Several accommodation and leisure units in Moldova have started digitizing customer experience, with the support of the European Union.
Ana and Nicolae Capraru are a young couple who, despite all the challenges, decided a few years ago to return from abroad and open their own business at home – a rest and recreation facility.
They set up their tourist business in Cotihana, a small village about 7 kilometres to the northeast of the regional centre, Cahul.
Then, in 2023, Ana and her husband decided to further develop their entrepreneurial skills in the field of tourism. They updated their business with the help of the Digital Upgrade programme – part of the EU-funded EU4Moldova: Startup City Cahul programme – which companies can use to bring their businesses into the digital age.
With the help of the programme, Ana created a web page that helps her increase the number of tourists coming to Cotihana.
“Digital Upgrade provided us with a number of digital solutions that we’ve implemented in our business,” Ana says.
“We set up social media pages, and did short- and long-term activity planning. We also learned techniques for securing company information, and accumulated a lot of other valuable information.”
Ana didn’t just limit herself to the accumulation of knowledge: The creation of the website has helped her promote and develop her business, while at the same time making doing business simpler, she says. It was the Digital Upgrade programme that encouraged her to finally get the business online, she adds.
“The website is a powerful tool in promoting the business, but I kept putting off creating it,” Ana says.
“But with the help of the courses and the grant offered within the Startup City Cahul project, we managed to create a website that simplified our activities and helped us develop our business.”
Ana also says that the EU4Moldova: Startup City Cahul project provides an excellent opportunity for children and adults in Cahul to develop their digital skills.
“The existence of this project is a significant benefit for Cahul, as it provides opportunities for anyone to develop their skills – regardless of their age or status. By participating in this project, you get to address on a regular basis important and necessary topics that you might not know about in depth.”
“This brings more knowledge and valuable information to the community.”
EU4Moldova: Startup City Cahul contributes to strengthening the capacities of innovative startups in various sectors and preparing them for investment. The project fills the digital gap between the Moldovan capital and the south of the country, and ensures there is more equitable economic development at the regional level.
The initiative is being implemented from 2020 to 2024 by ATIC, with financial assistance from the European Union under its EU4Business Initiative, and in partnership with Sweden.