Boosting tourist activity in the city of seven hills, inviting the visitors to discover and explore seven thematic routes that define the identity of Iasi.
The initiative comes from the need to find solutions to some of Iasi city's deficiencies in identity and tourist experience.
The idea was to design thematic routes with the purpose of improving overall tourist experience in Iasi Municipality, Romania.
The involvement of all Iasi tourism stakeholders was essential, as directors of public institutions, hotel managers and incoming travel agents or tourism research scientists are the ones who know the most challenges facing the city and are most interested in creating a solution.
The collaboration among all these actors has, in general, provided for the identification of the defining elements of the tourist routes and subsequently finding ideal methods and means of capitalizing and valorising these elements, benefitting both the city's image and the visitor’s experience.
Starting from the question "What are the characteristics that make Iasi a unique destination?", the team identified 7 major themes expressing 7 distinct sides of Iasi. These were developed into 7 thematic touristic routes connecting buildings and locations important to specific cultural aspects or historic periods: Union Route, Art Route, Communism Route, Jewish Route, Pilgrim Route, Romantic Route and Active Route.
Beneficiaries are local, regional and national authorities, educational and research institutions, students, teachers and researchers, non-governmental organisations, small and medium-sized enterprises, and visitors to Iasi.
45,000 € grant from Norway through the Norway Grants.
Evidence of success
A group of 18 volunteers were gathered in a team named IasiTravel with the aim of promoting Iasi as a tourist destination through guided tours, online and offline marketing and partnerships in various projects. Since 2017, this team managed to:
- organize over 60 guided tours in Iasi in Romanian, English, French, German, Spanish or Italian
- Over 350 Romanians and over 300 foreigners were guided through the city only in 2018
- the Facebook page went from 700 followers in April 2017 to over 35
Potential for learning or transfer
Developing thematic routes is an idea that can be implemented in other cities or regions wishing to improve the tourist experience and promote history and cultural heritage. It requires a working group to
- identify one or more defining themes;
- involve people who know about the local history, monuments, sites, etc. to explore and map out the routes, and validate the elements that produce experience on each route;
- create the visual identity including: logo, colours and icons that are specific to each route or tourist destination;
- develop promotional materials;
- continue the project by training future tourism specialists and involving public and private sector tourism actors in the promotion of the tourist destination Iasi.
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