The project recognizes that cross-border area (Amphipoli and Blagoevgrad) exhibits rich historical, cultural and archaeological cross-border significance heritage. There is a large number of historical significance findings and assets which are of world class importance. The idea of the project developed due to the need for tangible and mental preservation and rehabilitation of cross-border historical and cultural assets.
Amplhipoli and Blagoevgrad outline a region where cultural layers from the lively social and cultural life of the ancient Greeks and Thracians, but also of Greeks and Bulgarians from the Middle Ages and Modern Times are accumulated for millennia. Part of this heritage is kept in good condition, the other one needs of conservation and protection, and probably there are artifacts that still expect their discoverers. Also, valuable is another part of the rich cultural heritage of the region, which are hidden in the hearts of the local people – unique folklore traditions, instrumental music folklore and songs, rituals and customs, and so on are transmitted from one generation to the other.
The lack of an integrated and sustainable tourist thematic destination leads to an unutilized archeological and cultural heritage for tourist purpose. Specifically, the historical and cultural heritage will extinct and be a memory in people’s mind unless we make the necessary infrastructure and thematic interventions in the cross-border area. This fact results to the small visibility of historical and cultural tourists in the cross-border significance assets.
Furthermore, the stakeholders in tourism sector don’t have adequate education and training in order to attract and satisfy the tourist’ needs. Regarding to the stakeholders, we include the working with local cultural institutions and non-governmental organizations, tour operators, representatives of the local population willing to work in the field of cultural tourism, students from public and humanities, unemployed etc.All stakeholders aren’t able to ensure the sustainable and increasing visibility of tourists in cross-border area. The lack of integrated and sustainable tourist thematic destination utilizing the cross-border significance archeological and cultural assets was the nodal point of partners’ cooperation.
Lead Beneficiary of the project which represents all the archeological community in Greece, came in touch with the 6 partners in order to negotiate the purpose and all relevant details. All partners cooperated in forming a strategic plan. All project partners are experience in management and cooperation of EU and national projects, as they have implemented many of them. Therefore there is an imperative need for the implementation of the proposed project as its main objective is to develop a sustainable and integrated tourist thematic destination preserving and rehabilitating the historical and cultural assets of cross-border area. This will be achieved through small infrastructure interventions in order to be rehabilitated and connected the archaeological assets.
Moreover, the project aims to develop a new approach on managing and integrating cultural assets will indicate a number of actions and good practices (workshops, training, events, street events, social networking), where some of them will be pilot implemented in Amphipoli’s and Blagoevgrad’s area. Moreover will established an interpretation center in Amphipoli which will provide knowledge for the historical and cultural heritage of cross-border area. This framework will be presented to regional, national and EU policy makers and relevant stakeholders to future creation of relevant legal framework.
Depending the specification thematic courses, the project concerns to the following target groups: working with local cultural institutions and non-governmental organizations, tour operators, representatives of the local population willing to work in the field of cultural tourism, students from public and humanities, unemployed and generally all the stakeholders in tourism sector. These thematic courses will deliver the necessary knowledge and techniques to participants in order to contribute to tourist attraction. Finally, the project aims to provide all the necessary tools that has used and implemented in the project to other historical and cultural destinations through the organization of infodays.
The overall objective of the project is the practical and mental preservation and rehabilitation of cross-border significance archeological and cultural assets in order to be designed and developed one sustainable cross-border tourist thematic destination. All actions are orientated towards the development of an approach which will contribute on managing and integrating cultural assets in the regions of Amphipoli and Blagoevgrad. This can be achieved through the development of infrastructure works.
More, specifically small scale construction and sign posting of paths and routes will be established and will connect the archeological sites of Amphipoli. One sub-objective of the project is the development of a new approach on managing and integrating cultural assets will indicate a number of actions and good practices (workshops, training, events, street events, social networking), where some of them will be pilot implemented in Amphipoli’s and Blagoevgrad’s area.
Project Partners will organize thematic training seminars in order to deliver appropriate knowledge and skills to stakeholders in tourism sector and generally everyone who is willing to involve in promotion of the new designed cross-border tourist thematic destination. In this way, we will achieve youth cross-border exchanges. In the long-term the project will result on increasing international visibility of CB thematic destination and better tourists flows. Finally, the project aims to provide all the necessary tools that has used and implemented in the project to other historical and cultural destinations through the organization of infodays.