European Commission supports INI-Novation Bulgaria for Project Activities
In the next two years, INI-Novation Bulgaria participates in a high-class European consortium for a project in the preservation of the religious heritage. The European Commission is funding an initiative that will qualify religious institutions to professionally develop and distribute marketable monastic products. The first project meeting with ten representatives from six European countries took place in Bronnbach Monastery, Germany.
The SKIVRE project (“Skills Development for the Valorisation of European Religious Heritage”) will be financed by the European ERASMUS+ programme. The project manager Angela Ivanova names three objectives: To expand competence in European monasteries for the development, production and marketing of high-quality products, to establish Europe-wide sales strategies for monastic products and to revive the monasteries’ historical craftsmanship. Behind this is the clear intention to generate income through high-quality, authentic monastic products, which will directly benefit the preservation of the monasteries. The following are created
- a multilingual training program for monastic employees, monks and nuns to professionalize the development, production and marketing of monastic products,
- a user-friendly digital learning platform,
- a handbook for monastic products with guidelines for professional production and marketing via trade, and
- a publication on historical crafts in monasteries and their potential for social entrepreneurship in rural areas.
Monastic products for the preservation of religious heritage
The production of monastic products (e.g. handmade body care products (soaps, lotions, bread, jam, spirits, beer, wine, religious products) is a means of generating income and contributes to the preservation of the religious heritage and the safeguarding of jobs. Monasteries often could not survive without the production and sale of these products. The historical knowledge about the production of these products is part of the immaterial cultural heritage of Europe.
Religious Heritage in Danger
“The approval of the project and the associated funds are a clear recognition of our long-year efforts for heritage preservation” says Wolfgang Kniejski, Managing Director of INI-Novation. “This commitment has convinced the European Commission that INI-Novation Bulgaria is exactly the right part for this project”. INI-Novation Bulgaria have important tasks in the project implementation. The company is a leader of the work package related with the training modules creation tasks including a research targeting European monasteries in the partner countries.
“Our European religious heritage is in great danger of being unsustainable in the long term. According to a research with a topic “Current problems in preserving the monasteries in Bulgaria”, in the last few years there has been a steady decrease in visits and donations in Bulgarian monasteries by Bulgarian citizens. The reasons for this can be sought in the economic situation of the state and society. The production tradition has also been abolished – in the past the Bulgarian monasteries have been a serious producer of both agricultural and household items, but they have been selling them, but they have recruited their own support. Nowadays, a a few monasteries have own production that can financially support their existence, development and preservation of the religious heritage. SKIVRE project supports this process to recover the production tradition in the monasteries. INI-Novation Bulgaria has led or contributed to several European projects in recent years, related to preservation of the religious heritage. “We are now contributing these experiences to SKIVRE,” says the expert.
European cultural heritage seal for SKIVRE
The awarding of the seal of the European Cultural Heritage Year 2018 for the project came just in time for the first project meeting in Germany. “This makes our project visible throughout Europe as a contribution to the European Cultural Heritage Year 2018”, the German project coordinator Karin Drda-Kühn is pleased to say.
European expertise for the project
In addition to INI-Novation Bulgaria, the partnership comprises of a multidisciplinary European team representing the target groups and the expertise required for the sustainable impact of SKIVRE: media k GmbH as coordinator (Germany), Bronnbach monastery (Germany), the European network “Future for Religious Heritage” (Belgium), the two educational developers Wissenschaftsinitiative Niederösterreich (Austria) and INI-Novation (Bulgaria) as well as the digital development partner GU-net (Greece).
Angela Ivanova, project manager, INI-Novation Bulgaria
INI-Novation Bulgaria committed to training in cultural tourism in Bulgaria:
In cooperation between INI-Novation and 15 European experts, nine training units for providers of cultural tourism products and services in rural areas were created. Herewith, the European initiative EUROPETOUR supports the economic development of rural cultural tourism.
Over the past three years, the EUROPETOUR initiative has developed a modular training programme for cultural and touristic actors and institutions in rural areas in order to meet the needs and wishes of guests interested in culture even better and to make better use of the opportunities offered by social media. It is about destination characterization, development and positioning of touristic products and services, marketing strategy and planning, distribution and sales channels, communication strategy and planning, networking and cooperation, financial planning, development of a business plan.
The training modules are available free of charge in German, English, Spanish, Romanian, Bulgarian, Italian and Polish at www.europetour.tips and are already being successfully used for training in eight European regions.
Social media as a focal point of training in cultural tourism
Separate “Guidelines for Social Media in Rural Cultural Tourism” provide practical tips for the successful use of social media in rural cultural tourism and evaluate success factors of already existing good examples from all over Europe. For INI-Novation, this guide is particularly important: “The social media in particular can be of great help in attracting and satisfying guests, but we need in-depth knowledge for professional use, which EUROPETOUR now provides us with”.
Training modules for the European tourism market
In addition to INI-Novation Bulgaria, the European regions and countries Bukovina (Romania), Heilbronner Land (Germany), Cantabria (Spain), the Marche (Italy) and the Europe-wide network “Future for Religious Heritage”, the German cultural tourism network KIRA for Heilbronn-Franken, the German-Polish network “Klosterland” and the Austrian network “Kreativ Reisen Österreich” contributed to the development.
INI-Novation Bulgaria is proud to have participated in the development of the training units, “because we were able to bring in experience from our background as business developers and marketing expetrs and thus ensure that the training units start exactly where is need further training and can immediately apply it in practice,” says Angela Ivanova, project manager for Bulgaria.
The EUROPETOUR initiative has now been awarded the European Heritage Year Label by the European Commission – an award for projects promoting the preservation of cultural heritage. “We are of course particularly proud of this sign of European appreciation for our region”, says Angela Ivanova.
For further information:
Angela Ivanova, EUROPETOUR project manager for Bulgaria
EUROPETOUR team with Angela Ivanova INI-Novation Bulgaria OOD
The city of Veliko Tarnovo, a hotbed for cultural traditions & crafts production in north central Bulgaria, hosted the training session, organized by INI-Novation Bulgaria, as part of the International Tourism Fair “Cultural Tourism”.
This event proved to be a great success: representatives from municipalities, art organisations, tourism agencies and single start-ups showed a lot of interest in the presentations of EUROPETOUR partners Karin Drda-Kühn (Kultur und Arbeit e.V., Germany), Angela Ivanova (INI-Novation), Wolfgang Kniejski (INI-Novation), Lacramioara Beilic (Bucovina Tourism, Romania) and Antonio Kuzmanovski (Macedonian start-up “WheninX“).
THE MULTIPLIER EVENT
After an introduction about the vision of EUROPETOUR by Karin Drda-Kühn (Kultur und Arbeit e.V., Germany), Angela Ivanova (INI-Novation Bulgaria) presented the EUROPETOUR training modules and one of the main topics of interest for the Bulgarian tourism stakeholders and mainly startups in tourism: Positioning, branding, marketing of cultural tourism in rural areas and the importance of networking. Her presentation was built on so called case-based learning: By providing a best practice example surrounded by theoretical knowledge and practical exercises, a better understanding about the specifics of the topic was achieved.
After that, Lacramioara Beilic (Bucovina Tourism, Romania) presented the region of Bucovina as a best practice example and opportunity for collaboration between Bulgarian and Romanian stakeholders. She highlight her “vision for networking”, sharing what the Bucovina region did for addressing the specific needs of cultural travellers in a successful way.
Wolfgang Kniejski (INI-Novation Bulgaria) gave a deep overview of financing instruments with special emphasis on topics such as value generation chains in cultural tourism, business planning, sales and distribution, as well as market-oriented financing. Best practise examples were provided and many insides about how to build a successful project idea were discussed.
At the end, a best practice presentation about distribution policies from Macedonia complemented the event. Antonio Kuzmanovski, CEO of the Macedonian start-up “WheninX“, presented a service-driven technological solution for fostering cultural programmes for locals and visitors.
A young girl by cell phone photographed of The smallest cathedral in the world, church of the Holy cross, Nin, Croatia
Being successful in cultural tourism needs training for cultural workers, tourism experts, business developers and representatives of public authorities. In urban areas there already are numerous examples for successful cooperation, but good practice in rural areas is rather rare. Specifically, training is needed in professionally using social media and online marketing of tourism services. Identifying the actual training needs is one of the objectives of EUROPETOUR and developing a detailed training program accordingly. EUROPETOUR will be implemented until 2018 in eight European regions, supported by the European ERASMUS+ programme.
First of all, the project partners aim at identifying the necessary steps for successful cultural tourism development in rural areas. In a second step, training modules for local stakeholders wishing to develop or foster their own skills are established, including guidelines for the use of social media as well as online marketing in cultural heritage, and cultural tourism. The guidelines will be available in seven European languages in order to get European outreach.
European travellers on their way to discover cultural heritage
Additionally, all project partners to EUROPETOUR have committed to developing networked, tangible offers and ready-made packages across Europe. In this way, travellers with a special interest in, say, castles and monasteries or creative travel, should end up with a tailor-made travel arrangement allowing them to explore the Italian region Marke, the Spanish region Cantabria or the German region of the Heilbronner Land in a similar way. Opportunities provided by social media as well as the use of mobile devices, such as smartphones or tablets, are to be directly addressed. The goal is to generate income for cultural tourism stakeholders, to develop attractive packages for cultural travellers and to benefit from the best-practice examples demonstrated by the project partners across Europe.
Participating partners and cultural touristic networks
Project coordinator: Karin Drda-Kuehn, firstname.lastname@example.org(link sends e-mail), phone 0049 7931 56 36 374
Project manager for Bulgaria: Angela Ivanova, email@example.com, phone 0049 1521 72 90 945, or 00359 885 128 877
Web-page EUROPETOUR: https://www.europetour.tips/