2012 was a turning point for this area. In December 2012, the premises for a Local Partnership were created, a partnership which would help it develop into an official ecotourism destination and which would manage it harmoniously.
The vision for this area is based on a medium and long-term view and it was shaped and agreed within this Local Partnership framework. The Partnership includes local public authorities, the administrators of the 7 protected areas, local environment NGOs and representatives of the private sector. Its goals refer to: the preservation of the protected areas and the cultural heritage; the improvement of the tourism infrastructure and the inclusion of tourism services into an integrated network; growing the partners’ capabilities to manage and promote the destination; promoting the area in a consistent way.
Before launching this initiative, the area was subject to several threats stemming from local policies that were not adapted to environmental needs, from a chaotic tourism development, a weak cooperation between private enterprises and between them and the public sector, the gradual disappearance of wooden houses and traditional architecture, and the lack of funding for the maintenance of protected areas.
Ecotourism was identified as a major opportunity for the preservation of the 7 protected areas in Mara-Cosău-Creasta Cocoșului, as well as for enhancing the quality of tourism services and creating a positive social and economic impact in the local communities.