You are here: / Case Studies / QualityCoast Award 2011 - Mangalia - Rumania

Area description

Mangalia is a coastal touristic city and a well known therapeutic resort   located in the southern part of the Romanian Black Sea coast. Nowadays this resort is visited   mostly by the Romanian tourists during the summer time. In the ancient time, Mangalia was a Greek colony called Callatis which become an important economic and social setting during the Hellenistic period. Over the centuries, Callatis was occupied by the Roman and Byzantine empires suffering significantly changes and lately remaining a simple fisherman village.
After 1950 Mangalia city was born and  later it became the first Spa Center in Romania due to its natural resources.  Also, a harbour and a shipyard were built and became the 2nd harbour after Constanta harbour along the Romanian coast. Mangalia and its surroundings holds green natural areas and a Lake with mezzo thermal sulphurous springs. Mangalia beach resort has a wide beach with golden sand which represents an   attraction for the tourists




However beach erosion is the environmental issue that occur in Mangalia and along the entire Romanian Black Sea Coast for years.  To stop the coastal erosion in this area   hard coastal protection was  the solution chosen by the government in the years of 80 when large amount of coastal protection were implemented along the southern part of the  Romanian coast.  Today  the  existing coastal protection against erosion are not enough efficient and therefore  a Master Plan for coastal erosion is undertaken by the Romanian government that  cover all the Romanian coast in order to implement the sustainable coastal protection works  that fits with the local conditions and configuration of the coast. 




QualityCoast Award 2011

The Municipality of Mangalia was Awarded in 2011 with QualityCoast Bronz
The assessment done on a basis of the criteria groups, shows that Mangalia got excellent results for the bronze status of the Quality Coast Award. Identity got highest assessment while the environmental management lowest assessment of criteria groups.

General recommendation
Mangalia needs to be revitalised to reflourish again because it has a large potential for becoming again the famous resort recognized nationally and internationally for the therapeutic treatments as well as for its nature, culture and tradition

  1. The existing marine reserve and coastal nature (lakes, Natura 2000 sites, beaches, marine environment) are not sufficiently known and promoted. More information are required to be presented in the touristic broshures, leaflets etc   
  2.  More Touristic Information Centres to  promote  the values of the area . Nature must be promoted  as  a touristic attraction.
  3. By creating facilities for the tourists such as path, tracking routs, watching birds stands, the  natural areas  will become an attraction for tourists and a recreation activity  be visited by the tourists
  4.  The existing green policies for the  natural areas  need further developments and reinforcement.
  5. Beaches, lakes a  are regulated by rules, decisions, laws,( e.g.  integrated coastal zone law stipulates the set back lines 50 -150 m) and require real implementation. These information  should be available to the public


  1. Mangalia Beach should fulfil all the 27 imperative criteria’s to obtain the Blue Flag Award. Bathing water quality is just only the first criteria out of 27 regarding the environmental management and safety, environmental education and information. Good example for Blue Flag Marina is the Eforie Nord Marina
  2. Coastal erosion is being present in the Mangalia beaches. A specific action plan is required to  preserve and protect the beaches against erosion. If the action plan exist it must be integrated in the ongoing Master Plan for coastal erosion. Participation of the public and  local authorities in developing the  Master plan are necessary. 
  1. Waste water treatment was rehabilitated few years ago with the 3 stages within the frame of the EU Programme. These information should be available to the public
  2. Public transport is available in the resorts during summer. By creating the bicycles infrastructure (lanes) in Mangalia and in the adjacent resorts, it will reduce the traffic pollution and noise. Bikes can be more used in the resorts
  3. Campaigns on recycling and litter reductions are often taking place on the beach. This activity should be continued and the public must be informed about it
  4. Waste disposal facilities exists but not on a selective basis for recycling. Renewable  energy should be  used in the area (e.g solar panels for the hotels and houses) 


  1. The cultural and historical values, although they exists are not sufficiently promoted and recognised as an important attraction of the area. Programs and plans are needed to restore and maintain these values.
  2. The cultural values and the tradition of  the Callatis city and its  surroundings  should be more  promoted at the national and international level
  3. The local identity and tradition must be preserved.  Increase  the  interest to promote the local traditional identity and their products.
  4. Considerable distance from residential areas to a quiet, natural area
  5. More investments in terms of rehabilitation of the touristic facilities and historical values will increase residents satisfaction
  6. Famous for therapeutically treatments, Mangalia need to bring in the tourists attention the health benefits of their natural resources and its hospitality. Tourists satisfaction are accomplished when the services and facilities of the Spa Centres are in compliance with high standards of quality.


  • Considerable  improvements of the accommodation facilities are needed in Mangalia and in the neaby resorts
  • Revitalization of the therapeutical tourism to become again an attraction for tourists. Therapeutical  tourism was the strength point of the area in the past using the natural resources available, the sulphurous mezo-thermal waters. Its improvements will increase the number of tourists in the resort all over the year
  • Leisure and recreational activities and facilities are necessary to be improved. New activities are also required to be created to increase the attractiveness of the area.  So far the biggest attractiveness is the Callatis Musical Festival which attract  the tourists during the end of the summer season
  •  Local business community is involved mostly in tourism activities and shipping, very little in fishery and organic farming. Revitalisation of the tourism in general is needed. 
  • More implication of the local community in the decision making process is required

Comments and theory

In many wetland areas there is potential for growth of forms of tourism that protect and enhance the environment. This kind of tourism is sometimes referred to as eco-tourism. This term concentrates on the goal of protecting the environment without reference to the means for its achievement. It is a more recent term that seeks to include the means as well as the goals of responsible tourism. Responsible tourism refers to a situation where all the stakeholders, local people, business and institutions gain from the development of an industry which is set up and run according to sustainable environmental principles. Such an approach which recognizes the needs of the local people as well as their environments can be glossed as "ecotourism for people". It reflects the growing acknowledgement among ecologists that local people cannot be left out of the equation and must be beneficiaries if environmentally friendly development is to succeed.


Lessons learnt

Besides the natural environment, the Danube Delta offers tourists unique historical monuments and cultural traditions that add to the experience. Ecotourism developments are very much dependant upon the protection of natural ecosystems and their associated cultural values. With the benefits of well-managed tourism flowing into the local community through local based operators, guides and facilities, eco-tourism will add activities that sustain the Danube Delta’s population to the spectrum of wetlands activities and also it will encourage their conservation.


No other development projects or actions are planned in this area due to its specific aim concerning nature conservation. During the last years, a remarkable investment has been made following the sustainable tourism principles. A the new touristic site with an accommodation capacity of 230 places which is made up out of 72 places for bungalows, 158 places in wooden huts and a three stars hotel has been built. Suitable areas have been arranged for tent settlements. The touristic development plan includes all the required facilities for ecological and sustainable tourism in this natural reserve; Sewage,freshwater networks, a sewage treatment station and freashwater treatment have been installed recently. Toilets and warm water showers, an observation tower for lifeguards and reed umbrellas for tourist have been placed on the beach .

For the short term, no threats exist which directly affect the touristic infrastructure and fishery activities. On the other hand, there have been conflicts between users and the DDBR Administration. However, beach protection and preservation needs more attention from local and governmental authorities in this particular area and pilot projects are necessary to avoid the potential risks that could appear in the future.
The population around this area is very interested in preservation and conservation of this area. At the same time, the development of eco-tourism creates new jobs for the locals and this represents an alternative income resource for them besides the ones from fisheries and agriculture.

Further information

Claudia Coman e-mail:
NIMRD" Grigore Antipa" Constanta, Romania
Pictures are developed by Claudia Coman

Did you know that...