GREEN AND MYSTICAL DANUBE STORYTELLING ROUTE - Transnational valorisation of natural and intangible cultural heritage for socio-economic development of rural areas in the Danube region 

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Meet the Mystical Danube

The MYSTICAL DANUBE will address several challenges and needs in the Danube Region related to the valorisation of natural and intangible cultural heritage as tourism asset and their contribution to regional economic development and social inclusion. High unemployment rate and social exclusion is recognisable in the rural and less visited areas of the Danube region, especially among different disadvantaged groups (youth, elderly, minorities, women and people with disabilities). Disparity in unemployment is also seen between western and eastern European countries and between EU countries and non-EU countries of the Danube region. Tourism as an important economic branch that hosts many employments is not evenly distributed within each country yet alone, region. Project region is rich in natural and intangible cultural heritage. This richness is especially seen in the rural and less visited areas through local stories, legends and knowledge originating from this rich and amazing natural sites and they are at major risk of being left out and/or forgotten. People holding this knowledge are already old or have emigrated these areas. In this project, we would like to contribute to community development in rural and less visited areas on each participating country level through transnational valorisation of natural heritage and intangible cultural heritage that is deeply connected and intertwined with the local community. The main project objective is to develop a coordinated joint transnational approach in the valorisation of natural and intangible cultural heritage as a tourism asset in rural and less visited areas in the DRP area. Transnational approach will be reached through joint cooperation between different stakeholders on local, regional and national levels, from all participating countries and in experience and knowledge exchange. Local community is a great resource that can enhance economic development of a certain region, and at the same time feel included and as a contributing member of the community and society in general. We want to include local community, and especially the disadvantaged groups in creation of community-based tourism services that will be part of a new thematic route (the Green and Mystical Danube Storytelling Route) created within the project, as a social innovation. Also, we want to include the local community members (special focus on disadvantaged groups in each region) in capacity building activities for the provision of these services which will enhance their employment, social inclusion and economic development in the DRP area. The project’s main outputs will include 1 joint strategy for the valorisation of natural and intangible cultural heritage in rural and less visited areas of the Danube region, 10 Pilot site Action plans for the development of sustainable community tourism services and products, 23 partner organisations cooperating across borders and a jointly developed solution for transnational tourism development tested as a pilot action on 10 Pilot sites as a new thematic route, the Green and Mystical Danube Storytelling Route, with the mobile app showing the route and its features in terms of sites and available touristic services and set up contact points at Pilot sites. Contact points with the mobile app will be a place for local stories and myths to be narrated by newly trained local storytellers, but also to transpose and introduce people to other Pilot sites with their stories and legends. Our innovative approach combines natural and intangible cultural heritage as a new tourism asset within the transnational context that will enhance local community employment and community development.
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Project overview

Start date:

01 January 2024

Status: ongoing

End date:

30 June 2026



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funded by ERDF





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