Moldova has the wow factor

Love is all around in Moldova so it wasn’t surprising that sharing endearing stories and building relationships with visitors was the topic emerging at the Industry Symposium: Emerging Resilient and Sustainable Amidst Challenges celebrated in the contest of World Tourism Day in Moldova, 27 September 2023.

With a lineup of national and international industry, marketing and networking experts the debates focused on how to transmit the message that Moldova is safe, beautiful, refined and full of authentic experiences.

IGCAT’s President Diane Dodd PhD took part in a panel looking at innovative pathways for tourism to transit into a new era. Levan Karatishvili, IGCAT Expert and former Minister of Culture for Georgia outlined the importance of international Awards and networks to tell your story and provide the credibility that you can’t achieve on your own. Florence Maffrand presented La Cité du Vin in Bordeaux as an example of how technology is being used to surprise and delight visitors. Alexandr Palariev gave an emotional insight into a winery thinking about the future despite the challenges of finding themselves amidst a war in Ukraine. Dodd spoke about the World Region of Gastronomy Platform and the importance of recognising and resuscitating pride in one’s own gastronomy:  producing unique food gifts (see the World Food Gift Challenge) not just for visitor but for locals; supporting micro-enterprises that are offering unique food experiences by giving them a Platform to reach international audiences (Top Websites for Foodie Travellers); telling your region’s story through food and wine audio-visual stories (Food Film Menu) and building young ambassadors for the region (European Young Chef Award).

The panel was moderated by Emanuela Panke IGCAT Expert and President of the Iter Vitis Federation who concluded the need for  creativity and collaboration is greater than ever. Creativity because the visitor requires a wow factor and are very demanding, and the collaboration because shining a light on others creates a mirror image back that brings surprising results.

Audrey Scott led another panels on communication and marketing whereby Italian wine influencer Lavinia Furlani, TV presenter Joe Fattorini, Heritage interpretation trainer Vanessa Vaio and Digital expert from winerist Diana Isac discussed the need to transmit emotion, love and passion to the visitor, as well as to increase opportunities of them to tell your story for you.

The symposium was followed by a Gala Ceremony for Moldova Tourism Awards presided by the Minister of Culture and Minister for Agriculture who both congratulated rural, agro and wine tourism for excellent projects.

#BeOurGuest #MoldovaTravel

About the World/European Regions of Gastronomy

World/European Regions of Gastronomy, guided by IGCAT, are working together to strengthen food security through the celebration of distinctive food cultures; create employment by stimulating creativity and gastronomic innovation; nourish children and adults through culinary and cultural education; driving environmental sustainability in tourism, hospitality and agricultural sectors; supporting balance and sustainable tourism practices; highlighting and supporting expertise from within rural and urban communities, creating connections and sharing good practices; and contributing to community health and well-being.


IGCAT aims to empower local communities by raising awareness of the importance of protecting and promoting distinct regional food, culture, arts and natural assets as part of sustainable and balanced tourism and development strategies. This is essential to safeguarding our planet, health, wellness and local economies.

IGCAT is a non-profit institute established in 2012, working with regional stakeholder consortiums in the fields of gastronomy, culture, arts and tourism. It counts on the expertise of a worldwide network of experts and works in partnership with specialised intergovernmental organisations.

IGCAT founded the World/European Region of Gastronomy Award and is the official secretariat for the World/European Regions of Gastronomy Platforms. Furthermore, the Institute has developed the European Young Chef Award, the World Food Gift Challenge, the Top Websites for Foodie Travelers Award and the international Food Film Menu.