April 13, 2019 - The International Conference "Strategic Tourism Development Based on the Valorization of Cultural Heritage" convened on April 12 in Herceg Novi with participants from Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Poland, Spain, Slovakia, Germany, and Montenegro, as well as representatives of the European Association for Local Democracy (ALDA).
A project dedicated to projects and examples of good practices for cultural heritage valuation in the cities of Europe was held at the hotel "Lighthouse," within the project "Network of Tourist Cities for the Promotion of Cultural Heritage." The organizer is the Secretariat for Tourism, Economic Development, and Entrepreneurship of the Municipality of Herceg Novi, in cooperation with the local Tourism Organization.
Branka Mračević, the Secretariat representative, said that the conference was devoted to the exchange of experiences between the cities and the countries of the European Union and the countries that are still not members on the subject of valorization of material and intangible cultural heritage for the promotion of cities and states.
Mračević also noted that the Secretariat for Tourism, Economic Development, and Entrepreneurship aims to promote, in addition to administrative local government affairs, more activities in co-operation with European partners.
The representative of the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism Tamara Đukić said that, according to the development goals defined in Montenegro's Tourism Development Strategy by 2020, our country is undertaking activities and implementing various projects to make Montenegro a high-quality tourist destination with a full year and diversified tourist production.
In support of this is the fact that the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism has started developing a cultural tourism development program of Montenegro, with the Action Plan 2019-2021, which was adopted by the Government last month. The Action Plan foresees the establishment of a working team to be responsible for its implementation with a set of tasks to raise the level of the tourist offer in terms of valorization of our country's material and non-material cultural heritage.
The Ministry of Culture, as a competent national institution, protects cultural heritage from different aspects, said Dobrila Vlahović from that Ministry. She reminded of the significant projects supported by the Ministry of Culture, which relate to the valorization of cultural heritage only from the conservative apse, but also for tourist purposes of the placing of cultural objects and goods in the function of sustainable use.
Vesna Maksimovic, from the regional agency of the Development Center Novo Mesto, said that the idea of a project involving nine more partners from other cities was born out of the long-standing cooperation between that city and Herceg Novi.
"We want to promote cultural tourism and cultural heritage, and our goal is to encourage our citizens from Novo Mesto to come to Herceg Novi and show them what everyone can see here. The project lasts two years, but the main goal is that over the next few years more and more tourists will come to you and that more citizens of Herceg Novi will visit Novo Mesto," Maksimovic said.
The conference presented examples of good practice in Novo Mesto in Slovenia, the Croatian municipality of Konavle, the Polish town of Torun, Kotor and Herceg Novi, as well as the challenges facing local governments in the protection of cultural heritage. The participants are introduced to the cultural heritage of Herceg Novi, which deals with the protection of cultural assets, as well as the cross-border project "Fortress ReInvented," whose realization is ongoing, and the result will be the introduction of digital technologies at Kanli Kula to improve tourism valorization.
In addition to partners from partner cities, the conference was attended by representatives of state authorities, local self-government, tourism organizations, NGOs and the media.
At the end of the conference, participants from eight European countries had the opportunity to visit Kanli Kula, Forte Mare, the Old Town, and the City Museum, and to make their visit closer to the cultural heritage and potentials of Herceg Novi.