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Tourism Can Contribute to the
Development of National Economy

It is widely recognized that tourism is an important factor that can contribute to the development of market-oriented economy. It can be stated that tourism is directly linked with the cultural, economic and intellectual potential of a country and the current statistical data show that tourism is defined as one of the most profitable and rapidly developing industries in the world. It is expected that in the early 21st century the number of tourists will increase dramatically and consequently the revenues from tourism will increase considerably.

In order to make tourist services more efficient and more accessible to the population, and to increase the inflow of money from tourism to the state budget, a strategy of development of tourism in Moldova up to the year 2015 has been worked out and is going to be submitted to the Government for consideration in the nearest future. The strategy has provisions that protect the rights and interests of tourists and it sets forth the duties and responsibilities of tourist companies. The strategy stipulates requirements that companies must meet in order to start working in the sphere of tourist business. The strategy is aimed at creating favorable and equal conditions for the development of both incoming and outgoing tourism. The data from the National Tourism Agency show that 90% of the total number of tourist companies operating in Moldova deal with outgoing tourism. However, Moldova should be more interested in developing and promoting incoming tourism for a very simple reason: incoming tourists bring in their money, spent it in Moldova, and take away the impressions, whereas outgoing tourists take hard currencies out of Moldova and spend their money abroad.

Work on the creation of the new tourist infrastructure is going on and when it is completed tourist services will be considerably improved. New hotels and tourist facilities are being built and some of the existing hotels and tourist complexes are being renovated. New itineraries are offered to foreign tourists as well as booklets and brochures in foreign languages that will help them choose destinations and places they want to visit.

An international tourist fair, now annually held in February in Chisinau, is very helpful in establishing cooperation in tourist business between Moldovan and foreign tourist companies, and active participation of Moldovan tourist companies at international tourist fairs, held abroad, serves the same purpose. Over 80 Moldovan and foreign tourist companies from Romania, Ukraine, Russia, Greece, Cyprus, Malta, Austria, Czechia, Slovakia and Turkey took part in the work of the fair, numerous conferences and other tourist business events organized this year at Moldexpo.

International tourism is growing at a fast pace and Moldova could and should become a tourist country. It has a vast tourist potential, excellent geographical and climatic conditions, historical and cultural heritage, human and material resources. We can look upon tourism from two main angles. First of all, tourism occupies an important place in the spiritual renaissance of the nation. One should agree with a statement that knowledge of history and culture of your native land, of its places of interest and of its prominent figures, of its traditions and customs is a powerful factor in forming a personality, imbuing this personality with lofty feelings of social responsibility, of raising this personalityís intellectual level. No less important is the fact that tourism is one of those industries in which one can, if one establishes a proper way of doing things, achieve quick and important results which will contribute to a general economic revival. The experience of the countries, which have become the recognized world leaders in tourist business, is a convincing proof of that. One should also bear in mind quite a pronounced social importance of tourism. Take, for example, creation of new jobs. In tourism many new jobs can be created, and providing services for tourists creates jobs in other tourist-related industries as well.

Letís join efforts to boost tourism in Moldova to new heights, to make it possible for our children and our grandchildren, already in the 21st century, to travel and see many exciting places and treasures of the planet Earth.

By Vlada Popushoi

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