| The pilot area, Sighetu Maramures, is situated in the County of Maramures which lies at Northwest Romania.
The Carpathian Region in Romania
The area comprises 9000 Ha of protected land and is very rich in natural and cultural resources. There is a small mountain village at the northern edge of the Maramures County, called Borsa, where sustained efforts are made to develop winter tourism and promote the nearby Vasser Valley (a forest area to the borders with Ukraine very rich in natural resources) as an ecotourism destination. There are also several abandoned mines in the pilot area where organised visits are offered.
Generally speaking, after the transition in the 1990s, Romanian governments have been placing an increasing emphasis on enhancing the economic development prospects of rural areas through the promotion of tourism. The tourism infrastructure is of quite low standards, restricting the tourist activities that could be pursued and the quality of services offered. However, there is great potential for ecotourism development and interest from entrepreneurs involved in tourism to receive training to apply for ecotourism labelling