Basic information
Original title:
Synergy of culture and tourism: utilization of cultural potentials in less favored rural regions
Researchers involved:
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1 March 2011–1 March 2014

Main objective of the project is to improve the management of cultural values in rural areas in order to increase their economic and social development. Vast areas of South Eastern Europe are dependent solely on agricultural and similar activities and are vulnerable due to global economic circumstances, climate changes, national and supranational policies. But at the same time these areas have unique cultural resources deriving from their rich historical, ethnical and geographical diversity. We consider those cultural resources as tangible and intangible heritages and as a major territorial capital.

In the project we will try to create, implement and promote a common methodology (or a model) for management of cultural values in rural areas. With this model we wish to create a “guide” for various stakeholders who wish to utilize cultural values in touristic, educational, marketing and similar purposes, which would bring new developmental impulses to local economies. The management model will consist of different guidelines, which will demonstrate how to recognize potential cultural values, how to utilize cultural values, how to activate all necessary stakeholders and how to prepare action plans for its utilization. Our wish is that the model implementation would be possible in every region with unused cultural potentials and that the development would be sustainable and would keep cultural heritage alive and authentic.

Model for management of cultural values in rural areas will be tested in pilot regions and will be continuously enhanced on the basis of our “field” experiences. Promotion of the model is an important step in this project since we don’t want for it to become just another obsolete document. Promotion and dissemination of the model will be done primarily through the newly founded Virtual Chamber of Rural Tourism. This Virtual Chamber will be an online tool useful for various stakeholders who want to share knowledge, experiences and good practices for cultural values management and will also serve as a consulting and educational transnational body. In order to improve the current management for cultural values we will, based on our experience, prepare recommendations for concrete local, regional, national and supranational documents. With this we will ensure institutionalization and economic sustainability of the cultural values management.

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Key links

Project manager

Project manager at ZRC


Pazardzhik Regional Administration, Bulgaria • Autonomous province of Trento, Italy • Mountain Community Sirentina, Italy • Municipality of Jesenice, Slovenia • Regional Development Centre, Slovenia • Development Company – Training Centre of Magnesia, Greece • Heraklion Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Greece • University of Novi Sad, Faculty of Sciences, Serbia • Central Transdanubian Regional Innovation Agency, Hungary

Funded by

European Regional Development Fund


cultural values • cultural heritage • rural areas • less favored areas • regional development • rural tourism • South East Europe