The CARAT (The Carpathian Region as an Attractive Tourist Destination / Karpatský región ako atraktívna turistická destinácia) project opening conference started the activities aimed at increasing the Carpathians as a tourist destination.
The conference was opened by project manager Mária Gurbaľová and project coordinator Peter Germuška of the Košice 2013, n.o. non-profit organisation, who introduced the CARAT project to the audience. Hungarian participant Mónika Kajati from Sárospatak talked about the potential of her city for the development of tourism. Romanian region of Maramureş was introduced by Mirel Mihali from the Baia Mare branch of the Foundation for the Development of the Carpathian Euroregion. Tetyana Pashchenko from the Carpathian Foundation Ukraine focused in her presentation on the tourist potential of the Uzhgorod/Zakarpatsko region. Towards the end of this first part of the conference, participants had a chance to learn about the potential of the City of Košice and its surroundings, as well as about current activities and plans for the development of tourism in this area.
In the following part of the conference, all participating regions introduced main legislative frameworks in their respective countries and regions, as well as strategic documents defining tourism and focusing on its development in the given countries and regions. Main problems in the field of efficient development of destinations were discussed, as well as 5 most appealing attractions of the regions, which should serve as a basis for the creation of tourism products. Most importantly, the area, which should be in the focus of the project partners’ activities during the implementation of the project was defined. Here, the partners will try to build functioning partnerships for the implementation of the destination management plan and for carrying out of the marketing study.
The first step towards the improvement of the current state of tourism in the Carpathian region will be represented by the preparation of a joint tourism development strategy and that of the destination management plan. Common marketing study, focusing individually on each participating region, activity implementation training programme and the preparation of the interactive web platform should all serve as a good starting point for this. Experience gained from the Hungarian, Slovak, Romanian and Ukrainian cooperation, as well as all other results of the CARAT project should be presented during the international conference at the end of 2012.
Conference invitation and programme, as well as presentations in English, are available in the DOWNLOAD section.
During the seminar, project partners had a chance to discuss their expectations and, at the same time, to recap the information presented by individual partners during the conference.
All these pieces of information will be used as a starting point for the preparation of the questionnaire survey and for the methodology used for the collection of relevant data from the regions, which are important for the primary analyses. These analyses are aimed mainly at learning about the potential for the establishment of private-public partnerships, as well as for the creation of joint destination products.
The seminar was chaired by Dr. Andrej Šteiner, Director of the Carpathian Development Institute (CDI). Carpathian Development Institute will be responsible for the preparation of all materials necessary for the creation of main project outputs.