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About the project

We got the knowledge of the local geography, local communities, and also the local traditions, which we want to put together for the first time in touristic instruments that have the potential to become development tools. A specific element of the routes will be to identify and mark the place for the future stations and green transport fleet to follow as a rent a boat rent a bike project.

The project follows two strategic objectives, focusing on the conservation of the natural heritage through ecosystem management and consolidation of the local communities in their role of protectors of the Delta and on the development of a local green inclusive economy based on sustainable consumption and conservation.

These objectives will be reached through the creation of 8 slow tourism routes and active communication regarding the 8 areas of the Danube Delta and all they have to offer to tourists.

The routes we want to develop will be powerful tools for the local communities which would better understand the value of their own culture and would contribute with their extent of stories, legends, gastronomy, clothing, traditions, local fairs, church services - to share them with the visitors and make them wish to stay longer and return;

Raising awareness of the perks of slow tourism – traveling for a prolonged period of time at a slow pace, allowing the tourist to gain a deeper understanding of the surroundings, community, and authentic culture, returning home from a trip educated and enriched. Traveling more slowly allows visitors to form a stronger connection with the visited places and with the locals (by meeting and talking with people, hearing their stories and observing the local culture, joining them in some activities like – fishing, singing in a choir, learning new skills (how to cook fish, etc)

Changing the paradigm of tourism from fast tourism and over-tourism to slow/sustainable tourism. Slow travel is a mindset. Slow travel is not only beneficial for the traveler, but for the destination as well, protecting local communities and environment, supporting local businesses.



- spring 2021: planning phase, based on the information we have got so far;

- summer - autumn 2021: preparation of the routes on the ground (and water), interviews, confirmation of the information, and collecting new, if any;

- winter 2021: preparing the intermediary products, with maps and handbook of the cultural heritage and others; profiling local partners;

- spring - summer 2022: piloting the routes with target groups and adjust the findings; finalizing the products; presentation of the routes to local communities and local authorities, DDBRA; installing the billboards;

- autumn 2022: promoting the products

- winter 2022: extending the products into an app


About Asociația Ivan Patzaichin – Mila 23

Asociația Ivan Patzaichin – Mila 23 started in 2011 at a small scale and focused on the small community of Mila 23, Ivan Patzaichin's birthplace. The projects developed addressed the local needs and gradually evolved and expanded to the overall area of the Danube Delta. The local administrations have been gradually involved in our projects and eventually, we started expanding the project models to other wetlands areas in the country. Further, we extended our projects in Germany (Ulm), Budapesta, Viena, Bratislava, Bled, Paris, and London.

We have long developed a myriad of activities inspired by the local communities’ lifestyle with large acclaim - pescatourism, team building activities, guided routes, different events.

Detailed information on our portfolio of projects can be found on our website


Previous funding from Romanian American Foundation

Previous funding from Romanian American Foundation – The Slow Tourism Company / Ecotourism Centre in Crișan

AIPM23’s experience concerning eco-tourism in the Danube Delta also involves a pilot project developed with the support of the Romanian American Foundation: The Slow Tourism Company. While the Company offers (as its name suggests) slow tourism services, such as rental of rowing boats or guided touristic routes, its main goal is to promote the concept of ecotourism and to diversify the services offered to visitors and to increase demand for eco-friendly activities in the Danube Delta.

During the project, an Ecotourism Centre - a floating wood house - was also built in Crișan. For a few years, it was under the care of a local tour-operator from Crișan, together with a fleet of canotcas, allowing him to rent the boats and to offer eco-tourism routes with the help of AIPM23’s infrastructure. Afterwards, the Centre was moved closer to Tulcea, next to a fisherman’s refuge, allowing for its better use: its proximity to Tulcea makes it more accessible for 1 day rowing trips combined with pescatourism experiences.

In 2019 the Centre was equipped with a water filtration system and an ecological toilet. Having these facilities allowed for the transformation of the refuge in a Point of Local Gastronomy.

The Ecotourism Centre can be seen as a prototype, a pilot project that in the future, with the appropriate funding, can be extended at the level of the entire Delta and can respond to a general need: the modernisation and adaptation to European standards of all fishermen refuges. This will mean proper work conditions for fishermen while representing attraction points for tourists.

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