"In Cultura Veritas – Developing Destination Appeal to Increase the Valorization and Utilization of Cultural Heritage"
DURATION: 1. 8. 2018 – 30. 11. 2020 (28 months)
PROJECT LOCATION: Zagreb County (CRO) and the Obsotelje and Kozjansko subregion (SLO)
BUDGET: 1.003.317,00 EUR. Project funding from the European Fund for Regional Development: 852.819,44 EUR
- Zagreb County (CRO) – lead partner
- Association of Croatian Travel Agencies – UHPA (CRO)
- Museum Documentation Center (CRO)
- Sotla Development Agency (SLO)
- Šmarje Pri Jelšah Municipality (SLO)
- Kmetijsko gozdarski Institute Maribor (SLO)
The main objective of the project is to contribute to the appeal, popularity and protection of the area’s cultural heritage, and to increase the economic activity of its local producers through the development of a new sustainable cross-border tourist destination by strengthening the capabilities of local stakeholders through elaborate promotion. Rich in cultural heritage, the Zagreb County and the Obsotelje and Kozjansko subregion possess a long oenological tradition with wine roads throughout. However, heritage sites are under-visited and do not generate enough revenue, leading to a decline in economic activity, to unemployment, a loss of local identity and the deterioration of valuable cultural monuments. The main reasons for this are fragmented offers and the absence of cooperation between stakeholders, both issues that the project aims to rectify.
Resolving the identified challenges by means of promoting the area as an innovative tourist destination, where cultural heritage is combined with local wine roads and where products and services from both components are integrated (e.g. wine exhibitions at museums, tasting rooms at cultural heritage sites etc.). This new destination will be developed in consultation with area stakeholders so that realistic and applicable solutions are applied, ensuring long-term sustainability. To achieve full development, investments to make visitor infrastructure more attractive at select heritage sites will need to be made, modern technology will be utilized and stakeholders educated in order to improve their capacities for active participation, resulting in a bottom-up approach to presenting and positioning the destination and its sustainability.
Finally, the digitalization and comprehensive promotion of the destination will provide it the necessary visibility and attract many visitors. The synergy of the project’s outcomes will result in attractive offers for visitors, an increase in the number of visitors at cultural heritage sites, as well as on wine roads, which should lead to increased revenue for local stakeholders, regional economic growth and heritage preservation.
Specific Project Objectives
- Create a New Tourist Destination – By pulling together the fragmented supply of visitor and non-visitor content with stakeholders across the border area, create a new attractive destination with new products that will be focused around several cultural heritage sites and the rich wine tradition of the area, applying a bottom-up approach through stakeholder consultation.
- Improve the Destination’s Cultural Heritage Offer - Several significant cultural heritage sites on both sides of the border were selected as the backbone of this new destination, which will be renewed and upgraded to become of interest to the modern guest. These locations will be made even more attractive once they are connected to the offers of the area, with particular emphasis on the wine roads that physically connect them.
- Ensure the Sustainability of the Destination - The sustainability of the tourist destination will be ensured through the strengthened capacities of stakeholders who will be educated on the sales and presentation of both their products and services, as well as the destination in general. Additionally, sustainability will be achieved through comprehensive promotion aimed at attracting more visitors, as well as through the organization of events that will continue to be held after the implementation of the project as a permanent part of the destination’s offer.
Main Project Outcomes
- An increase in the expected number of visits to supported cultural or natural heritage sites and other attractions
- Small-scale investments in visitor infrastructure and the conservation of natural and cultural heritage
- New or improved cross-border sustainable tourism products and destinations of integrated natural or cultural heritage
- Participants involved in activities to raise capacities
- The general public / potential visitors - improved awareness of the destination
- Local and regional authorities - new forms of cooperation, increasing economic activity
- Professional associations in culture and tourism, winemakers, farms, SMEs, artisans - improving skills in sales, presenting and joint cooperation
- Sports and cultural associations, educational institutions - acquiring new knowledge through destination visits
Find more informations at www.inculturaveritas.eu.
This project is co-financed by the Croatian Government Office for Cooperation with NGOs.