Connecting Danube with Carpathians within the Lower Danube Sustainable Tourism Strategy
Friday, November 21, at Calafat, our association participated in the “Conference on Sustainable Tourism in the Lower Danube”, organized within the project “The cross border strategic partnership for Sustainable Tourism in the southwestern and northwestern regions of the Lower Danube”*.
The project is funded by the Romania-Bulgaria Transborder Cooperation 2007-2013. The overall objective of the project is to influence the process of economic and social development of the area in southwestern and northwestern Lower Danube through cooperative initiatives and strategic actions of the main actors for implementing sustainable tourism.
During the event it was presented the Strategic Action Masterplan (2014-2018) for the implementation of sustainable tourism in the southwestern and northwestern Lower Danube and also the significant potential of tourism development in the Lower Danube in the context of the European Strategy for the Danube and cross Border Cooperation Programme Romania – Bulgaria.
The “Sustainable Tourism Convention on the Lower Danube” was also presented, a document signed by numerous organizations representing key players in tourism in the entire border area. We also signed the Convention, but in the same time we had some observation:
-to recognize the importance of the fifth strategic direction “DSA 5. Management of environmental issues. Promoting green technologies in tourism” by moving it on first or second position and
-the most important was related with Carpathian Strategy. Considering the unique presence on the same territory of both Carpathian mountains and Danube river, we requested the Master Strategic Action Plan for sustainable tourism in the Lower Danube to be implemented in close correlation with the Strategy for Sustainable Tourism Development of the Carpathians (SSTDC) along with the European Union Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR).
The discution on the Sustainable Tourism Strategy in the Lower Danube continued during the “Cross-border training session on sustainable tourism implementation in Lower Danube region” which took place on 4-5th of December in Craiova, Romania.
We took the opportunity to present the Strategy for Sustainable Tourism Development of the Carpathians (SSTDC) as an important tool to be considered and used for the sustainable development of tourism in the Lower Danube region and we emphasized the need of a real implementation of the sustainability principles when putting the Masterplan into practice.
As an association dealing with management of the environmental isues in tourism and promotion of green technology, we also presented the Progressive Green Labeling System developed by our association. This is an effective tool for encouraging tourism services providers to become green to be diseminated in the “Action Group on the classification, acreditation and certification of tourism services” within the Sustainable Development of Tourism Association in Cross-border Region RO-BG and also in its member organizations and associated organizations” for the benefit of nature, customers and also to get a competitive advantage on the market (3win principle).
As sustainable development of cultural tourism based on festivals and cultural events is one of the main strategic directions for action, many cultural organization from Romania and Bulgaria presented their speciffic activities during the meeting. Mr. Constantin Serban introduced GreenArts concept as a visual manifest of arts/culture for nature protection and proposed cooperation with green artists community for organizing future green cultural events.
*the project “The cross border strategic partnership for Sustainable Tourism in the southwestern and northwestern regions of the Lower Danube” was implemented by the Romanian Association for Electronic and Software Industry – Oltenia branch (ARIES Oltenia) in partnership with the Border “Equilibrum Environment” (lead partner), the Association “Regional Partnership for Sustainable Development -Vidin”, Regional Development Agency and Business Centre 2000 Montana, Perpetuum Mobile Foundation.