Priority Area 3 “Culture, tourism and people to people contacts”
The Danube region is characterised by a broad heritage of dense and diverse histories, cultures, ethnicities, religions, markets, societies and states. However, in terms of history and culture, people throughout the region have a shared heritage. As appropriate, Priority Area 3 “Culture, tourism and people to people contacts” uses these ties as levers to promote further cooperation among different stakeholders as well as for encouraging joint projects and tourism products.
The Bulgarian Ministry of Tourism and the Romanian Ministry of Regional Development and Public Administration are coordinating the Priority Area. They are working closely with the NCs, SG, EC and DSP. Since 2016 there is an active Joint Technical Secretariat (JTS) of PA 3 located in the Danube city of Ruse, Bulgaria. Every year both coordinators organize a number of activities on topical issues of common concern in the Danube Area such as in-depth studies as well as conferences on sustainable development, tourism and security, cruise tourism, cultural routes, etc.
A number of actions support the implementation of targets. The assessment of the achieved results shows that almost all of the PA 3’s actions with a few exceptions have been partially realised. The projects CultPlatForm_21, ART NOUVEAU, DANUrb, INSIGHTS, Iron Age Danube, NETWORLD and REDISCOVER funded by the Danube Transnational Programme have contributed towards the actions related to enhancing the diversity, preservation and promotion of culture in the Danube Region. All of the above projects contain innovative elements such as video mapping, mobile application, virtual reality elements. They are part of Sub-pole “Cultural values” of the DTP, on whose website they are presented in detail.
Furthermore, DTP projects of Sub-pole “Natural values” are directly related to the actions for sustainable tourism and the infrastructure for tourism. Among the five projects in this area, two are concentrating on ecological corridors by enhancing framework for management of Transboundary UNESCO Biosphere Reserve “Mura-Drava-Danube” and by addressing connectivity issues along the Danube River corridor in between the national parks. The other three project tackle issues like sustainable tourism development in geo-parks; triggering economic development in Natura2000 sites; and protection and sustainable use of natural heritage represented by karst bio-regions.
Last but not least, PA 3 cooperates with other important international actors from the area of culture and tourism. As a result, some joint events have been organized such as a Conference on development of harmonized tourism monitoring system in the Danube Region with the participation of the UNWTO back-to-back to the EUSDR Annual Forum in Sofia. Whereas, in Bucharest the Council of Europe’s Routes4U project held its first meeting for the Danube Region, which was supported by PA 3. The meeting contributed to identifying the regional needs of the Danube Region with regard to the Cultural Routes Programme and encouraged the development of new transnational routes in the 14 Danube countries.