Enduro as an Example of Economic Development through Niche Tourism

EnduRoMania celebrated in 2004 its tenth year of existence. A total number of 53 EnduRoMania events have been held since 1995. The basic thought was to turn one of Romania’s disadvantages – the lack of infrastructure – into an attraction. Thanks to the support offered by the German land North-Rhine Westfalia and a project financed in the framework of the “EU-Phare-ECOS/Ouverture” Program, this basic thought could become reality, by turning it into an economic development project. This project was the spark that ignited Enduro / Trail-Riding as a way to develop sports and active tourism in the southwestern part of Romania. An entire network of boarding houses came to life trough EnduRoMania, which are offering their services not exclusively for the Enduro participants, but also for anybody who enjoys the concept of niche tourism, offering them a glimpse of Romanian hospitality and traditional cuisine. This also proves to the local population that boarding tourism can be a lucrative business. The project is auto financed since 1997 and it is confirmed by resulting sustainable tourism developments in the region.

The EnduRoMania is a field navigation/orienteering event. Starting from one of the meeting points, it is possible to reach over 70 checkpoints, spread on an area of 40.000 km2. The difficulty and the distances to reach the checkpoints are different and the checkpoints can be chosen by the riders (according to their ability, fitness and skills). The region offers gravel roads and also abrupt mountain narrow roads, heading to some of the meteorological stations on the top of the mountains (max. 2.200 m, Tarcu). The organizers are only making recommendations about some of the alternative roads and trails to reaching the checkpoints, the participants decide about the road to be followed. In the last years the GPS satellite navigation technology became more and more used by the EnduRoMania participants. The organizers are providing the participants the detailed documentation and the updated maps of the region at a scale of 1:100000. The maps are user friendly and suitable for the GPS-Navigation. For the participants interested in reaching the check points with the help of GPS, the organizers provide the list of checkpoints together with the corresponding coordinates. The road system is scarcely developed: thus, there are large areas of up to 8000 sqkm without any tarred roads. Paradoxically, standard mobile phone coverage is available in these underdeveloped areas. The satellite navigation system (GPS) has increasingly become more and more popular within the participants. The organizer offers the participants also detailed advice. The checkpoints can also be reached without GPS-devices, thanks to the detailed description provided by the organizing team. A Special GPS Navigation Programme has been established for GPS fans. A GPS Navigation CD is also available.

The rules of the game are quite lax: there are no compulsory checkpoints, no stipulated tracks or time, no stopwatch and no time checks. Because of the widespread area, it happens rarely two teams meet in the field. However, there are some understandable and serious rules: for example, the participants have to be organized into groups of three, so that the members of the crew can help each other in case of an emergency. The organizer helps with the team building at the Meeting Point. The riders should take only existing roads. These roads are quite often in such a bad state, that they offer exactly what any Enduro freak wishes for. One should also drive in such a way as not to disturb or irritate the very friendly native population and its cattle. The bonus points will be awarded for reaching the checkpoints in four different degrees of difficulty. One can also be awarded with “Discovery” bonus points for discovering and documenting new interesting tracks, “Environment” bonus points for announcing any environmental damages, “Accompanying” Passenger bonus points for Enduro in pairs and “Cubic Capacity” bonus points for small cylinder capacity motorcycles (50, 80 and 125 ccm). Assistance to other teams is also rewarded.

Event Duration Week Meeting Point
1 01.05 - 07.05 18 Borlova
2 22.05 - 28.05 21 Brebu Nou (Weidenthal)
3 12.06 - 18.06 24 Brebu Nou (Weidenthal)
4 03.07 - 09.07 27 Brebu Nou (Weidenthal)
5 24.07 - 30.07 30 Virciorova
6 14.08 - 20.08 33 Slatina Timis
7 04.09 - 10.09 36 Brebu Nou (Weidenthal)
8 25.09 - 01.10 39 Borlova

EnduRoMania is adequate for all off road vehicles. You will find good and also price performance accommodation and boarding possibilities at the Meeting Points in boarding houses or farms and camping. The camping ground in Brebu Nou/Weidenthal (a German-Bohemian village), close to a lake is best suited for the practice of water sports and even for bringing the families.

New in 2005: Long Distance EnduRoMania Programme, from Western Romania to The Black Sea and back, an excellent opportunity to enjoy the landscape and know the people of a larger area. For more details please visit: www.enduromania.net.

New flight possibilities have been introduced from Western Europe to the Timisoara International Airport, relatively close to the Meeting Points.
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