Noua Ne Pasa Association
The organisation is developing several cultural projects, including “Bucharest Urban Adventures” and Interesting Times Bureau (alternative guided tours).
The NGO was found about 12 years ago by young people who were studying History at the university at that moment (currently, two of them are working as professors with PhD in History). The idea about the NGO was provoked by the lack of interest in the culture and the history of the city among the people who live here, as well as among the tourists.
The aim of the team is to explore the heritage from a different perspective – not only the objects and places included in the official heritage databases or lists, but to bring more attention on the local culture and on the everyday life of the local people. Because the way people live now is a result of the events and the processes that have happened in the past. In addition, the current culture is just as important as the history.
For instance they organize gastronomy tours, so people can taste traditional Romanian dishes, they also work on the new trend, which started developing about 10 years ago – winery and craft beer tours (during those tours the guests can visit local breweries and wineries, see the authentic way how those drinks are made and also taste them).
The founders of Noua ne pasa Association see the city as a living open space, where both locals and guests can experience it, but also where everyone can give something back, so they run a lot of cultural and art projects. For instance, they organise street art events to give more colour to the city.
At the moment, due to the COVID-19 pandemic the organisation had to switch online, as everyone else – so they started offering online mini-courses or virtual tours of Bucharest for local and international public.
The organisation is communicating their activities online (via website and fan-page on the social media: a Facebook fan pages with more than 4,500 followers and an Instagram profile with almost 900 followers)
One of their projects “Bucharest Urban Adventures” is available on Tripadvisor.com, having more than 1000 positive reviews.
The organisation offers paid services (tours), which generate a revenue to fund their activities. In addition, as NGO Noua ne pasa cooperates with different organisations and donors, who support some of their cultural projects.
Key success factors and challenges
The founders of the association are proud to share that their activities really opened the city to foreigners, but also encouraged the foreign guests to meet and speak with the local people, and somehow changed the perception of what tourism means, at least in Bucharest.
10-15 years ago, when no tourists had the courage to go to the local market, Noua ne pasa’s founders were the ones, who brought groups of tourists there. They encouraged them to buy local products, to talk with the people there, even to have a small picnic on the market place.
Even now, they are the only ones, who makes certain types of tours – for instance beer tours, cemetery tours (to bring the tourists to the cemetery and organise discussions there – about the traditions, connected with this aspect of the Romanian culture, about the specific architecture there and so on) or the communist tour.
The biggest challenge they face now is the fact that in order to develop experiential tourism, the providers need to have tourists, who come physically and experience the place, feel the atmosphere, smell and taste the local cuisine and drinks. In the context of the COVID-19 Pandemic and all restrictions for travelling and organisation of physical events, this is not quite possible. Even if the organisation hosts many activities online (as everyone else), they share that their biggest need is to go back to the normal life.
Plans for future development
During the lockdown, the team of the association has made a lot of research and prepared new tours, which are now ready to start once tourists will be able to travel again.