Quality certification system in Agrotourism

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Faq

When and how can an agropension be certified?

In March-April 2014 the Common Standard Framework will be elaborated and after, it will be adapted to each partner country (Greece, Bulgaria, Armenia, Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova) consisting of specific standard. The idea is to create a critical mass required for the expansion and the globalization of the certification system. The certificates will be awarded to the businesses after assessment by the registered assessors in each country.A group of assessors - 10 from each partner country will be trained and able to certify interested agropensions according to the elaborated standards. By the end of the project, at the beginning of 2015 - 5 agropensions from each country will be certified for free with the support of the project and will represent a model for the other interested touristic locations.

Who can be certified?

Any touristic location/institution that pretends to organize agrotourism according to the specific standards elaborated within the CerTour Project.

Why CerTour? What is the impact?

The Action addresses directly the need for provision of high quality services in agrotourism sector, by introducing and promoting the concept of standardization and certification. This will be achieved with the development of the specific quality standards for agrotourism and the establishment of the certification process based on local experts that will be trained in the framework of the Action. The critical mass of businesses that will implement the standard and be certified, will act as role model in the entire project area and beyond. The results of the whole initiative will be promoted internationally according to promotion plans that are foreseen in the project and supplementing the existing promotion plans of the local actors. Furthermore, the improvement of the quality of the services provided will bring beneficial effects in the customers' satisfaction and the attraction of more visitors in the area. On the other hand, within the framework of the Action there will be training and experience exchange activities that meet the need for trained and experienced local staff.

The cross border impact is assured by the joint activities such as the common standard-framework, the common certification process, the joint training programme and the joint dissemination activities but, mainly, by the experience exchange and the sustainable transnational networking.

How to define the agrotourism?

Wikipedia - Agritourism is a style of vacation in which hospitality is offered on farms. This may include the opportunity to assist with farming tasks during the visit. Agritourism is often practiced in wine growing regions, as in Italy, France and Spain. In America, Agritourism is wide-spread and includes any farm open to the public at least part of the year. Tourists can pick fruits and vegetables, ride horses, taste honey, learn about wine, shop in gift shops and farm stands for local and regional produce or hand-crafted gifts, and much more. Each farm generally offers a unique and memorable experience suitable for the entire family.

AgroTourNet/European Agrotourism Norm(EUAN) - Agrotourism is a form of alternative to mass tourism based on sustainability, preservation of culture, heritage and tradition in rural areas. It comprises all forms of tourism in which tourists visit farms and in rural villages, eventually board in them, and experience farming and various forms of rural life at close hand. It aims at bringing the visitor in touch with the natural environment, agricultural activities, local products, and a community's lifestyle, while at the same time contributing to the host area economic stability and generating income to the service providers as well as moderate profits to the enterprise.

CerTour – Agrotourism (or agritourism) is a form of tourism which capitalizes on rural culture as a touristic attraction. There is not a global definition – it is a form of tourism that combines primary element and characteristics of agriculture and tourism and provides an experience for visitors, that stimulates economic activity and impact both farm and community income.

Why do you need to be certified?
  • Define your activity as agrotourism according to internationally recognized standards
  • Conform your services to EU standards and improve the quality of the delivered services
  • Be part of an international network promoting high quality services in agrotourism
  • Be more competitive on local and international market
  • Promote your agropension/location/services at national and international level
  • Find international partners and benefit of experience exchange

Who is responsible for certification process?

Each partner organization will create a local certification scheme. For this reason, 10 assessors will be selected to be trained by the trainers that have attended the course (training of trainers). After the basic training, the attendants will pass a calibration process in order to handle in a common objective way the various cases during the assessment. The trainees that will pass successfully the calibration tests will be nominated as registered assessors and they will elaborate the assessment of the local pilot implementation of the standard. After the training, a common assessment registry will be created. This registry will be open to any person interested in being registered after a specific training. The assessors will have the right to evaluate and certify the agrotouristic activities during and after CerTour project.

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