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Eco and Outdoor Tourism Actions of the Balkan Alps

The unique mountain massif of Prokletije is recognizable as a region of exceptional landscape features, rich biodiversity. Because of their beauty, inaccessibility and untouched nature, Prokletije become a favorite destination for an increasing number of tourists, especially mountaineers and alpinists. On the other hand, residents who inhabit this area are struggling to improve the quality of life. Migration often happens towards urban centers or even outside the country in order to seek for a better life, while the strong potential of this region’s development remains untapped. Similar to situation in Montenegro, similar problem is evident in the area of Prokletije accors the border, on the territory of Kosovo.


In order to achieve sustainable development of the cross-border region through joint tourism potentials based on natural and cultural heritage, the implementation of the cross-border project “Eco and Outdoor Tourism Actions of the Balkan Alps” has started with its implementation. During the two years of its implementation, project foresees activities that will contribute to the quality and diversity of services, the establishment and promotion of a joint tourist offer as well as activities that will enable increased security of the visitors of the National Park Prokletije in Montenegro and the National Park Bjeshket e Nemun in Kosovo.


Due to the inaccessible and specific field of this area, apart from creating a new tourist offer, the focus of the project is the safety of tourists. Many interventions in rescuing lost or injured tourists implies the need for the reconstruction of the tourist infrastructure and in that regard during this year 50km of hiking trails will be assessed from the safety aspect and renewed.


In the forthcoming period, intensive work will be done to build professional capacities of tourism service providers, strengthen the capacities of local communities and the private sector with the aim of developing a unique touristic offer and increa the safety of tourists. The lack of trained planner guides is evident, which is also evidenced by the already mentioned frequency of accidents in the mountains. Therefore, the project will offer training to specialized guides and implement a joint mountain rescue training to enhance cross-border cooperation in helping lost or injured tourists. Training will be conducted in cooperation with relevant national institutions on both sides of the border, in particular with supervisors, national park guides and rescue services. This segment of tourism development will be further stimulated by the reconstruction of the rescue center that will be established in mid-2020. The center will contain all the necessary technical and medical equipment, which will ensure a faster and more efficient reaction of the rescuers if intervention occurs.


Considering the fact that we are talking about a destination that is perfect for nature lovers, rich in local endemic and endangered species of plants, birds and mammals, nature-based tourism will be promoted intensively. In relation to this, training is planned for guides in the field of biodiversity such as observing birds, collecting medicinal herbs, mushrooms.


The project will enable tourists to be provided with information related to outdoor tourism, residing in nature, as well as interesting itineraries that will provide creative and meaningful suggestions of multi-day trips from the moment of departure to the moment of arrival, place of rest, as well as options for outdoor activities. In cooperation with the Municipality and the Tourist Organization Plav, it is planned to set up an interactive display containing all the necessary information on the touristic offer of the area and the network of destinations that are worth visiting.


Source: Boka News