CULTURE BRANDING – STRENGTHENING EXTROVERSION
The Project’s idea concerns the rebranding of the cross-border area of Greece-Albania through the enhancement and skillful promotion of eco-cultural resources, focusing on tourist development. The cross-border area of Greece-Albania seems to carry a negative image for both countries and generally Europe. This poor image is further undermined by the ongoing economic crisis that currently defines the area. This fact is particularly visible, when comparing Greece-Albania border area to other European border areas with similar geophysical characteristics. The current, rather undermined, image of the area is not compatible with the true qualities and potentials. It is characteristic that areas of pure natural beauty, cultural resources of tangible and intangible heritage have not yet been propelled or exploited. As a result, the common European identity is not yet adequately promoted. The specific objectives of the project involve: (i) The valorization of cross border areas cultural and natural heritage for tourist purposes. (ii) The effective enhancement and promotion of the current tourist image of the area. (iii) The development of an integral and innovative tool for managing place branding. (iv) The resurgence of a conversation concerning the common European identity, which is not yet prominent in the Greek-Albanian cross-border area since Albania is an IPA country. (v) The creation of a new brand based on the detailed record about c-b areas cultural and natural heritage and (vi) The reinforcement of the Greek-Albanian borders conception as an area with similar geophysical and cultural characteristics. The aforementioned common eco-cultural resources should form a vehicle towards the establishment of a new identity, aiming to the enhancement of the common European concept and tourist development. This identity will be highlighted and formed through marketing strategies towards the whole cross-border area’s rebranding. Furthermore, training and consultation processes among key stakeholders, involved in place marketing and branding strategies, will take place in the area. Besides existing practices ameliorated and contextualised into the Project’s idea, the follow-through of the Project will be accompanied by the development of a dynamic/on-line knowledge base and networking platform that is anticipated to continue to operate after the completion of the Project, aiming at the diffusion of knowledge and ongoing training. All regions from the Project and corresponding sub-regions, urban and rural areas are the beneficiaries of the Project. Additionally, the main target groups involve local governments’ members, enterprises (SMEs, businesses involved in tourism and enterprises of wider scope), public or private stakeholders and the inhabitants. The diversity of the participating members along with the training processes will contribute to the diffusion of knowledge to the whole area.