Tourism

Visit Harghita – a treasure in nature

Discover the miracles of Harghita County from your own couch – the Harghita Community Development Association (ADI Harghita), an unprecedented initiative throughout Transylvania, invites people to do just this and is meant to draw attention to a region that is undeservedly neglected by tourists visiting the region. While they head to the Törcsvár/Bran (Dracula) or the amazing Peleș castles from the neighboring airports, they completely skip the middle of the country, which is brimming with sights and wildlife. But hopefully this will all change with the help of the Harghita Community Development Association in partnership with the Harghita County Council and the brand they created: Visit Harghita.

One may think there is nothing to promote in the field of tourism during these dark times of the pandemic. Wrong. The Harghita Community Development Association has found a solution to that. For our own health, it is recommended that we avoid crowded areas for a time, however, staying at home doesn’t mean that one cannot plan a dream vacation to Harghita. “Plan now and visit later!” is the motto of the project meant to help people discover Harghita County from the comfort of their own couch, receiving helpful ideas of what to visit or simply enjoying photos of the region.

Lake St. Ana (visitharghita.com)

The Harghita Community Development Association (ADI Harghita), in partnership with the Harghita County Council, was founded in 2009 at the initiative of the Harghita County Council and with the support of 36 local administrations. Today it works with all local administrations in the county, says Barna Botond Bíró, vice president of the Harghita County Council.

“The goal of ADI Harghita is to create and maintain a long-term cooperation with the county’s local administrations and organizations working in the field of tourism, carrying out national and international projects, the purpose of which is to improve tourism as well as conserve the traditions and culture of the region. Since 2018, ADI Harghita has also been holding conferences and training courses to help with the training of workers in the field of tourism, as well as people interested in tourism. We offer, for example, Romanian language courses and receptionist, waiter and marketing courses, where needed,” says Károly Szabó, executive director of the Harghita Community Development Association.

“The management of protected areas (performing studies and research, the administration of protected areas, the development of programs and projects in the field of sustainable tourism) is also our job. The Harghita Community Development Association is a co-organizer in various programs, but it also has its own events, like the “Székely Ízek/Szekler Flavors Gastronomy Festival,” says Szabó.

In 2018, the tourist app “Visit Harghita” was launched, aimed at those planning to visit the area.

The app offers information in Romanian, Hungarian and English about accommodation, restaurants, tourist sites and entertainment options. It ranks the best restaurants and places to stay. It also lets users know about the county’s best-known legends and offers an events calendar. At the same time, the app has an audio guide, a county map, a map of available tourist guides and tourist info points, a list of car rental places and the contacts of the mountain rescue service, Salvamont.

The app is available for Android and iOS but also as a desktop version.

Two videos released this year help promote the Visit Harghita program. The latest one is notable for being completely created during the present lockdown and partial curfew. The creators made a call to all videographers in the region to send in any archived raw footage and then edited them into an awe-inspiring promo video for the region.

Featured photo: still from the promo video.

Author: Blanka Székely