Although the programme area has important comparative advantages for the development of cultural tourism, weak marketing of the area as a tourist destination resulted in insufficient income generated in this sector.
The overall objective of the project is to redress this situation by enhancing the tourist product – notably its heritage tourism element – and increasing the sector’s GDP contribution, generating income in the Vinkovci and Orašje regions.
The project pursued diverse activities. They included the establishment of the “Virtual Centre for Heritage Resources” – a common online database that serves as a marketing platform containing historical heritage data of both regions.
Two cross-border brands were developed: in Vinkovci “Orion” – the oldest European calendar (6,000 years BC) and the oldest European settlement, and in Orašje “Abonos“ – the cradle of the European oak (6,300 years BC). Moreover, a marketing plan was developed, promotional materials were printed, promotional movies were produced and a cross-border heritage tourism route was developed resulting in the production of a common tourism itinerary that was published on the project website.
Some reconstruction and renovation of small tourism infrastructure at heritage sites was carried out, including two promotion pavilions that act as on-site tourist information offices. In addition, 15 signboards were erected in Orašje as well as one interactive panel in Vinkovci providing information and directions to tourists.
Training activities were carried out so that the valorisation of the tourism offer would become more effective. More than 100 local and regional stakeholders in heritage tourism were trained in how to create marketable, sustainable tourism products, in running tourism products, attractions and enterprises professionally, and in protecting the cultural heritage and other subjects.
All this was accompanied by communication and publicity activities. They covered an information and awareness raising campaign, the participation on local and specialized tourist fairs, the organisation of a promotional tour for national and international tourism professionals, newspaper and TV advertisements, etc.
established a virtual centre of heritage resources;
developed cross-border tourist heritage itineraries supported by marketing activities;
developed tourism promotional infrastructure;
strengthened capacities of more than 100 local and regional tourism stakeholders in heritage tourism management;
raised knowledge of tourists and local population on heritage sites history and their offer.
Aspects of good practice
After completing the project, the partners have committed to keep the model of the project’s activities and to create good conditions for a volunteer group to continue working on improving the local tourism offer and to educate the public and tourists about the historical heritage of the area. The activities set up by this action will live beyond the implementation period of the project with the support of the local governments, NGOs and enterprises.
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