The project “Cross-border religious heritage” is co-funded by the European Union through the European Union Fund for Regional Development in the framework of Interreg V-A Romania-Bulgaria programme. The project is implemented by Regional Development Foundation – Bulgaria in partnership with the University of Craiova, Romania. The project started on 8th of August 2018 and will finish on 8th of February 2020.
The main goal of “Cross-Border Religious Heritage” project is to promote the cross-border region between Bulgaria and Romania as religious tourism destination. We strive to create conditions to promote the holy sites of the two countries, which are located in the districts and counties covered by the project in order to increase the number of the tourists in these regions. To achieve this goal we carry out a number of promotional and communication activities through social media, Internet, documentary film, video spots, short videos, online travel guide, mobile application etc.
This cross-border project covers the counties of Dolj, Mehedinţi and Olt in Romania and the districts of Vidin, Montana, Vratsa, Pleven, Veliko Tarnovo and Ruse in Bulgaria. A great number of beautiful churches and monasteries located in the regions along the Danube River, are covered by our communication campaign. The project covers the following target groups: representatives of church institutions, travel agents and agencies, potential tourists, who are interested in pilgrimage tourism, potential users of the online products, developed in the framework of the project.
Between November 2018 and March 2019 we carried out two field studies in Bulgaria and in Romania. The field studies analyzed the religious heritage and the potential of the two cross-border regions as destinations for pilgrimage. The study covered six districts in Bulgaria (Vidin, Vratsa, Montana, Pleven, Veliko Tarnovo and Ruse) and 3 counties in Romania (Olt, Mehedinţi and Dolj).
In April 2019 we organized two cross-border seminars in Bulgaria and in Romania. The seminar aimed to develop the framework of a joint strategy for promoting the religious tourism and for diversification of the religious heritage (tangible and non-tangible) of the two regions covered by the project, also to analyze the outcomes of the field studies, carried out in Bulgaria and in Romania. During the seminars our participants suggested joint travel routs for pilgrimage tourism in the cross-border areas between the two countries. The two seminars took place in Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria and in Drobeta Turnu Severin, and the locality of Dubova, Romania. The seminars involved representatives of the Bulgarian and the Romanian Orthodox Churches, travel agents, journalists, NGOs representatives, potential tourists and other interested stakeholders.
Development of joint strategy
From April 2019 to June 2019 we developed a joint strategy to promote the religious tourism and to diversify the religious heritage (tangible and non tangible) in the cross-border region between Romania and Bulgaria
We developed this interactive web-site for pilgrims and tourists interested in religious tourism in the first half of 2019. The site includes both description of the Christian sites of all regions, covered by the project and of the intangible religious heritage – joint feasts, customs, practices and traditions of the cross-border areas.
Online guide and mobile application
Our Romanian partner, the University of Craiova, elaborated both an online travel guide and a mobile application, which present the Christian heritage of the cross-border region, covered by the project, and includes description of the holy sites, places for accommodation in or around the monasteries, covered by the field studies, and other relevant information.
We developed six video materials and documentary film in Bulgarian, Romanian and English languages; a short spot presenting the new web-site as well as brochures in 5 languages, which are uploaded in the “Brochures” section; leaflets; paid publications in mass media and other promotional materials about the joint Christian heritage of Bulgaria and Romania.
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