40 journalists, members of The International Federation of Travel Journalists and Writers, FIJET, of Romania and other countries, were present at the event
The International Federation of Travel Journalists and Writers, FIJET, handed over the „Golden Apple” trophy to the city of Timișoara, European Capital of Culture 2023. The event hosted by the Lloyd Palace, the headquarters of the rectorate of the Politechnical University, was attended by FIJET Executive Committee members and members of FIJET Romania Tourism Press Club, representatives of local touristic industry and local media, local authorities, alongside with Dominic Fritz, the Mayor of Timișoara.
Considered the equivalent of the Oscar in cinematography, the “Golden Apple”, “Pomme d’Or” or “Mărul de Aur” is awarded to an organization, a city or a personality, in recognition of the efforts to promote and develop tourism. The winners are selected following the analysis of the application files and the vote given by a jury made up of FIJET members.
”I am honoured to receive this prize in the name of the city. It is a distinction that brings us joy and urges us to promote further the story of Timișoara, a story based on its values: diversity, inovation, courage. We live in a world where it is increasingly difficult to build bridges between people, so I believe that the value of travel, tourism and hospitality has never been more important. We need partners, allies, in transmitting to the whole world the values of Timisoara, and I believe that the International Federation of Journalists and Travel Writers is one of the promoters of the idea, which has existed for thousands of years, namely that it is good to travel, to visit other countries, to know other cultures, other people, with their stories and perspectives, and in this way to fully develop as members of the same family, humanity. Timișoara strives to promote exactly this idea in the long term, the status of European Capital of Culture being only a strong start”, Dominic Fritz, the Mayor of Timișoara, declared on receiving the ”Golden Apple ”.
“This trophy, which has become a tradition for over 50 years, is awarded to a city or a region, a tourist destination, and is handed to the mayor or the representative of that destination from the public authorities. The Golden Apple goes to a tourist destination that knows how to promote itself and that develops sustainable tourism. Timișoara convinced us of this and I am sure that it has a beautiful and sustainable touristical future. And I say it not only for myself, but as a representative of the Federation of Travel Journalists from around the world”, underlined Tijani Haddad, president of The International Federation of Travel Journalists and Writers, FIJET.
”May I firstly extend my thanks to Timișoara because in 1989 gave us back our freedom, and may I congratulate the citizens of Timişoara for earning the title of European Caăpital of Culture 2023. This remarkable success, alongside with the Golden Apple trophy, is due to the good collaboration between local authorities and representatives of the tourism industry, transporters, cultural and performance institutions, museums and many others. Timisoara is a cosmopolitan city. We are proud that it is a Romanian city, but it equally belongs to Europe and the whole world. We are honored that FIJET also contributed to the promotion of this city and I am sure that although Timișoara has a beautiful past, it will have an even more beautiful and, obviously, touristic future”, declared Ștefan Baciu, president of The Travel Press Club – FIJET Romania.
The first “Golden Apple” trophies were awarded in 1971. Then it was Sicily, the Efteling amusement park, with its representations of fairy tales, in the Netherlands and Bokrijk, a complex of parks and museums, situated near the Belgian city of Genk. Bokrijk is known for its open-air museum, presenting the history of rural life, through an impressive collection of old buildings from all over the province of Flanders.
Last autumn, FIJET awarded two “Golden Apple” trophies, one to the city of Novi Sad (Serbia), the other to the city of Izmir (Turkey). Before the pandemic, in 2019, the city of Oradea was rewarded by FIJET with the “Golden Apple”. From 1971 until now, FIJET has awarded 69 such trophies, of different sizes and shapes, the rule being that no more than three Golden Apples can be awarded a year.
Simion Giurcă, Executive Director of the Association for Promotion of Timișoara mentioned: “Thank you firstly to FIJET Romania for the support and involvement in this process, and we also thank the international FIJET for offering us this trophy! We really want to establish Timișoara as a destination not only for business travel, but we want to position it morover as a leisure destination, as a smart city, a city of innovation. And I would like for the Romanians to come and discover this western corner of the country, which is Romanian, but it is also a little different, because we, the people of Timisoara, with our rebellious spirit, which also gave birth to the Revolution of 1989, have always wanted to reinvent ourselves. Let’s not forget where we started from and the fact that the city was built on multiculturalism, let’s not forget that it is the centuries-long effort of people from different parts, of different nationalities, cultures and religions”. The International Federation of Travel Journalists and Writers, known by theacronym FIJET, is one of the oldest mass media associations in the world, with a history of over 68 years. FIJET was founded in Paris on December, the 2-nd, 1954, as the “Fédération Internationale des Journalistes et Ecrivains du Tourisme” by an initiative group of travel writers from France and Belgium joined by other journalists and travel writers from Greece, Italy and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Currently, FIJET has over 30 affiliated national associations, including the FIJET Romania Tourism Press Club.
Brief description of Timişoara
– A rebellious, multicultural, cosmopolitan, charming and creative city –
Timisoara, a city with more than 320 thousands inhabitants, is the fourth city in Romania in terms of population. The city was a royal residence, regional capital, the host of 3 emperors and dozens of kings. Timisoara looks back with pride, at the centuries that marked its transformation, development, becoming and progress. The long thread of the city’s historical development is marked by the will and power to fight for the conquest of its freedom. The last time it happened was în December 1989 when Timișoara dared to protest against communist government. Its good to know that Timișoara is the city where, on December 15, 1989, the anti-communist Romanian Revolution broke out. On December 20, 1989, Timișoara became the first free city in Romania, succeeding through its courage to face the dictatorship, to open the way, which led to the fall of communism. The revolutionaries announced, from the balcony of the Opera building, that Timișoara is a city freed from communism. The State Opera from Timisoara is on top of touristic objectives in Timisoara. Also attractive is the Baroque Palace who hosts today the National Art Museum.
The vocation that characterized the City of Bega was creativity, the desire to be at the forefront, to be the first. This explains the multitude of national and international premieres in Timisoara (starting with the first brewery, Bega – the first navigable canal, the first horse-drawn tram in the country, the first electrically lit city in Europe, etc.), but also the multitude of personalities born and/or trained in Timisoara. When compared to the other inhabitants of Romania, the people from this region, the Banat, have an expression to show that they were the first in terms of achievements. They say: „The Banat is everytime the forefront”
At the beginning of the 20th century, Timișoara was considered the third most important city in the former Austro-Hungarian Empire, after Vienna and Budapest, and at the beginning of the Second World War, Timișoara was one of the most developed cities in Romania. Timișoara is a modern, multicultural city, characterized by its multitude of Baroque and Secession/Art Nouveau buildings. Timisoara is also called “little Vienna”, due to its construction structure and the multitude of heritage buildings, as well as the charm of the city and the mentality of its inhabitants. But Timișoara equally enjoys the fact that it is nicknamed: “The city of roses and parks” because the 37 parks and squares of the city occupy an area of about 120 hectares. The pedestrian zone in the historic center of the city is the largest in Romania and includes 33 streets and 5 squares.
Timisoara’s brand is tolerance, its close cohesion and the good coexistence of different minorities, cultures and religions with full respect and understanding towards others. The city on the Bega is the only city în Romania with three state theaters that perform in three different languages (Romanian, German and Hungarian).
But what is the best season to visit Timisoara?
Beloved and attractive both for visitors and for those who travel for business, Timisoara offers the opportunity to experience the city immersively throughout the year. Regardless of the season in which you choose to visit “Little Vienna”, as the city is also called, its relaxed lifestyle and vibrant nightlife will make your stay pleasant. The cultural offer, which in 2023 will be as rich and diverse as it is surprising and omnipresent in the daily life of the city, offering you many opportunities to interact with the local population and temporary residents in the spirit of multiculturalism and tolerance that characterizes the great cosmopolitan city in Western Romania. Whether you come in the spring, to enjoy with us the true blossoming of the city and the celebration of the great Easter holiday, or in the summer when the chained multitude of our parks will protect you from the heat and a multitude of terraces will compete to cool you down, Timisoara will seriously strive to receive you well. If you choose autumn, when the city dresses in the pastel colors of autumn and invites you to taste the new wines in the vineyards of Timisoara or in winter, to live with us the emotion of the winter holidays in our Christmas markets, the specific gastronomic offer and the rich agenda of events cultural-artistic will contribute to achieving a high degree of satisfaction and experiencing pleasant experiences. But maybe it would be advisable to come in each of the four seasons, to taste the whole range of offers, experiences and experiences.
Why is Timisoara a city of premieres?
Timisoara has always been a creative city. This explains why, throughout its history, the city has managed to be the first in various fields. Among the premieres from Timisoara, it is worth mentioning the first brewery on the current territory of Romania was put into operation in 1718 in Timișoara. In 1760, Timisoara became the first city of the Habsburg monarchy with streets lit with lamps, and in 1855, the first city with gas-lit streets, on November 12, 1884, Timisoara would become the first European city lit entirely with electricity. A total of 731 lamps, spread over an area of more than 10 square kilometers, brought the city an absolute first.
Finally, what to do în Timisoara?
Follow the advices of the Association for the Promotion of Timișoara!
- Boat ride on the Bega;
- Admire the street art works in the city on a bicycle tour;
- Experience gastronomy (try the flambé pancakes from Banat) and local wines;
- Charge your batteries at one of the many terraces in the “pedestrian city” in the historic Centre;
- A taste of the city’s rich cultural endowment (Opera / Philharmonic / sacred places, etc.);
- Discover the untold stories, hidden places and secrets of the city with the best guides;
- Make yourself happy, in a shopping tour, buying for yourself and/or for someone you love;
- Drink the popular “Timisoreana” beer at her home;
- Pay tribute to our heroes from ’89. The victorious flame of the revolution was lit in Timisoara;
- Relax at the very new and modern Aquapark.
On the Travel Press Club – FIJET Romania
Founded in 2007, the Travel Press Club – FIJET Romania is the Romanian organization affiliated to the International Federation of Travel Journalists and Writers / Fédération Internationale des Journalistes et Ecrivains du Tourisme (FIJET). The Travel Press Club – FIJET Romania is made up of professional journalists from print press, radio and television, who understand the needs and requirements of the association’s members and colleagues. The permanent objective is to provide the best and most professional services for all members.