Описание и цели на проекта:

The project aims at fostering cooperation at European level between municipalities on the theme of intangible cultural heritage preservation and valorization through cultural tourism. In the last decade the cultural tourism sector becomes increasingly popular. Nevertheless, many of the local communities are not prepared enough to address the needs of this growing sector and experience difficulties developing adequate strategies and products to promote and make use of their tangible and intangible heritage for tourism.

For the participate towns the traditions, folk arts and crafts still represent important resources from social and cultural perspective and taking action for their valorization and continuation is important for achieving inclusive and sustainable growth both of the local communities and the EU as a whole. As seniors are the carriers of traditional cultures and folk arts, we specifically aim at including elderly people in the activities and to promote the perspective of active ageing and intergenerational learning. Another challenge local communities face is the difficulty to promote and distinguish their territories as tourism destinations in the context of globalization.

The main objective of the project is the establishment of effective cross-border cooperation and the implementation of joint transnational coherent strategies and measures in order to improve the quality and visibility of European cultural tourism offer. The specific objectives of the project are to establish a sustainable network of municipalities, cultural organisations, small businesses and tourism centers; to promote sustainability, competitiveness and respect of local identities; to reinforce the sense of European citizenship by strengthening the relations between European local communities. The target groups are: public authorities, citizens; youth; seniors; artists and small and medium businesses; NGOs; cultural and tourism organizations.

Методология за тяхното постигане:

The project partners are local authorities from 6 European countries. As both European and cross-sectoral cooperation are of crucial importance for reaching the project’s aims, each partner will involve in the activities at least one representative of each target group. Each of the six partners will host an event in order to actively involve their local communities in the project. Each host organisation in each of the 6 countries will be responsible for organizing the events and for including as many local participants as suitable throughout the process.

The project will cover the expenses for participants (not necessarily the same across all 6 events) to attend an event in partner countries. Each project partner is responsible for selecting the most relevant participants taking into account the themes of the event and the areas of expertise required. The project consists of 6 different events with different framework and focus. Each event will have at least one day, open to the general public, in order to ensure wide visibility and dialogue with the local communities.

The first project meeting will be held in Härryda, Sweden and will be attended by each partner's official representatives. Besides the approval of the management, evaluation and dissemination plans for the project, participants will draft the structure of the network, its strategic priorities and short-term (within the project lifetime) and long-term (2014-2020) goals.

The network structure, priorities and goals will be presented for further discussions and amendment during the workshop in Tenerife, Spain. There, experts in the relevant sectors will share best practices and propose specific measures for the development of their relevant sectors and the network as a whole.

The Forum in Greece will build on the results of the Workshop by setting the focus on inter-generational dialogue and active aging. The event will involve all the target groups and the themes will be: valorization and continuation of traditional culture; fostering transfer of knowledge and know-how among generations; traditional culture and entrepreneurship. As SMEs are in the core of the local communities’ development their active involvement in the Network is crucial for the achievement of all the objectives and goals set. Therefore, the Cultural Tourism Fair in Malta is planned in order to create opportunities for actors in the fields of culture and tourism and create sustainable partnerships, access new markets, exchange ideas.

The Cultural Tourism Fair will be followed by a Festival of Cultures, which aims at creating connections among traditional artists and artisans and allowing citizens to taste the cultural richness and diversity of Europe. It will be integrated into an already existing annual international festival of folk music and dance in Sandanski. The project will be completed by a Closing event in Sepino, Italy, where the project results, the final version of the structure of the network, its strategic priorities and long-term goals and action plan will be presented to the public.

The European dimension is ensured by the participation of towns from 6 EU countries where the traditions, folk arts and crafts still represent important resources and which face similar challenges in the valorization, exploitation and continuation of this heritage. As it represents an important part of Europe’s cultural heritage, our aim is to involve later on in the network partners from all around Europe.