Emerging cultural tourism by discovering hiking and cultural routes in the CB area – Cult2Routes
The Cult2Routes project has as a primary goal to improve the tourist and cultural facilities in the participated municipalities by development of hiking and Cultural Routes with appropriate signposting, information panels and adequate mapping with i-tools and a complete Walking Routes Guide at the areas of interest. Furthermore, the project strives to give a new meaning to the hiking experience by supplying the hiker and the visitor with information of the cultural and naturalistic sites nearby along his way, to provide adequate information about the Route, the necessary equipment and clothes, the weather conditions dynamically and on the go. She will have the ability to upload comments or photos of the Route and give helpful hints to the next visitors. Special emphasis will be given to Cultural Routes which will merge the pleasure of hiking with the love for the culture and the cultural heritage. The visitor could follow the cultural Route having his smart phone as a compass, providing analytical information about the cultural monuments of the Route but also the cultural heritage of the area, with the events, traditions, tastes, that someone could feel and enjoy. At the end of the Route a small wooden building welcomes the hiker with a relief representation of the Routesβ€™ network in small scale pinpointing the most important sightseeing. The hiker will have the chance to get informed with tourist catalogues and tourist visits but also to learn about the important flora and fauna of the area. The targeted municipalities have rich cultural heritage and beautiful landscape which remain in most of the cases unexploited without adequate signposting and available information in English for tourist and hikers. The challenge is to ‘shed light’ to the participating municipalities and make them broadly known for the richness of their nature & culture. Ultimate goal of the project is to improve the tourist product of both targeted areas in order to increase the stays and to prolong them, in benefit to the income of the tourism related companies and the local communities in general. This will operate as a barrier to the continue brain drain of young people who leave their roots due to the absense of new jobs and prospects for their life. The implementation of a Cult2Routes project will highlight the hiking and cultural routes as well as the magnificent natural environment offering complete information to the visitor not only about the Routes but information about the tourist services, alternative activities, naturalism, living experience tourism. Rehabilitation works in small scale will take place in specific cultural assets in Tepelene and Nestorio Municipalities in order to save and preserve the cultural assets which is the true evidence of the history and the traditions in the broader area. Cult2Routes follows a holistic approach for highlighting and promotion of natural and cultural assets and leveraging the visitors’ tourism experience. with hiking and living experiences in the project partner areas. 5) Increase the visibility of the area as ideal for hiking and climbing funs and be recognized as cultural tourism destination by offering high standards services to the hiker through the digital application for smart phones, accurate information about the route, the exact position of the hiker, distance to go and distance covered, sightseeing nearby. 6) Offering new working and business opportunities to young people who would like to return back to their origins and occupying themselves in the cultural tourism sector. 7) Improves the facilities to the visitors offering them a renovated information and documentation centre, where the visitor could rest and learn about the different cultural and hiking routes, 8) Offers new experiences by the establishement of a climbing wall for training of beginners but experience climbers too, improving the available facilities and alternative activities of the visitor.