How do we create the best travel experiences in Europe’s most diverse destination – The Western Balkans?
This week marks the launch of a new project and an entirely new approach to tourism development in the Western Balkans region. Already more than 130 companies and experts from across the region are collaborating to promote a new image for travelers. We want to tell the world about this region’s incredible diversity:
Cultural diversity – In a relatively small area we see Europe’s greatest range of languages, religions, traditions, cuisine, customs and dress.
Biodiversity – More than 75% of Europe’s bird species, the highest plant species to land area diversity in Europe, the last truly wild un-fenced populations of Europe’s ‘BIG 5’ Mammals, the Lynx, Brown bear, Wolf, Chamois and Wild Boar.
Diversity of Activities – The landscape ranges from lakes and deltas to high mountain peaks, the climate ranges from Mediterranean semi-topical to temperate continental and Alpine. The region can boast a full range of winter sports, outdoor recreation, water and sea based activities, (from paragliding to pot-holing, from mountaineering to scuba diving), in some of Europe’s most dramatic locations, surrounded by amazing culture.
In association with the Western Balkans Geotourism Network, the USAID funded Regional Economic Growth project wants to identify, fine tune and then promote world class travel experiences.
During the next 5 months I will visit 6 countries, identify at least 5 companies in each and link them up with partners in the neighboring countries, to create regional routes, framework tours of the best themes , attractions and activities available there.
I am looking forward to working with all interested businesses to help them create sustainable, life changing and unforgettable travel experiences. We have the people and we have the potential attractions in this incredible region.
As this is a new approach, based on empowerment, mentoring and marketing – I shall be using this blog to keep an online record of our ideas, of the people we meet and the places we visit. After each set of meetings I will post details of ideas and opportunities so that I can easily share with our network and with other businesses who can help.
I am also hoping that if anyone should read these journals, you would be happy to share your ideas, feedback, comments and criticisms.
Please also feel free to contact me if you wish to take part in the project.
Jack – 8th April 2014