RESITA – The absence of guides in tourism is, besides the poor services and infrastructure, one of the reasons for which we have no organized tourism. The Association Danube Moldova Noua is trying to train them.

The year started with high hopes for those who are thinking about the future of tourism the mountainous Banat, the first step being the initiation of young people through a theoretical and practical program. A first theoretical course was held last weekend at the headquarters of the Association Danube  Moldova Nouă, and the selected students showed a great interest in this profession.

The President of the Association, Corneliu Martin, visited us at the editorial office and gave us more details about this program, as well as about other projects:

“The initiative belongs to us, but it is materialized with the support of the City Hall. Volunteers from the Danube Gorge Technological High School are trained by us for future groups of tourists. The children are between 14 and 16 years old and will be accompanied by a certified tour guide from the travel agencies. We will work with guides from the National Center for Tourism Promotion and Information Moldova Noua, we also have a guide from Laufen – Germany and I also have this tour guide certificate. Volunteers studied the tourist routes, but did not see them very much. That is why we will go hiking this Sunday, and the practical lesson is to tell what they learned about the ”Hole with Fly” Cave, for example, about Baba Caia or the lakes of Berzasca. In this way they will be trained, and at the age of 18 we could use them as tour guides.”

One reality that clearly disadvantages us in attracting tourist groups is that the area does not have guides, as the President of the Association pointed out:

“We have only two, three certified guides, which is why neither organized groups come, only private groups, that is, people they come with the family, with their personal car, with a map, they are also informed at the Tourist Information Center, but there is too little information that interests them. It is different story if the tourist bus comes to this center, where there are guides available. We are also working with the travel agencies in Timisoara, together with which, two years ago, I brought about six, seven buses in the form of organized tourism system in the Danube Gorge, but it was deployed within a project, so there were funds available. There were only two guides, me and someone else, but it is very hard, which is why we have to have these children to watch over. We even have locals who do not know the area, the places where they live. We selected the volunteers, who formed groups of two people, each group learning a tourist route. We had eight students at this introductory course, accompanied by their teacher Victoria Cojocaru. The activity is coordinated by us, by the Association, with the guides we have from the Tourist Information Center, which we have affiliated with the Association. For them it is like a second job, but for now, they come voluntarily, until things will be better in the Danube Gorge. The present guides are Alina Simovici Artenie, Terezia Berghe from Laufen, Ioana Mariana Sporea and the teacher who coordinates the children, Victoria Cojocaru”.

The program is, in fact, a preparation for the day of February 15th, 2020, when the tourist routes will be discovered together with the volunteers, to mark the International Day of the Travel Guide, which is on February 21. It seems that there are even hopes for the establishment of a tourism class at the Danube Gorge Technological High School, perhaps this autumn, according to discussions with the representatives of the County School Inspectorate.

Regarding the forthcoming projects of the Association, Corneliu Martin says that in the first phase three organized groups will come to the Danube Gorge from Germany:

“During April – May, through connections with the tourism agent from Laufen, we will bring three groups of Germans to the Danube Gorge, in an organized system, with minibuses. We have already established the routes, the accommodation and all the events we will organize for the groups. We hope to repeat the same project in the fall, in order to continue to bring groups from Germany next year, because it is a bigger program.”

Another project that will probably continue this year is the creation camp, a painting camp that in 2019 ended with exhibitions in Timisoara, Resita and Moldova Noua. We also found out how the Baziaş 4 ferry can be used for attracting tourists to the area:

“I spoke with Mayor Torma in this regard,” explained the President of the Association Danube Moldova Nouă, but the ferry is not the focal point. We have to make some tourist packages to attract the tourists first in the Danube Gorge, to improve the services, and then to use our ferry, because nobody comes here to take him to heaven by ferry. There are also passes at Turnu-Severin, Naidăş, and Moravita, also there will be the bridge to Socol, so the idea is that we want to make a route, but not a linear one, because we want to surround the island of Ostrov. We will submit a project on Romania – Serbia Programme, together with the City Hall, for Ostrov – Moldova Veche, with the beauties there, with a pontoon, in order to bring even larger cruise ships.”

In its 12th year of activity, the Association also hopes to be able to carry out a project that it is currently a working proposal, in partnership with other environmental NGOs from Russia and Norway, financed by Norwegian funds.

JCS-Alexandra Gorghiu

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