture, history, traditions, and of course, delicious cuisine. Travel just an hour from Chisinau in another direction and you will discover just how diverse our small country can be. If you cross the Dniester River to its left bank, you will find Transnistria, a territory where time has stood still. Visiting Transnistria can feel like you’ve travelled back to the USSR. Or, if you want to meet our Roma minority, journey to the north of Moldova, to Soroca. And, of course, who could forget the mighty Codrii forests in the heart of the country. But if you only do one thing when you come to see us, you should go to see the unique historical complex of Old Orhei.
Wine is the pride of the Moldovan people and it definitely helps us and our visitors to overcome the hardships! Every year, in October, we celebrate National Wine Day in our capital’s central square. How many countries have a national holiday dedicated just to wine? Our best winemakers welcome thousands of guests and surprise them with the incredible variety and quality of their wines. The sheer scale of National Wine Day is hard to imagine – with 150,000 visitors and more than 1000 types of wine to try, it’s easy to lose count! Special wine cellars, tens of kilometers long, and a collection of millions of bottles of wine, with some cellars included in the Guinness World Records. “Cricova” JSC, the pearl of Moldovan wine, represents a unique underground city well-known all over the world by its huge labyrinths with excellent wines. “Cricova” is the first winery in Moldova to make sparkling wine as it was prepared by the monk – wine maker Pierre Perignon. “Méthode Traditionnelle” is a complex process, consisting in secondary, in-bottle fermentation and the subsequent “cuvée” maturation.
3. How is the tourism and hospitality industry in Moldova preparing for 2021?
We have a full calendar of concerts, festivals, races and even a marathon. Every year, thousands of Moldovans participate in these events, and we are happy to share them with tourists and visitors: “Ethno Jazz” festival in autumn with folk and jazz musicians from around the world; “DescOpera”, a three-day summer opera festival, with spine-tingling performances in an open-air amphitheatre. In the depths of winter head to our underground wine cellars for either music, at “Underland Fest”, or do the 10km Wine Run. Whatever you choose, there is lots to enjoy and remember.
Whether it is the middle of the day or night, you can go for a carefree walk in a city or a trip to the countryside – Moldova is one of the safest countries in Europe. Moreover, affordable and fast mobile internet is available throughout Moldova. You can always connect to free Wi-Fi in our cafes, trolleybuses, and even in our green and tranquil city parks, so you can stay in touch, and share your impressions of Moldova making new friends and staying healthy, happy and inspired. Moldova will surprise and intrigue you at every turn, leaving you with unforgettable memories and unique stories to tell your friends.