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The Tourism Agency witnessed positive dynamics as a public authority in promoting Moldova’s image as an attractive tourist destination, says an audit report by the Court of Auditors that was presented in a public meeting on May 17. In 2017, the tourism agencies and tour operators provided tourist services for 285,000 tourists and excursionists, an increase of 21.7% compared with last year. This way Moldova was ranked fifth worldwide by the fastest growth in the number of tourists, IPN reports.
Another accomplishment was the holding of the Meeting of the UNWTO Commission for Europe in Chisinau for the first time. The meeting involved over 40 ministers and managers of travel agencies from Europe and the whole staff of the World Tourism Organization. Moldova was conferred the title of World Capital of Wine Tourism 2018. There was created a portfolio of tourist brands that contributed to strengthening Moldova’s image abroad.
The Court of Auditors highlighted a series of risks that threaten the development of the tourist sector, such as the non-designation of the register of tourism heritage and non-ensuring of the appropriate management of the portfolio of national brands as this was not included in accounting records and the legality of using the brands by third entities was not appropriately monitored and controlled.
The property managed by the Tourism Agency came to 1.2 million lei at the end of 2017. According to the auditors, the internal control at the Agency was reduced and fragmented and this led to shortcomings in the financial-accounting management and to nonconformity in the management of public resources. The Agency inadequately classified 17 fixed assets. These weren’t registered in distinct accounts, in the amount of 110,000 lei (9% of all the assets). Two commercials promoting the country as a tourist destination to the value of 109,000 lei weren’t indicated in the financial accounts.
Tourism Agency director general Stanislav Rusu said the Agency has worked for a year and a half and in the period has focused on the promotion of Moldova as a tourist destination, attraction of a higher number of tourists and establishment of tourist routes and development of rural tourism. Moldova can become a country that will attract a large number of tourists even if it does not have the museums of other states. The naturalness, hospitability of the people and traditions can represent a completive attraction element. As regards the shortcomings in accounting and heritage registration, a part of these were already removed with the assistance of the audit team. The Tourism Agency is merging with the Moldova Investment Attraction and Export Promotion Organization and will form a new governmental body - the Investment Agency. Thus, the objectives will be greater, as will be the possibilities of achieving these.
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