VALORISATION OF GEO-HERITAGE FOR SUSTAINABLE AND INNOVATIVE TOURISM DEVELOPMENT OF DANUBE GEOPARKS
Acronym: Danube GeoTour
Programme: Interreg Danube Transnational Programme 2014-2020
Reference No.: DTP1-226-2.2
Programme Priority: PA2, Environment and culture responsible Danube region
Lead partner: Idrija Heritage Centre- Idrija Geopark (SLO),
- Balaton-felvidéki National Park Directorate (H),
- Styrian Eisenwurzen (A),
- Public institution »Nature Park Papuk« (CRO),
- ARGE Geopark Karavanks (A/SLO),
- Institute of the Republic of Slovenia for Nature Conservation (SLO),
- Bakony & Balaton Regional Tourism Nonprofit Ltd. (H),
- Bohemian Paradise Geopark non-profit organization (CZ),
- University of Bucharest (RO),
- University of Presov (SL),
- Public Enterprise National Park Djerdap (SRB).
Additionally, there are 3 associated strategic partners in the project who will help maintain the high quality of implemented actions:
- Humanpolis ltd / Rokua Geopark (F),
- Naturtejo – Tourism Company (P)
- Global Geoparks Network (FR).
Project duration: 1.1.2017- 30.6.2019
Budget in Euro:
Overall: 1 666 362,5
ERDF Contribution: 1 328 063,36
IPA Contribution: 88 344,75
ENI Contribution: 0
THE MAIN PROJECT OBJECTIVE
is to improve management capacities and strategies and to develop practical solutions for the activation of geodiversity/geo-heritage and to seize positive market trends for sustainable tourism development in 8 Geoparks of the Danube region.
Implementing an integrative approach, the project shall address four common challenges:
- Avoid and/or handle negative pressures and environmental impacts of new forms of Geopark tourism;
- Seize the potential of Geopark values and brand for socio-economic development while inspiring local residents and small businesses to develop new, sustainable and innovative geoproducts along the defined Danube GeoTour;
- Present geodiversity in a comprehensive, understandable and attractive way;
- Use the synergies of joint learning and marketing for greater awareness of Geoparks in the Danube region.
The project shall result in a joint Danube GeoTour that appears in the form of a variety of itineraries and comprises a set of innovative geoproducts and geointerpretation sites based on the unique natural, cultural and geographical heritage of the Danube region.
• WP 1: Project Management
• WP 2: Communication Activities
• WP 3: Geopark with(out) limits
• WP 4: GeoProducts with Character
• WP 5: GeoInterpretation
• WP 6: GeoPartnership&Marketing
1) To jointly address the challenge of establishing an appropriate balance between preservation and geo-tourism development in Geoparks. This involves defining and analysing common opportunities and constraints of sustainable geo-tourism development and forming a set of measures for managing the increased pressure of the most common pressures, negative variations and new forms of tourism in Geoparks such as the collection of fossils, adrenalin parks, etc.
2) To develop, demonstrate and evaluate joint Danube GeoTour comprising innovative geoproducts and the interpretation of the geosites of 8 participating Geoparks. Acting in close collaboration with partners, visitors and local inhabitants the project shall create, test and implement a set of specialized and authentic geoproducts (geoCulture and geoOutdoor) along with modern interpretation methods and techniques, all also facilitated by gamification approaches. With innovative geoheritage interpretation sites, the joint Danube GeoTour will attract new audiences and promote visitor exchange. Gamification approach shall encourage local populations and visitors to engage, educate, and co-create products and to enable the marketing and evaluation of GeoTour. This will allow Danube Geoparks to strengthen their visibility and identity in the national and international context while cooperation in geotourism will bring socio-economic benefits to local Geopark communities.
3) To strengthen transnational partnerships and establish joint marketing through the creation of joint Danube GeoTour using innovative digital concepts, creative marketing and collaboration tools.
During the project IHC will set up a small Geopark Visitor Centre in Idrija Geopark as a part of the Danube GeoTour Visitor Centre Network, focusing on geoheritage of a territory famous for its mercury mine. Bakony–Balaton Geopark will renew the existing Visitor Centre at Hegyestű Geological Visitor Site and its outdoor trails that will, as part of Danube GeoTour, represent a reference point for the interpretation of volcanism. Eisenwurzen Geopark will set up innovative interpretation points in three villages that will represent a reference point for interpreting the power of water in the context of the territory’s geological history. Geopark Papuk intends to set up an innovative interpretation outdoor point at the Zvečevo site that will represent a reference point for the interpretation of metamorphic rocks and processes. NP Djerdap intends to set up an interpretative point at location Tekija, small village on the river bank of the Danube River very close to Iron Gates Gorge.
Successful meeting of the Interreg Danube GeoTour Project
Project meeting in Austria from 20th – 23rd September 2017
Last week the second get-together of the project partners took place in Austria. The UNESCO Global Geoparks Karawanken-Karavanke and Styrian Eisenwurzen had the chance to welcome the 11 project partners from 8 countries. The subtitle shows the goal and the challenge which the partners are facing: »Valorisation of geo-heritage for sustainable and innovative tourism development of Danube Geoparks« The project is co-funded by European Union funds (ERDF, IPA).
The main project result will be joint Danube GeoTour designed to strengthen cooperation between the Geoparks regions and act as an innovative tourism product to accelerate visibility and tourist visits in the geoparks. Sharing experiences, testing pilot Geotourism products and new interpretative approaches should increase local inhabitants' engagement, Geopark management capacities and lower the quality gap between Danube and other EU Geoparks.
During the first day in the Geopark Karawanken-Karavanke in Carinthia the partners had the possibility to learn more about GeoInterpretation during a workshop in the municipality Zell/Sele. A visit to the Geopark Information Centre in Bad Eisenkappel/Železna Kapla took place to explore various best practice examples for GeoInterpretation. In addition, the partners enjoyed three days within the heart of Austria at the UNESCO Global Geopark Styrian Eisenwurzen. In the Hotel Bergkristall Wildalpen the partners found everything they needed for their meeting and workshops. During “Capitalization” our partners learned more about other Interreg Danube projects, especially DanubeparksCONNECTED and ECOKARST (www.interreg-danube.eu). The Welcome Dinner at the Spring Water Museum Wildalpen and the field trip (study tour) within the GeoVillage Gams were a welcoming diversion to see the different GeoSights within the Eisenwurzen. In conclusion, every partner was satisfied concerning the successful meeting. At the end, we just would add many thanks to the organizers from Karawanken-Karavanke and Styrian Eisenwurzen including all their involved helpers and partners.
More information about the project and the organizers are available within the following links: www.interreg-danube.eu/danube-geotour