About the Project
INTERREG EUROPE Local Flavours Project
With the partnership of 9 institutions in 8 countries, the Institute of Advanced Studies Kőszeg has started the implementation of the INTERREG EUROPE project Local Flavours (Spicing up authentic tourism in towns with rich heritage through reviving local cultural flavours) on 1st August 2019.
Project duration: 36 months in 2 phases
Project total budget: 1,816,879.00 EUR
iASK share from total budget: 274,963.00 EUR
Participating partners (9 institutions from 8 countries):
- Institute of Advanced Studies, Kőszeg, Hungary
- Harghita County Council, Romania
- Municipality of ‘s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands
- Waterford City and County Council, Ireland
- Savonlinna Development Services Ltd., Finland
- Municipality of Vittorio Veneto, Italy
- Riga Planning Region, Latvia
- Institute for Tourism, Croatia
- Department of Cultural Heritage, University of Bologna, Italy
Local Cultural Flavours’ objective is to improve policies supporting places unable to utilize their cultural legacies due to disadvantaged locations. The project will help partners meet the challenge of identifying the most effective ways to support unique local sites with an innovative analysis toolkit, extensive knowledge sharing, and assisted interaction with local public and private stakeholders. This way, the specific local and regional potentials and bottlenecks can be adequately explored and used to elaborate the right policy frameworks, which will elevate and position new authentic destinations. As a result of the cooperation of the international partnership, 8 Action Plans will be produced as the main outcomes. Targeting various policy instruments (ERDF Operational Programmes, development and marketing strategies) supporting the addressed locations in their pursuit to become more integrated and integral players in regional tourism, based on their recognized and properly used authentic cultural assets.
Policy Instrument Addressed by iASK:
The KRAFT Program is one of three pilot regional development policies of the Hungarian government and aims to focus on the sustainable development of small and medium-sized border towns. In contrast to conventional regional and city development practices, the approach of the KRAFT Program integrates so-called “soft” factors (culture, identity, heritage) and their efficient management with “hard factors” such as infrastructure, energy, communication networks, and economic sustainability. Another novelty of KRAFT is to identify and utilize synergies of interdependencies among rural and city development factors, thus accurately revealing the full range of conditions required for the implementation of new and complex regional development strategies of cities and their rural environment. The government holds iASK responsible for the preparation of the KRAFT Program and its adaptation to other border regions in Hungary. In the course of Local Cultural Flavours, iASK aims to improve the KRAFT Program to correctly build on cultural heritage based urban development, often the most promising development asset of small/medium cities, and an intervention area providing economic, job creation, business/tourism attractiveness, workforce/inhabitant retention benefits, all at the same time.
News & Events
First Local Stakeholder Group meeting in Harghita County, Romania
10 July 2020
Harghita County Council participates in the project entitled Local Flavours, within the Interreg Europe program, and axes on the autenthic tourism development through the revival of cultural „flavours”. Taking into consideration the objectives of the project, in Harghita county the Szekler traditional costume was selected as local „flavour” .
The Harghita National Folk Ensemble created a tradition by organizing on the day before the Thousand Szekler Girls Festival, the event called the Szekler Traditional Costume Day in 2017. This years event, in 2020, even if the situation was particular due to the pandemics, the event was not cancelled, because each interested people had the opportunity to join individually and safely to the call. So we encouraged all those with Szekler (and not only!) folk costumes owner to put on their clothes or some of their clothes on 3rd of July, set off or stay at home – according to what each person did and find a moment to share with us and everyone. The point is to wear the folk costume.
The local stakeholder group members participation in the implementation of the project activities is important, therefore is welcomed that so many people honoured the meeting with their presence and all the areas of specialization were represented (ADR Centru – Managing Authority, public institution, cultural and educational institutions, program organizers, specialists in the field, costume sewers, value preservers, regional representatives, manufacture managers, folk costume producers, members of the project implementation unit, press representatives).
The main topic of the meeting was the inventory of the problems in the field of the Szekler folk costume and inventory of the solutions. Our aim is to improve the selected domain, to lead it into a safe direction and to let live. Mrs. Zonda Erika mentioned that the Folk Costume Assistance Program is implemented since several years, and within this we observed that there are some anomalies, which have to be solved and then we were thinking to lead them into the right direction. Many people are happy to wear the Szekler folk costume, but there appeared also „scam costumes”, „uniforms”, and not always the authentic costums are weared, the applicants prefer rather quantity than quality. This is not good, even dangerous, because these types of Szekler costumes can be inherited further, forgetting the characteristics of real, authentic Szekler folk costumes.
Within the meeting there were listed some problems, such as: lack of the folk costumes; confection of costumes, which are not authentic; wearing not adequate footwear with the folk costume; lack of consultation; lack of the quality raw materials; lack of costume sewers; lack of manufacturers of character shoes and boots; lack of saving authentic folk costumes; lack of traditional folk costume shops; lack of folk costume renters; lack of training and career guidance.
Regarding solutions: the establishment of the manufactures would be a solution, where all the process of the folk costume manufacturing and valorization could be followed step by step, could be visited and even tried.
It was unanimously stated that the main emphasis should be on training, two types of training are proposed – training for children and adult training (lifelong learning, training for the unemployed, retraining for those aged 40-50). At the same time, more emphasis should be placed on strengthening identity awareness among both young people and adults.
3rd online meeting & 4th SG meeting
8 July 2020
The main topics of the meeting:
- Place telling toolkit
- Story map
- Review of the 2nd semester (output indicators & preparation of the next partner reports)
- Steering Group meeting – decision about the next online / personal meetings
From idea to successful tourism product
7 July 2020
On second project period Riga Planning region organized online seminar about small and medium size tourism regional development “From idea to successful tourism product”. Overall in the seminar did participate 40+ participants from different organizations including municipalities. Valuable experiences and inspirational stories were shared by industry representatives of region. Project thematical expert Edgar Razinskis presented the latest results of project survey by local stakeholders. The Riga Tourism Development Bureau presented the developed plan to reduce the impact of the pandemic on the economic consequences by September, as well as the city’s tourism hackathon and communication campaign “Riga is not Riga without you”. On second block of seminar Several representatives of the Pieriga tourism industry shared their advice – inspiration stories from tourism product developers who have been able to attract the attention of tourists in an innovative way.
The seminar provided an opportunity to listen and learn about:
– How to attract travel agencies to your tourism product?
– How to include an educational dimension in your product?
– How to successfully advertise on social networks?
– How to attract customers through the TripAdvisor platform?
– How to organize unusual concerts in a green meadow, attracting residents also from other regions of Latvia?
The first Local Stakeholder meeting in Zagreb, Croatia
6 July 2020
The first meeting of the project Interreg Europe Local Flavours project was held on 6th of July, where the representatives of the Croatian Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Development and EU Funds, and the Institute for Tourism participated.
At the meeting, participators were introduced to the current status of the project and the activities carried out, in order to find an appropriate methodology for developing an action plan.
2nd Thematic online meeting
17 June 2020
- action planning in the post-Covid era (involvement of local stakeholders) – the Waterford example
- restarting tourism – experience sharing on tools and ideas
- partners’ short summary about their progress on redesign
- discussion on possibilities and realization of narration and placemaking
Thematic online meeting incl. group sessions
19 May 2020
As a new project element, the Local Flavours partners organize monthly thematic online meetings starting with parallel group discussions of three or two partners; together with the responsible thematic experts, one member of each iASK and University of Bologna; in a group rotation scheme, i.e. the groups of three or two are different in each occasion.
The first topics for the discussion are: revised objectives (of Covid-19, for 2021-2027), revised tools, stakeholder groups, promoters and limitations, role of the public, with way of their involvement.
After the discussions in small groups and a short break, a plenary session will follow. The groups present their common findings, learnings, conclusions followed by a plenary discussion.
2nd online meeting & 3rd SG meeting
21 April 2020
- Management issues: status of the project reports & the 1st Progress Report
- Communication tasks
- Good practices – programme requirements
- 3rd Steering Group meeting
- Upcoming events / webinars
1st Thematic Summit in Kőszeg – POSTPONED!!!
24-26 March 2020
iASK, as Lead Partner of the project will host this event introducing the institute and the KRAFT-programme to the 8 project partners from all around Europe. The core of the meeting will be the overview of the project progress and the introduction of the rules of reporting activities, policy changes and good practices. The partners are going to discuss these issues after completing some practical exercises and they will have the opportunity to share their good experiences and the difficulties of the project implementation with each other.
LSG kick-off-meeting in Waterford, Ireland
14 February 2020
Waterford City and County Council host their first Local Flavours LSG meeting in the historic Curraghmore House, Waterford on Valentine’s Day.
LSG kick-off-meeting in Savonlinna, Finland
31 January 2020
Savonlinna Development Services Ltd. hosted its LSG kick-off-meeting in the town hall of Savonlinna on January 31st.
The invitation was sent to more than 30 potential stakeholders, but 7 stakeholders participated the meeting. Few stakeholders informed that they cannot take part in the event, but they are nevertheless interested in Local Flavours. The stakeholder groups attending the meeting were mainly non-profit organizations, but the town of Savonlinna and the National Board of Antiquities were also represented.
The meeting was opened with the presentation of the project manager and the financial/communication manager. After that the project manager presented shortly the concept of the Interreg Europe programme and the Local Flavours project itself.
In the next step the stakeholders introduced themselves to others. Then they were given a questionnaire in order to collect general data about the organizations and their involvement in projects which relate to cultural heritage. They could also indicate, if they have any ideas for new projects, previous experience in projects with cultural heritage or if they are looking for new partners for co-operation.
The rest of the event was used for free discussion, which proved to be very fruitful. It turned out that several representants are actually dealing with the same issues. After finding this out, tangible measures can be taken to join the similar and parallel activities of different operators. This way the elaboration of same issues will be more effective and productive. Some similarities with the international project partners were surprisingly discovered already now, which is a good basis for knowledge exchange. The project team will continue to inform the stakeholders about the upcoming events, co-operation possibilities etc.
LSG kick-off meeting in Riga, Latvia
29 January 2020
On January 29th, the first Local Stakeholder meeting (LSG) of project Local Flavours took place in Riga Planning Region. The main aim was to familiarize the participants with each other and to identify existing tourism objects in the Riga planning region in order to create an up-to-date joint tourism offer.
In the first part of the meeting, the project’s lead expert S. Skudra and the project coordinator K. Potapova introduced the project objective and its main activities, as well as the functions of the region and the main development planning documents.
In the second part of the meeting, the thematic expert E. Ražinskis invited the participants to a discussion, describing the current tourism trends in the region and directed the discussion on the evaluation of the potential of good practice.
At the end of the meeting, the participants agreed on a collaboration where the thematic expert identifies good practices and, through interviews, identifies the potential for developing the region’s overall tourism offer.
The collaborative results will be used to develop the project action plan.
Kick-off meeting in Vittorio Veneto, Italy
15 -17 October 2019
1st Interregional & Steering Group Meeting
The kick-off meeting of the INTERREG EUROPE Local Flavours project took place in Vittorio Veneto, Italy in October 2019. The partners from 9 institutions in 8 countries (Hungary, Italy, Croatia, Latvia, Finland, The Netherlands, Ireland and Romania) have started the first discussions about the future cooperation and the implementation of the project.
Harghita County Council, Romania
Municipality of ‘s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands
Waterford City and County Council, Ireland
Savonlinna Development Services Ltd., Finland
Municipality of Vittorio Veneto, Italy
Riga Planning Region, Latvia
Institute for Tourism, Croatia
Department of Cultural Heritage, University of Bologna, Italy