At least 50 tourism businesses will be able to benefit from non-reimbursable financial support over the next 3 years through the "Support Programme for the Development of Small and Medium Enterprises in the Tourism Sector", launched today, September 22, at a tourist guesthouse in Butuceni, in the presence of representatives of the Government, the European Union Delegation and tourism associations. The new entrepreneurial support instrument, supported by the state budget and European Union funds, is targeted at applicants carrying out entrepreneurial activities in tourism or related sectors, with the potential to organize tourism activities in villages, communes and towns with a population of up to 30,000 inhabitants. The programme is implemented by the Organisation for the Development of Entrepreneurship (ODA) with the support of the Ministry of Economic Development and Digitisation and the Ministry of Culture.

Attending the event, the Ambassador of the European Union to the Republic of Moldova, Jānis Mažeiks said, "The rural tourism programme launched today is one of the seven programmes that the European Union is supporting through the EUR 8 billion EU for Sustainable, Innovative, Green and Competitive Economy (EU4SMEs) project implemented by our partner ODA. Tourism and SMEs are a generator of sustainable economic growth, empowerment and employment. They play a key role in supporting the European Union in Moldova's path towards a sustainable and inclusive market economy."

Dumitru Alaiba, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Economic Development and Digitisation highlighted the importance of state and EU support for the development of Moldova's tourism infrastructure. "Through the support provided under this programme, innovation, entrepreneurship and sustainable development of these enterprises will be encouraged, which will have a positive impact on the national economy. It is worth mentioning that through the implementation of this programme, dozens of enterprises can diversify their range of services and products and, most importantly, we are creating new jobs and keeping some of the existing ones. In this way, we are growing Moldova's economy and encouraging people to develop businesses at home."

Sergiu Prodan, Minister of Culture, welcomed the development of this government support mechanism, which will add value to local tourism. "Tourism is an important priority for the sustainable development of the Republic of Moldova and the Ministry of Culture is continuously working on the implementation of state policies in this sector. Thus, we have recently created the National Tourism Office, an institution that will coordinate all tourism stakeholders in the Republic of Moldova, and rural tourism remains one of the priorities. Diversification of the national tourism offer through new businesses in rural tourism will contribute substantially to the development and consolidation of rural communities, creation of new jobs, new tourist destinations that will enhance the tourism potential of the three regions: centre, north and south."

Dumitru Pîntea, director of the ODA, said that the new programme will stimulate the development of tourism businesses. "The programme will promote and facilitate tourism and entrepreneurship activities, the creation of new businesses, the increase of income in the tourism and related sectors, including the promotion of export of local tourism products and services. During 3 years of piloting the program, at least 50 small and medium enterprises will be supported with grants of up to 500 thousand lei per beneficiary, with an own contribution of 30% of the investment project value".

The programme has three components: information and promotion, non-reimbursable financial support and monitoring and evaluation. The budget of the programme is about 30 million lei for a period of 3 years, with the possibility of being supplemented by funds from local and foreign donors. Applications for grants can be submitted online by filling in the form at

Please note that the Entrepreneurship Development Organization, a public institution founded by the Ministry of Economic Development and Digitization, has signed a grant contract with the European Union for funding ODA support programmes, for a total amount of 8 million euros, for a period of 3 years. Of the total budget, about €500,000 is earmarked for the Support Programme for the Development of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises in Rural Tourism. 

The interral event launching the Tourism Support Programme can be watched in video format