The current situation in the Danube region is marked by a demographic decline in rural areas, imbalanced socio-economic development, and social exclusion of vulnerable groups. The project aims to address those common by applying innovative and inclusive solutions for destination management and developing the touristic potential of underdeveloped sub-destinations with local action plans and innovative destination management solutions. The project seeks to capitalize on the cultural heritage and natural resources of the region and create transnational partnerships to deliver high-quality tourism products and solutions. 

The main outputs of the project will be: 

  • Collaborative models, plans, and labels, leading to new and improved touristic offers and enhanced visitors experiences. 
  • Innovative solutions for sub destinations development and management namely a Model for local community involvement and a model for tourism observatories. 
  • Sustainable and eco-friendly travel solutions: Green travel packages and itineraries developed through collaboration with tour operators. 
  • New touristic products- pilots: Festivals of Roman Emperors and Wine Festivals that will test, showcase and promote newly developed solutions. 

The beneficiaries of these outputs include local communities including the local service providers, SMEs, CSOs, cultural institutions in 9 sub destinations (in Serbia, Slovakia, Croatia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Bosnia, Romania, Ukraine and Slovenia), that will benefit from new inclusive solutions for destination management as well as the new touristic products (festivals that will serve as the pilots for testing solutions). Beneficiaries further include vulnerable groups including migrants, women and youth that will be directly involved in tourism development in their respective sub-destinations, tourists through the improved touristic offer and policymakers on national and local levels in the wider Danube Region. The knowledge transfer developed as a transferability tool will further promote solutions developed within the project and will be oriented towards presidents and managers of European Cultural Routes, tour operators, regional development agencies, and other stakeholders involved in tourism development across the Danube region. This knowledge pack will be serving as a tool for sustainable tourism development and raising the overall potential of the Danube region as a touristic macro-region. 

The project takes a transnational approach because tourism development and destination management require cooperation and collaboration across borders. By adopting a transnational perspective, the project can leverage the shared cultural heritage and natural surroundings of the Danube region and create integrated framework conditions for the better valorization of cultural and natural assets. Transnational partnerships enable the exchange of knowledge, resources, and best practices, leading to more effective and innovative solutions. 

What is new and original about the project is its focus on collaborative tourism development and the integration of inclusive models for destination management. The project aims to empower local communities, involve them in tourism development, and give them a voice in managing visitors and tourist offers. It also emphasizes the use of digital technology, such as 360° VR promotional videos, to enhance the visibility and attractiveness of festivals and sub-destinations in which pilots will be implemented. Furthermore, the project seeks to influence policy changes at the transnational level, promoting sustainable travel packages and innovative and inclusive solutions for tourism management and development. 

The project builds upon the certified CoE Route - “Roman Emperors and Danube Wine Route”, allowing further networking with stakeholders along the Route, raising the visibility of common cultural heritage and creating impulse for new transnational partnerships and designing/delivering high-quality tourism products and services on the Route level. Cultural Routes represent a resource for networking, innovation, creativity and cultural tourism development. The collaborative solutions and tourism development concepts developed through this project are expected to bring significant experience that can be used as a model on other cultural routes and informal networks with a specific theme. 

Project overview

Start date:

01 January 2024

Status: ongoing

End date:

30 June 2026

€2,192,667

budget

80.00 % funded by
Interreg Funds

11

countries

14

partners

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