Published on 28 Oct 2022
The Municipalities of Anfeh (Lebanon) and Fikardou (Cyprus) signed a Memorandum of Understanding on 19 October at a TExTOUR general assembly hosted by the Cyprus University of Technology. The aim is to strengthen collaboration between the two pilot sites and set the basis for a long-term partnership.
From 19 to 21 October 2022, the members of TExTOUR met in Limassol (Cyprus) for the project’s second general assembly.
On the first day of the meeting, the project partners visited the village of Fikardou. Upon the arrival of the party, the local institutions and the residents welcomed them with a blessing ceremony held by the local orthodox priest. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was then signed between the two pilot sites in the presence of the Commissioner for the Development of Mountain Areas in Cyprus and a representative of the Department of Antiquities, which is responsible for the protection and preservation of the village. The visit to the village that followed was full of surprises, like the demonstration of the traditional waving method and tasting delicious local dishes.
The second and third days were dedicated to an update on the project’s activities.
The pilots in the project have identified a number of actions to include in their cultural tourism strategies. These include: a small school of Gastronomy in Trebinje, the digitization of the Fikardou village, the ambassadorship program in Coa Parque, thematic tours in the Kreenholm district, the creation of a permanent consultation table on cultural tourism in Crespi D’Adda, the setup of a Trinational Umgebindehouse-road, the recovery of fair traditions in Dubno town, improving accessibility of tourism infrastructure in Tarnowskie Góry and the design of the label “Made in Anfeh” for the promotion of local products.
During the last months, in fact, the pilots organised a series of workshops in which local communities were asked to map their aspirations, identify and select a set of cultural tourism actions (with the help of actions cards), fill in a business model canvas for each of the actions, and finally set out long- and short-term goals. The aim of the participatory process, designed by the researchers of Bologna University, was to include the four pillars of sustainability: social, economic, cultural, and environmental.
The project is now entering a new phase: the strategies will be put into practice in the so-called Cultural Tourism Labs and will then feed the project’s digital platform, whose first version will be available in early 2023.
Soon the co-development methodology and the CT strategies that originated from it will be made public, serving as a helpful guide for other areas wishing to define their own cultural tourism strategy. Stay tuned!