General Description of the project

Establishment of Regional Network of Professional Guides for Adventure Tourism: Adventure along Via Dinarica

Tourism is an important sector in western Balkan because of its contribution to the economy of these countries, providing a huge employment opportunity. The region has experienced an enormous growth in tourism in recent years, both in tourist arrivals and tourism receipts. The Via Dinarica, a mega trail that extends from Albania to Slovenia and encompasses the largest karst field on a vertebrae-like limestone chain that has aligned itself through the heart of the western Balkans, is one of the main attractions of the region. The trail offers great opportunities for adventure tourism.

Due to unfavorable economic conditions in the region, there have been insufficient investments in tourism in general that significantly reduce the chances for promotion of exceptional natural and cultural values in the area. Insufficiently developed skills for human resources development that is a necessary precondition for development of sustainable tourism offers in the region is a critical problem. There is also a lack regional tourism academy for professional tourist guides that will tourism product offerings more competitive in region. The lack of generating instructional skills at the local and regional level within various subsectors in tourism, (guiding skills have been developed to a certain degree, but for sustainability purposes there is a need to develop a base of professional tourist guides and local trainers), as well as a local base of safety service providers which is also under-developed and essential to ensuring safety of inbound tourists. On three sides of the border there is a need to provide ongoing, regional and locally based training for provision of quality service, professional and brand development for tourism. The region lacks a consistent marketing approach and brand identity.

Target Groups: Professional Adventure Guides, Trainers, local tourist organization

The project is scheduled to last for a period of 6 months and is primarily focused on the stakeholders in the three countries

Location: Albania (Shkodër, Malësia e Madhe, Tropojë), Bosnia & Herzegovina, Serbia

Duration: 6 months

The project offers general added value as it brings together Western Balkan countries having different backgrounds to jointly undertake research and develop new didactic materials for guide-training programmes. The project also allows for reflection on the concept of the guide as an important tourism stakeholder, and how the profession can develop for the future. The outcomes of the project will be beneficial for training programmes for current and future European guides.

Objectives

Overall objective: Increase quality of service through training and certification of service providers (mainly adventure guides) by including sustainability in the guide training curricula

Specific objectives:
  1. Gain insight on laws, regulation and standards in Tourist guides in three countries
  2. Establishment of modernized and flexible programs of Adventure Tourism training Curricula
  3. Increase the capacity of adventure tourism guides through training and further update and improve the teaching materials for guide trainers
  4. Provide good practice examples and organize specific train-the-trainer workshops on these topics in the different project countries; and (4) Strengthening cooperation with stakeholder and professional networks

Expected Results

  • Policy paper on finding about Curricula of “Adventure Guide” standards and Regulation in three countries has been compiled
  • Adventure tourism guides are trained according to international standards
  • New curricula for adventure tourism has been developed.
  • Establish of Regional Tourism Academy and the provision of trainings and certification for the target group
  • A “thematic tour” booklet, which includes two tours from each partner country is prepared, published and distributed

Activities

  • Comparative study on Tourism Legislation with focus on guides,
  • Curricula Preparation (referring to EU standards)
  • Delivery of Training for 15 Guides (5 guides for partner country)
  • Delivery of Training of Trainers (ToT)
  • Promotional and Public Awareness raising.

Deliverables