April 26, 2019 - The new destinations and routes of the "Meeting of Cultures" project connect Sarajevo, Novi Sad and Kotor. It is just the beginning of the promotion of the memory of our ancestors, with the hope that this idea will expand to the entire region and be an example for the whole of Europe and the world, said the organizers of the seminar "Meeting of Cultures" in the church of St. Paul in Kotor.
"The Balkans is a quite specific area, so we have come up with the idea of launching initiatives with our partners in Novi Sad (the Department of Geography, Tourism and Hotel) and Kotor (Touristic Organization of Kotor), which are called "Novi Sad Meeting of Cultures" and "Kotor meeting of Cultures" with a focus on new local and regional cultural routes," Dr Dino Mujkić
said on behalf of the organisers of the seminar of the NGO "Sarajevo Meeting of Cultures".
"Eight years ago, we came to the idea that in a place called the boundary between the East and West in Sarajevo, we set the mark of Meeting of Cultures. It's very authentic because in that place you have the opportunity to see two different civilisations. We called it the Sarajevo Meeting of Cultures. Today, it is a real tourist attraction in Sarajevo," Mujkić said.
According to him, the goal is to bring the space of Kotor, Novi Sad and Sarajevo into one route called "Meeting of Cultures" with a focus on storytelling, considering that all of these cities through their history represent the meeting places of the Western and Eastern cultures.
The seminar presented 30 attractive locations in Sarajevo, Novi Sad and Kotor, linked to one possible cultural and tourist route.
The goal is to promote the Balkans through cultural tourism in one offer, that is to be sold as one destination, said director of NGO "Sarajevo Meeting of Cultures" Jana Čarkadžić.
"The sign in Sarajevo has become a famous tourist attraction in the city, which today attracts about 60,000 people a day. It is the starting point for tourist guides. By placing a sign, 90 per cent of tour guides today start with their tours from that point and thus give an introduction to the story of the old city centre of Sarajevo. The point is recognised around the world through various media from America to Japan, and we are proud that strangers coming to Sarajevo have the desire to somehow carry that sign with them as a souvenir. They mostly do it through photos that go around the world," said Čarkadzic.
The "Meeting of Cultures" project started in November 2018 and ends next month. One of the results of the project was the publication "Meeting of Cultures".
Throughout the publication, the historical and cultural heritage of Sarajevo, Novi Sad and Kotor was presented.
"The city of Kotor, especially the Old Town, illustrates the meeting of cultures and the permeation of various civilisations in this area through the ages. It was important for us to figure out how to present the locations to tourists in a different way. Through some of the locations identified in this project, we find the way to present the story of the meeting of cultures even to the local community, so that we are inspired to see space in that way," said Čarkadzic.
She said the vision and wish of the NGO "Sarajevo Meeting of Cultures" are to put their mark in five Balkan cities, in addition to the mentioned Sarajevo, Kotor and Novi Sad, and Tirana and Skopje.
Prof. Dr Darko Antović, full professor of the University of Montenegro, brought the story of storytelling to the participants of the seminar as an opportunity for visitors to go through the struggle by showing their duration through the real culture, customs and historical facts.
He stressed that the stories were always a powerful tool, and the narrative was one of the oldest forms of expression of the experience. Every story is a message and a lesson, Antović pointed out.
The development of a new tourist offer in Novi Sad and Kotor and their connection with the tourist offer of Sarajevo through a joint regional touristic tour of the Meeting of Cultures is realised through the "SeeCulture" project. It is funded by the grants awarded under the roof Project for Development and Promotion of Tourism in the Western Balkans, conducted by the Council for Regional Cooperation (RCC), funded by the European Union (EU).
The seminar was also attended by the students of the Faculty of Tourism and Hospitality of the University of Montenegro with professor Dr Ilija Moric.