Completed projects


Donor Hungary-Slovakia-Romania-Ukraine ENI Cross-Border Cooperation Programme 2014-2020
Role in the project Principal implementing body
Partners Department for International Cooperation, Eurointegration, Tourism and Investments of Ivano-Frankivsk Regional State Administration from Ukraine, Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture Satu Mare from Romania, Košice Region Tourism from Slovakia, ABA Tourism Association from Hungary
Implementation period October 25, 2019 – June 24, 2022
Project locations Ivano-Frankivsk and Transcarpathian regions in Ukraine, Maramures and Satu-Mare counties in Romania, the Kosice and Prešov Regions in Slovakia, and the regions of Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén and Szabolcs-Szatmár-Beregmar in Hungary

These cross-border regions are full of undiscovered heritage along with pristine landscapes and warm-hearted people. Being at top demand of modern cultural visitor, diverse traditional lifestyles and local work cultures of Carpathian peoples at the same time gradually vanish due to technology progress and are undervalued as means of economic regeneration. Regions face ongoing challenges of realizing their cultural potential in tourism, providing decent offerings, securing new markets. Whilst there is local enthusiasm, communities lack creativity, knowledge on how to exploit their heritage potential, travel industry connections. Although, there are many attractions, areas are still relatively unknown as heritage tourism destinations.

Therefore, the Project aims to boost visitation and create new livelihood opportunities in cross-border communities whilst developing and promoting unique tourist experiences built around traditional work cultures and lifestyles as part of Carpathian Living Heritage Destination.

The project team in cooperation with creative tourism service providers and talented residents of the target regions (heritage safeguard) has developed 55 market-ready products based on intangible living heritage assets (13 in Hungary, Slovakia and Ukraine and 16 in Romania), providing a variety of opportunities for entrepreneurs and local population, motivating them to continue traditional practices and cultivating respect for heritage preservation. The project turned the lifestyle and unique life stories of individual people, distinguished by a original offer of intangible heritage, into a core of market-ready products – travel packages for weekend tours. In the project frame, the partners have identified small-scale family based entities or individuals engaged in traditional agriculture, food making and artisan activities. Travel package preparation activities relied heavily on the results of tourism market study, which helped out in business plans development for each of the tours, sales channels forecast and market communications.

Service providers for newly created living heritage products and locals of the target regions are involved by the project into community under unique brand Carpathian Living Heritage Destination GO52 Heritage Weekends (Go52). For service providers included in regional tourism packages there were conducted trainings in each of target countries. Travel agents and domestic tourism operators have tested each of the weekend tours and rated the products highly. They expressed their recommendations and wishes for the newly created GO52 offer during the cross-border online meeting.

In order to reinforce the recognition of the new opportunities for cultural tourism Go52, partners have developed unique design and produced a number of branding attributed, including branded uniform, souvenirs, demonstration stands. To promote the tourism products, the promotional teaser of weekend tours was created, which draw the attention of potential visitors to new leisure opportunities offered by small-scale businesses and individuals operating in traditional agriculture, food making and artisan activities in target regions. In addition, the partners have conducted four tours for cultural travel enthusiasts, travel bloggers and travel writers in each target country. As a result of the tours, more than 40 publications and 220 stories were published, covering more than 2.5 million people. Initially it was planned within the project that such tour would be held jointly for bloggers of the target countries, but the COVID-19 pandemic forced the project team to adjust their ideas and adapt to new realities. Therefore, influencers from different countries will share their impressions of the visited places during an online meeting as part of the final international project event.

To promote the packages, the project applies innovative technologies to penetrate into the tourism market: two electronic tourism products were created – an online museum of Carpathian traditional work cultures and a virtual guide (mobile application) of the Carpathian living heritage, the partners also created twenty interpretive interpretation videos featuring lifestyle stories of people – safeguards of living heritage – bakers, shepherds, cheese makers, craftsmen, gurals, winegrowers, etc. About 5,000 visitors got their first experience of living work cultures at the Cross-Border Festival of Traditional Work Cultures in Romania, which took place on August 15-17, 2021, in Negresti Oash, Satu Mare County, Romania.

A separate achievement of the project is rich promotional literature and visual advertising, designed to captivate discerning potential visitors with unique stories / images of ordinary people, safeguards of Carpathian traditional work cultures and to make them want to visit it. These are, in particular, four editions of promotional brochures-guides “Go52 Carpathian living heritage weekends”, prepared in the national languages ​​of the project and in English, describing thirteen packages of living heritage tours for each target country. The multilingual publication – the joint “Go52 Lifestyles Album” offers unique stories and illustrations about 23 safeguards of living heritage from the target countries. In the countries of the project, 53 thematic billboards were placed along the highways and in the central parts of cities with an invitation to visit Go52 tours. Leaflets and posters in five languages ​​have also been issued to promote the values ​​and benefits of the association of partners in the Go52 community.

To the project’s end, in order to communicate and share the experiences of the project participants, the project team invited all stakeholders interested in preserving the Carpathian living heritage to participate in the International Go52 Partners Online Forum, which will take place on July 21, 2022.

The cross-border project team worked efficiently during the 33 months of the project implementation period, actively communicating during live working meetings and regular online meetings. The employees and experts of the project worked harmoniously and sometimes intensively even in exceptional, in fact, force majeure circumstances, when in Ukraine, the country of the lead beneficiary of the project, martial law was declared due to the brutal invasion of the Russian Federation, which caused active military actions and bombing. We continue to do everything that depended on us to preserve the sovereignty of Ukraine and, as a result, support security on the entire European continent.

CARPATHIAN FOREST SCHOOLs – a pilot cooperation for nature protection and environmental education

Donor Hungary-Slovakia-Romania-Ukraine ENI Cross-Border Cooperation Programme 2014-2020
Role in the project Principal implementing body
Partners NFA ROMSILVA Administration of Maramures Mountains Nature Park (Romania), Department of regional development and construction of Dolyna district state administration, and Vyhoda Village Council (Ukraine)
Implementation period October 1, 2019 – July 31th, 2021
Project locations Ivano-Frankivsk region, Ukraine, Maramures county, Romania

Being a part of biodiversity hotspot in Europe, the target transboundary Carpathian mountain areas, Maramures county in Romania and Ivano-Frankivsk oblast in Ukraine, are economically trailing with most of the population dependent on employment from logging sensitive forest resources. Both regions acknowledge their rich biodiversity but suffer from unsustainable forest practices. Nature preservation efforts are viewed as limiting local economic activities. Youth as future nature safeguards do not see perspectives and migrate. There is a need to increase community support for conservation activities, understanding of biodiversity value and sustainable forest economy.

The Project overall objective is to support the nature preservation practices in the Carpathian cross-border area by enhancing conservation education in the cross-border communities. The project has piloted two Carpathian Forest Schools by introducing interactive and outdoor learning components into the extracurricular education of schoolchildren. The information campaign was also held within the project framework for residents of Ivano-Frankivsk region in Ukraine and the Maramures county in Romania.

In particular, the Project has launched the Forest School at Maramures Mountains Nature Park (Romania) and extended the opportunities for the activities of Vyhoda Forest School (Ukraine). These Schools will interpret local nature, ecological culture and sustainable forest use in a modern and interesting way for schoolchildren, encouraging them to be responsible for the environment.

In the project frame, the appropriate infrastructure and tools are developed to educate children and youth, who in the nearest future will make thoughtful decisions related to environment with comprehensive understanding how this environment works. In Vyhoda territorial community the Ukrainian project partners have created an innovative outdoor education area for the study of forest wildlife next to the hydrological natural area of the Shirkovets Wetland. The area is equipped with wooden broadwalks and wildlife observation towers, which allow the visitors to approach the natural attraction closer, and at the same time safely. There are also 15 panels installed that interpret the local nature. The content of the panels appeals to the personal experiences and values of visitors, rather than simply introducing local natural features.

The elements of natural heritage interpretation applied in the project increase environmental awareness of the local population and visitors on the fragility of forest ecosystems and their role in sustainable development. So, among the topics of the suggested panels are, for example, the importance of the swamp in overcoming climate change, its antiseptic and tanning properties, or the structure and biodiversity of the forests adjacent to the swamp.

Near the Vyhoda Narrow Gauge Railway Centre, an interactive wilderness pavilion with a reproduction of the elements of the forest ecosystem with a special exposition imitating the underground world of the Carpathian forests was constructed. Every visitor to the pavilion will be able to feel like an insect or an invertebrate, as if finding themselves in the place of these creatures that are extremely dependent on human influence.

The NFA ROMSILVA – Administration of Maramures Mountains Nature Park, in turn, bought a car that became ad on wheels for an information campaign on preserving the biodiversity of Maramures Mountains. In addition, partners installed a projector for interactive games in the classroom of the Forest School in Maramures.

The Vyhoda Village Council and the Maramures Mountain Park furnished and equipped the spacious classrooms with modern equipment for the Forest Schools lessons, which will kindly open their doors to teachers and schoolchildren of the target regions from the new academic year.

Cross-border partners purchased some equipment for outdoor lessons and for wildlife observation on the territory of the Vygoda community and Maramures Mountain Nature Park, such as professional video cameras, binoculars, telescopes, drones, and tourist equipment. The Ukrainian project team created an animation video about global environmental problems, which can be understood by studying the ecosystems of the Vygoda forests. The Maramures Mountain Park, in turn, created an interpretive film about the sustainable use of the Carpathian forests “Heritage”. Each of the video products contributes to awareness raising among children and youth in the target regions of the project on biodiversity role and importance.

Expert teams supported by the project – environmental education groups – which included representatives of environmental institutions and educators, developed educational materials for the Carpathian forest schools lessons. In the course of the project, three meetings of such groups were held in the target regions. Expert educational groups agreed on common principles, methodology and approaches to the development of Carpathian Forest Schools agendas for the two countries, helped in developing the content of the lessons and piloted these lessons. In each of the target regions, 10 presentations of pilot lessons were held for about 540 participants. The developed lessons were included in the manuals for teachers and two types of notebooks for students aged between 6-11 and 12-17 years. In Ukraine, 14 lessons were developed that covered 45 topics in natural science, biology and geography. Experts of the Maramures Mountain Park suggested 12 topics of their own. The subject of the lessons is universal and significantly develops and complements the narratives of school textbooks. Each of the lessons involves a practical study of living nature.

From June 30 to July 3, 2021, a cross-border forest tent camp for future educators and interpreters of nature from both countries, students of natural sciences, was held on the territory of the Maramures Mountain Nature Park. The camp programme included valuable experience in preparing for forest hikes, learning methods for identifying plant and tree species in a specific area, using instruments and equipment for measuring and sampling, workshops and debates with experienced experts in the field of forestry, creating video materials about forest adventures in camping, etc.

On July 28, 2022, the final project event take place – the international conference “Forum of Innovations in Environmental Education and Biodiversity”. The event held online, and its initiator and organizer is the project’s Lead beneficiary. The conference’s purpose is to bring together experts working in the field of environmental education, nature conservation, green business, traditional agriculture, student, youth, representatives of local authorities, mass media of target regions in order to share experience gained during the project implementation, best practices of biodiversity conservation and the experience of European experts in the environmental behavior change, as well as to invite organizations to the network to create a synergy effect in the promotion of project ideas. The conference participants will have the opportunity to get the experience of the military conflicts impact on biodiversity and to develop ideas about the possibilities of environmental education in the conditions of wars and pandemics.

During the conference, the results of the baseline and final sociological surveys on informal environmental education and the competence of the population on environmental issues, conducted within the project at its initial and final stages, presented. At the beginning of the project (in the first phase of the survey), 859 respondents from the mountain communities, as well as educators, representatives of nature preservation institutions and entrepreneurs were interviewed. At the project end, 837 residents and representatives of the mentioned target groups were interviewed repeatedly. The surveys allowed finding out the level of understanding by the communities’ residents the biodiversity value, problems and needs related to the indicated sphere, and other important factors affecting nature conservation in the target regions.

Based on the results of baseline sociological survey, the partners launched a campaign to raise the awareness of the citizens of the target regions on biodiversity conservation issue. In Ukraine, with the hashtag #CarapthianForestSchool, a competition of ideas / youth initiatives “For me biodiversity is…” was held, nine of which were supported by the Project. In addition, seven more environmental actions were held with the mentioned hashtag: biopicnics, workshops, environmental lessons, summer camps, street actions, a number of flash mob publications were prepared and distributed. Each of the initiatives was aimed at encouraging the perception of biodiversity as a personal value that people should be interested in maintaining and developing. The 759 participants took part in the information campaign in Ukraine, and the outreach of posts in social networks exceeded 42 thousand people.

A final sociological survey in Romania demonstrated positive trends – more than 52% of the residents of the Maramures mountainous regions perceive biodiversity as a matter of pride. 80% more respondents than at the initial stage of the survey noted that there are opportunities to preserve the unique nature of the Carpathians in their area. Also, most of the interviewed Romanian respondents are ready to support financially educational events.

According to the results of a final survey conducted in Ukraine, the majority of residents still remain aloof from public environmental initiatives – approximately every fifth respondent is involved in them. Along with this, the share of respondents who see biodiversity as economic benefits has increased, but the number of those who see it as a favorable environment for education and upbringing remains small. Also, Ukrainian respondents began to trust the media and authorities in environmental issues less, but they listen to the opinions of their neighbors and relatives. Obviously, this is related to the full-scale military invasion of the Russian Federation in Ukraine, a change in values ​​and attitudes regarding personal safety and a safe environment, and a tendency to monitor news mainly about the war. Also, in the last six months, the vector of charity and patronage has changed significantly in the country, not in favor of educational programmes – they mainly concern direct support of the Armed Forces. Therefore, in order to harmonize the perception of environmental education by the population of Ukraine, it remains to wait for better times, while, of course, making maximum efforts for Ukraine’s victory over the aggressor state.

B2B Creative Women Network: strengthening the capacity of women in the creative industries in Ivano-Frankivsk

Donor Partnership for Local Economic Development and Democratic Governance (PLEDDG)
Role in the project Principal implementing body
Partners NGO “Agency for Private Initiatives Development” та the Joint Ukrainian-Canadian Company “SBEDIF-Business Center»
Implementation period November 1,  2018 – December 30,1 2019, October 12, 2020 – December 20, 2020
Project locations Ivano-Frankivsk region

Creative industries are an area where a woman can discover her potential and be successful both creatively and financially. However, due to the lack of technical capabilities for testing and effective launch of creative products, as well as the lack of specific life experience and management skills, women’s self-realization in the creative fields is limited.

Therefore, the project aimed to promote the implementation of specific business ideas and startups of women in the creative industries in Ivano-Frankivsk. For women, residents of Ivano-Frankivsk, who wanted to start their own business in the creative industries, there were opened up the opportunities to develop professionally, to acquire new skills and to find useful connections, the provided support contributed to the realization of women’s business potential.

The project launched the Accelerator studio, equipping it with the latest equipment and materials for training and work of 10 selected participants. The range of trainings on the business development, as well as the support of female mentors involved to participate in the project, provided the opportunity for the participants to gain specific knowledge and skills for further implementation of their brilliant business ideas.

The Accelerator was supported by the local authorities and the implementing body received co-financing for the event “Creation and support of Accelerator of creative women’s startups” under Objective 2 “Development of Women’s Entrepreneurship” of the Program for Strengthening the Competitiveness of Small and Medium Enterprises in Ivano-Frankivsk for 2019-2021 in order to promote the Accelerator and networking of participants, to improve the mentoring and training programme.

The final event of the project – Accelerator StartUp DemoDay ’2019 allowed participants to meet like-minded people, find opportunities to reach potential partners, new markets, new forms of sales. Moreover, each of the participants expressed a desire to further cooperate with the Accelerator and conduct coaching for the future participants of the Accelerator programmes. The Accelerator members continue to share their own resources and talent to strengthen each other’s business endeavors, which can be traced in the active development of joint products. Therefore, the created network will stimulate business activity through increased opportunities for self-realization of women in creative industries, as well through the activities of an active women’s business environment and new partnerships.

In October-December 2020, the project received co-financing of the PLEDDG project. There was purchased additional equipment for the Accelerator studio of creative female startups and provided an opportunity to experiment with product samples creating experimental prototype lines.

In addition, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have established a unique social platform for online sales of products created by women, which was the visualization result of the future Accelerator set in 2019. The opportunity to support this idea by the PLEDDG project became an invaluable chance to realize the dreams of Accelerator 2019 participants and, at the same time, to quickly support new startups and active businesses. This allowed the Acceleration programme to reach a new technical and organizational level, expand the Accelerator community, and unite business projects of both beginners and their mentors on one Internet platform. The website became the first social platform in Ivano-Frankivsk to promote a women’s craft product with a specific Ivano-Frankivsk identity.

Carpathian Heritage Railways

Donor Hungary-Slovakia-Romania-Ukraine ENPI CBC Programme 2007-2013
Role in the project Principal implementing body
Partners Administration of Maramures Mountains Nature Park (Romania), Vygoda Village Council of Dolyna District, Ivano-Frankivsk region, Ivano-Frankivsk Regional State Administration (Ukraine)
Implementation period November 2013 – December 2015
Project locations Ivano-Frankivsk region, Ukraine, Maramures county, Romania

The project was aimed at increasing the tourist attraction of Ivano-Frankivsk region and Maramures County through the creation of new tourist attractions around the natural and cultural heritage and promotion of the cross-border regions on the market.

The most significant output of the project was the establishment of the Vyhoda Narrow Gauge Railway Heritage Center, a unique interpretation center of local historical and natural heritage. In particular, the project elaborated the heritage centre operational concept, created a conceptual design for the heritage centre exhibition and implementation.

The Center is located in the building of the former residence of Baron von Popper, the founder of Vyhoda narrow gauge railway, reconstructed by the project. The Centre is fully furnished and equipped with audio and visual equipment, interactive stands and exhibitions. There is also a modern cinema hall and local souvenir shop.

An integral part of the exhibition is the unique demonstration film developed within the project and produced in 5 languages for the exhibition cinema hall interpreting the local area, nature and forest eco-systems and narrow gauge history and value.

8 short interpretation videos were made and translated into different languages for demonstration on the touch screens located within the exhibition stands (‘hole’, ‘hollow’, ‘locomotive’ etc.).

Promotional posters were placed on the billboards around the main automobile routes leading to Vyhoda in order to promote the centre for the potential visitors.

The special web site to promote the new heritage centre and the Carpathian heritage railways network has been developed (

Other important results of the project were: explored 2 trails in the Maramures Mountains Nature Park in order to identify the need for the necessary improvements along these routes, provided GPS tracking, the trails adjustment and marking with paint. 32 polls with arrows and 3 informative panels were installed, restoration provided for 2 bridges and 1 resting place near the water spring along the trails. In addition, the solar panels voltaic system was procured and installed in the Paltinu visitor centre along the trail. In total 2 trails of 73 km of lengths were refurbished and rehabilitated.

The market research on the potential markets for Carpathian heritage railways (Vyhoda narrow gauge railway in Ukraine and Mocanita narrow gauge railway in Viseu de Sus of Romania) has been performed.

Partners together prepared and approved the Carpathian heritage railways joint strategy document.

In addition, a number of promotional materials have been produced: 1) joint Carpathian heritage railways promotional leaflets and promotion posters; 2) multilingual tourist booklet for Vyhoda and surrounding area; 3) multilingual tourist booklet for Maramures mountain nature park and surrounding area; 4) multilingual tourist activity maps related to the heritage railway site in Vyhoda and Maramures Mountain Nature Park.

The visual style for the Vyhoda Narrow Gauge Railway Heritage Center has been developed and various visual and promotional items for the Centre like promotional T-shorts, pens, bags, notebooks, wall calendars, flashes, gift bags and cups produced.

During the project implementation period a number of events have been organized and conducted: 1) 4 steering committee meetings, 2) local training seminar for the heritage centre staff and tourism service providers from Dolyna district of Ivano-Frankivsk region, Ukraine (23 participants), 3) local training seminar for tourism service providers from Viseu de Sus of Maramures county, Romania (15 participants), 4) study trip to Maramures mountain nature park of Romania in order to study the tourism potential of the narrow gauge railway Mocanita in Viseu de Sus (18 participants), 5) joint promotion tour for travel writers and tour operators in order to promote the narrow gauge railway based tourism (16 participants, 9 promotional articles covered 36 A4 pages in quantities over 555 000 copies), 6) Carpathian Heritage Railways Networking meeting (57 participants, Yaremche, Ukraine), where a Memorandum on establishment of the cross-border network of the Carpathian narrow gauge heritage railways was signed and a Resolution demonstrating a common vision towards the conservation of the narrow gauge railways approved.

Establishment of the Environmental Interpretation Stand and Vyhoda Nature School within the Vyhoda Narrow Gauge Railway Heritage Center

Donor Finnish Fund for Local Cooperation 2014, Embassy of Finland in Ukraine
Role in the project Principal implementing body
Partners Vyhoda Village Council
Implementation period July 2014 – October 2015
Project locations Vyhoda village, Ivano-Frankivsk region, Ukraine

Project goal was to raise awareness and provide mechanisms to conserve the historical and natural heritage of Vyhoda area, and to reinforce sustainable logging practices in the Dolyna district of Ivano-Frankivsk Region in Ukraine.

Within the project the study trip of Ukrainian delegation to Finland was held to gain knowledge on activities, tools and instruments to ensure sustainable development for the region and nature education (November 4-9, 2015, 7 participants).

The project work meeting was held from among the representatives of the educational sector of Dolyna district and the project team to elaborate the Vyhoda Nature School curriculum (May 21-23, 2015, 24 participants).

The Environment Interpretation Stand was produced within the project for the Vyhoda Narrow Gauge Railway Heritage Center dedicated to environment interpretation and its conservation.
The Vyhoda Nature School curriculum was developed including the parts for school students and teachers; educational booklet ‘Educational manual for Vyhoda Narrow Gauge Railway Heritage Center Nature School Students’ was designed and published; the School was equipped with the necessary furniture, research equipment, and educational literature.

The specialized training seminar for the nature science school teachers and nature based tourism operators from Vyhoda and surrounding villages was organized in order to present the educational opportunities of Vyhoda Nature School. The Vyhoda Nature School curriculum was presented within this event and the issues related to the School management were discussed (October 22-23, 2015, 34 participants).

Information about the School, schedule of classes, program guides are available on the web page of the Heritage Centre

Eastern European Pearls: Development and Promotion Transboundary City Cultural Tourism Products

Donor Cross-Border Cooperation Programme Poland-Belarus-Ukraine 2007-2013
Role in the project Principal implementing body
Partners Executive committee of Ivano-Frankivsk city council, Kolomyia city council of Ivano-Frankivsk region, Tourism office of the Lviv city council (Ukraine), Lublin Regional Tourist Organization, Fundacja Academia Obywatelska (Poland)
Implementation period August 2013 – August 2015
Project locations Ivano-Frankivsk and Lviv regions, Ukraine; Podkarpackie and Lubelskie voivodships, Poland

Project goal was to increase the visitor numbers to the six selected cities of Western Ukraine and Eastern Poland – Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Kolomiya (Ukraine), Lublin, Zamocs and Przeworsk (Poland) – and to increase the duration of their stay in the target cities.

At the initial stage of the project implementation the business attitude survey was conducted in order to identify needs and gaps in the promotion of six target cities as key centers of city cultural tourism (210 representatives of the tourism industry interviewed) and the summary report on the survey prepared.

13 self-guided city cultural tours were developed and recorded in 5 different languages. Audio-excursions have been recorded on the specially procured MP-devices for further use in the target cities (190 devices in total). Tourist maps were developed and published and system of audio visual interpretation signs (in total 294 signs) was installed to help visitors to orient while walking and listening a tour.

The Partners agreed the Strategy of joint action including the description of the best practices where they defined the main vision of the future cooperation.

A number of promotional materials were produced and distributed: joint cities promotion brochure under the title ‘Where dreams became reality… Discover the Pearls of Eastern Europe’, city travel guides, audio tour promotion leaflets and posters.

Project partners have prepared and distributed 30 thematic articles about target cities to encourage readers as potential guests to visit other target cities.

During the project implementation a number of events were organized: 1) Steering Committee and work group meetings; 2) Transfrontier city cultural tourism operators’ forum, where the Memorandum on cooperation in the field of city cultural tourism development was signed (100 participants); 3) Familiarization visit for 12 travel writers to all project target cities (21 promotional articles published in quantities over 600 000 copies); 4) Familiarization visit for 12 international tour operators; 5) Training seminars in all target cities (180 participants in total).

Carpathian Culinary Heritage Network

Donor Hungary-Slovakia-Romania-Ukraine ENPI CBC Programme 2007-2013
Role in the project Principal implementing body
Partners Executive committee of Ivano-Frankivsk city council (Ukraine), Ecologic Association, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Satu Mare county (Romania), Szamos-bazár Association (Hungary), Slovak Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Slovakia), European Culinary Heritage Network (associate partner)
Implementation period April 2012 – January 2014
Project locations Ivano-Frankivsk region,Ukraine; Maramures and Satu Mare counties, Romania; Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg county, Hungary; Kosice region, Slovakia

The project launched the Carpathian Culinary Heritage Network including the representatives of locally owned small scale food and tourism related businesses from 4 countries (350 participants in total). Within the Network the logo competition was launched and collected 34 entries from 10 participants. The winning designer has introduced the stylized image of the cooking pot/crock as the network’s logo. The logo was widely promoted throughout the project lifetime and used as network identity sign during the project major events, as identification sign awarded to the certified businesses, in all project publications, videos and network web resource. Now it is known and recognizable sign adding value to the network sustainability in the future.

Research of small scale traditional food and tourism related businesses and organizations was conducted and respective report prepared. 806 responses gathered in the project target regions.
Network quality certification program devoted to the modern standards of food quality in the context of Carpathian Culinary Heritage preservation was developed and approved on the round table meeting.

The Guidelines for local communities explaining the existing regulations, norms and standards and Network’s requirements were developed based on the Network certification provisions document. 55 businesses were certified by the network partners during the project life time (as businesses that have satisfied the requirements for membership in the Carpathian Culinary Heritage Network and as such, became members in good standing and were granted all the rights, privileges and honors pertaining).

Network web resource was developed and launched within the project:

Three regional Carpathian Culinary Heritage festivals were conducted in Kosice region, Slovakia (August 29, 2013), in Nyiregzhaza, Hungary (September 14, 2013), in Satu Mare, Romania (September 7-8, 2013).

The Carpathian Culinary Heritage Network recipes collection was launched and 220 recipes collected. Carpathian culinary heritage network promotional film was developed within the project.
Individual needs of 40 businesses included into the regional culinary tours were identified and satisfied under the ‘Support to local initiatives’ scheme.

4 regional level trainings were organized in the project target locations and the joint networking meeting / training session was held on December 13-14th, 2013 in Yaremche (Ukraine) with participation of 77 people.

The project produced a number of promotional literature such as Carpathian Culinary Heritage Trails Leaflets, Carpathian Culinary Heritage Trails Promotion Brochure, posters and maps.
The familiarization trip for travel writers and tour operators was conducted (15 participants). 8 articles in printed publications (in 583 000 copies) were published in travel magazines and released on the web sites of these magazines.

The information about the Project was mentioned in 364 mass media releases (Internet, printed, audio, and video) during the project life time.

Breaking the Borders: Nature Discovery Trails to Eastern Carpathians

Donor Hungary-Slovakia-Romania-Ukraine ENPI CBC Programme 2007-2013
Role in the project Implementing partner
Partners City youth public organization ‘Center of Social and Business Initiatives’ (principal implementing partner), Carpathian National Nature Park (Ukraine), NFA Romsilva – Administration of Maramures Mountains Nature Park and EcoLogic Association (Romania)
Implementation period June 2012 – May 2014
Project locations Ivano-Frankivsk region, Ukraine; Maramures county, Romania

The project produced 12 travel products (tour packages) based around the Carpathian nature themes for Ukrainian and Romanian target areas.

A Nature Based Tourism Strategy for the Eastern Carpathians was prepared as a result of four strategic planning meetings. The strategy was adopted by project partners as a future action framework and joint implementation committee was set up to observe the strategy implementation. A new brand of Nature Tourism in Eastern Carpathian was elaborated. Public consultations were held in project target locations in Ukraine and Romania for discussion of the draft of the Nature Based Tourism Strategy for the Eastern Carpathians with total participation of 186 local stakeholders and counterparts.

The project has planned and constructed the numerous nature tourism facilities in the Carpathian national nature park (Ukraine) and Maramures Mountain nature park (Romania): bird watching and mammal watching towers, boardwalks over the wetlands, steps and rails in the mountain areas, information boards and sign posts along the trails etc. This was achieved by developing trails with associated infrastructures appropriate to the landscape and nature resource to be viewed, and through the upgrading of existing infrastructure, provision of maps, guides and interpretation / education boards and materials. The infrastructure upgrading needs, locations and themes were identified alongside the planned trails and infrastructure facilities improved/developed accordingly.

Specifically, on the Ukrainian side 4 hiking trails were explored (total length of 48.9 km) and selected for the project activities on the territory of the Carpathian National Nature Park, direction signs were produced and installed alongside these hiking trails; 20 single sides and 20 double sided information/interpretation/map boards were installed in the settlements of Yaremche city council; 6 picnic sites (a table, two benches and a roof) were installed along nature trails; 2 eco-toilets were built; 102 meters of boardwalk were installed on a wetland location; 150 items of stairs and 402 meters of rails were installed in the steep areas along the routes. 2 bird watching towers and 1 mammal watching tower were built.

On the Romanian side uniform for 14 forest rangers (Maramures Mountains Nature Park) procured. 4 bird and mammal watching towers in Maramures Mountains Nature Park rehabilitated. The total length of planned and researched trails reaches 172 km for the general trail network, and 31 km for a themed trail network in Maramures Mountain Nature Park.

Project conducted a number of extensive promotion initiatives to improve the system of ‘nature tourism’ promotion by such. The Beneficiary and Project Partners produced and disseminated a number of promotional and guidance materials in various languages: Joint Nature Tourism Guide to Eastern Carpathians, activity maps, posters and brand souvenir items. The new nature tourism brand was developed for Eastern Carpathians and applied in the promotional literature, brand souvenir items produced and disseminated within the project.

Familiarization visit for tour operators from Romania and Ukraine to the Eastern Carpathians (10 participants) was conducted in Maramures county and Yaremche region presenting the new nature based tourist opportunities. 43 publications about the project and the holiday opportunities in the area were publicized in local, regional, national and international Internet media and on the partners’ web sites.

The International conference was conducted on April 25-26, 2014 in Yaremche (Ukraine) and new nature based opportunities were presented to the wider audience (in total the conference was attended by 236 participants). The conference theme was ‘Eco- and nature-based tourism: fostering cooperation between nature protection establishments, tourism business and local communities’. This event attracted high amount of attention from the target audiences, mostly representing small local businesses, nature protection areas and local governments.

Project built capacity and establish cooperation initiatives between Romanian and Ukrainian counterparts for the present and future development of nature and culture based tourism within the Central Carpathian.

A close cooperation between the Carpathian National Nature Park and Maramures Mountains Nature Park was deepened; representatives from both institutions and the local counterparts actively participated in the project management structures (coordination boards) and jointly developed the nature tourism strategy for Eastern Carpathians (strategic planning committee). The partners and their local counterparts set up a joint strategy implementation monitoring committee.

Representatives of tourism industry and NGOs have actively participated in project activities in the reporting period, particularly in the meetings of Coordination Board, Strategic Planning Committee and International conference. They have also worked on the nature tourism strategy and content of promotional literature.

The best practices of innovations in regard to nature tourism in Ukraine, Romania and Europe were studied; nature tourism guidelines (manual) was developed and disseminated amongst the local counterparts in order to reveal the nature based tourism opportunities and themes. The manual includes the description of the project best practices including the nature tourism infrastructure planning and development.

Local Development and Preconditions for Border Pass Opening and Motorway Construction Across the Ukrainian-Romanian State Border in Shybene Verkhovyna District Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast of Ukraine and Poenile-De-Sub-Munte Maramures County of Romania

Donor Hungary-Slovakia-Romania-Ukraine ENPI CBC Programme 2007-2013
Role in the project Implementing partner
Partners NGO ‘Agency for Private Initiatives Development’ (principal implementing body, Ivano-Frankivsk Regional State Administration, Verkhovyna District Council (Ukraine), Ivan Krevan Local Development Association and Poenile de sub Munte Local Council (Romania)
Implementation period April 2012 – June 2014
Project locations Ivano-Frankivsk region, Ukraine; Maramures county, Romania

Project overall objective was to strengthen the economic capacities and investment attractiveness of border communities in Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast in Ukraine and Maramureş County in Romania through the promotion of sustainable development, investment opportunities, and infrastructural changes to improve the accessibility of the regions (building a motorway and opening a border pass in the vicinity of Shybene village in Verkhovyna District, Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast (Ukraine) and the village of Poenile de sub Munte in Maramureş County (Romania).

Planning and design documentation and estimates for road construction (Iltsi-Shybene) and border pass infrastructure were prepared including Environment Impact Assessment of both projects. The economic research of benefits and perspectives of the road construction and border pass opening was performed. The ready documentation was forwarded to the Final Beneficiary for further construction purposes.

The project lobbying campaign resulted in inclusion of the costs for road construction and border pass opening to the Tasks and measures of the State target social programme of sport and tourist infrastructure development in Ukraine in 2011-2022 (in accordance to the changes to the Regulation # 707 from 26.06.2011 approved by Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine on 17.10.2013) securing the allocation of 708 mln. UAH to the road and border pass construction from the mentioned state target programme.

Besides, the project performed a number of activities aiming at increasing of economic capacity of local communities. In particular, the Investor Road Map for Ivano-Frankivsk region was prepared and published in various languages. The strategic development planning was performed for the Verkhovyna district (Ukraine) and Ruscova valley (Romania) involving the business attitude survey in both target areas, preparation of community profiles and elaboration of Strategic plan of Economic development of Verkhovyna district and Ruscova valley. The short presentation versions of ‘Development Strategy of Verkhovyna District and Ruscova valley’, ‘Perspective investment projects’, ‘Verkhovyna Community Profile’ and ‘Ruscova valley Community Profile’ were prepared and published in Ukrainian, English, Romanian and Russian languages.

This presentation materials were forwarded to the local communities as an information and promotion tool for investors and potential partners. The special data base of local suppliers of goods, works and services was developed and allocated at, presenting over 300 companies in the production, agriculture and service sectors.

The special promotional brochure ‘Invest In Ivano-Frankivsk region’ was prepared and published in partnership with the Ivano-Frankivsk Regional Centre for Investment and Development in order to present the regional investment opportunities and promote the region as place for investment to the potential investors and business partners.

Summer Tent Camp ‘Horytsvit’ 2010

Donor International Renaissance Foundation
Role in the project Principal implementing body
Partners NGO ‘Socium-Eco-Art’ (Kalush)
Implementation period July – September 2010
Project locations Ivano-Frankivsk region of Ukraine

The project aim was to overcome the child passiveness and inaction through formation of culture of active, creative and meaningful holidays to teenagers, who grow up in big families with low income or orphan homes and other children who specially felt the influence of economic crises, the comprehensive and cultural education for children during the summer vacations and formation of values of Unified Europe. The main project activity focus on organization of the summer tent camp ‘Horytsvit’ for children and promotion of the outdoor activities.

The camp was attended by 95 children and among of them – 80 participants were privileged categories children. The camp participants in the course of the project were recreated, obtained tourist skills, got known European history, culture, geography and other subjects of natural sciences. The main project results were: 1) camp participants got motivated to initiate the educational, recreational programs and activities; 2) have been prepared for measures implementation to encourage their peers to exercise active healthy recreation; 3) met with their peers, found friends whom brings team and tent camp living experiences.

The project results were published within the manual ‘Summer miracle –‘Horytsvit’, which provides a thematic tent camps model and described the camp experience. The manual was widely disseminated amongst tourist clubs, summer schools and other youth organizations in Ukraine.

Transfrontier Tourism Development and Promotion Network in Ivano-Frankivsk Region of Ukraine and Maramures County of Romania

Donor EU Neighborhood Programme Romania-Ukraine
Role in the project Principal implementing body
Partners Carpathian National Nature Park and Ivano-Frankivsk Regional State Administration (Ukraine), EcoLogic Association (Romania)
Implementation period July 2007 – December 2009
Project locations Ivano-Frankivsk region, Ukraine; Maramures county, Romania

The project successfully established and opened the Ecotourism Visitor Center in Yaremche region.
The Ecotourism Visitor Centre demonstrates the areas attractiveness and promotes visitor sites in the area by providing a unique ecotourism interpretation facility that translates the local inspiration and environment concepts into a format that attracts interests and inspires visitors. The Visitor Centre and related services are organized around three areas: 1) visitor information services (information point of the first floor of the building) servicing the needs of tourists (information, tourist brokerage services, on-site promotion etc) and promotion of local tourist facilities); 2) visitor interpretation facilities (Interactive Museum Exhibition on the first floor of the building with audio and visual facilities based around local themes (promoting nature, wildlife, people, history and culture). Additionally, the Centre provides the multilingual demonstration film in the cinema hall (on the second floor of the building; 3) retailing area dedicated to the sale of border areas wide merchandising and travel related products (souvenirs, promotional literature, video products etc).

The tourism information was gathered and placed online under

Ukrainian-Romanian resource centre was set up providing information of activities of Romanian counterparts. Project procured informational touch screen kiosks and placed in 8 locations making local travel related information available for travelers on-site. 2 study tours and 2 trainings were conducted.

4 joint Romanian-Ukrainian tours developed and handed over to local trade for further usage and operations. Manual on ecotourism product development was prepared and disseminated between tourist operators on both border sides. Marketing research of potential markets was conducted and business attitude survey performed. Promotion multilingual materials (pocket guides, four tours promotional brochure, border area walking map, leaflets and posters produced and disseminated.

Joint participation in 4 international and national tourist shows provided. 12 international travel writers participated in the familiarization trip conducted to two regions. As a result 7 promotional articles (the total size of 24 full pages) were published in international travel magazines distributed in around 180000 copies. The first international Carpathian ecotourism forum was organized. The preliminary feasibility study for new border pass opening prepared and lobbying campaign conducted.

Transcarpathian Tourism – Network for the Promotion of Tourism in Maramures, Zakarpattia and Ivano-Frankivsk Regions

Donor EU Neighborhood Programme Romania-Ukraine
Role in the project Implementing partner
Partners Leading partner – Maramures County Council (Romania)
Implementation period July 2007 – December 2009
Project locations Ivano-Frankivsk and Zakarpattia regions, Ukraine; Maramures county, Romania

The project goal was to increase the capacity of the local public administration to get involved in the supporting of the tourism sector through actions of its competence, i.e. the promotion through modern methods. The project results: 1) publications of joint promotion materials and films (4 brochures, 3 leaflets, photo album, panoramic tours on DVD, post cards, maps, information boards, 7 demonstration films; 2) web page for transfrontier tourism promotion was developed including the virtual orientation systems, GIS, and all tourist attractions mapping; 3) joint study tours and conferences conducted; 4) training materials for tourist organizations were developed and published. They were disseminated in 3 regions amongst the main tourism sector stakeholders; 5) market research and potential market studies for 3 regions’ tourism conducted; 6) Transcarpathian tourism slogan and brand identities developed; 7) intensive advertising campaign on TV was conducted; 8) representatives of 3 regions jointly participated in the regional and national tourist shows.

Development and Description of Hiking Routes in the Carpathian Mountains

Donor Ivano-Frankivsk Regional State Administration Development Programme
Role in the project Principal implementing body
Implementation period March 2006 – December 2007
Project locations Ivano-Frankivsk and Zakarpattia regions, Ukraine

The main project objective was to design and describe 110 hiking trails in Ivano-Frankivsk and Zakarpattia regions of Ukraine. The main results of the project were the guidebook compilation and publication ‘Through the Carpathian mountain trails’ with a set of maps; CD’s including the system of GIS with the descriptions of trails and tourist sites and the accompanying maps.

Ivano-Frankivsk City Guide

Donor Eurasia Foundation
Role in the project Principal implementing body
Implementation period January 2006 – September 2007
Project locations City of Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine

The main objective of the project was to use new tools of promotion of tourist resources about the city of Ivano-Frankivsk. The main results of the project were the development of GIS digital maps of the city in Ukrainian and English languages including the information about more than 600 tourist sites in the city. In 2007 the system was updated in other foreign languages. In addition, two new tourism products of the city were also created – walking and bus tours in different languages. They were offered to tourists by the tourism companies.

Multimedia Visualization of Geoinformation for Tourists

Donor Eurasia Foundation
Role in the project Principal implementing body
Implementation period 2004 – 2006
Project locations Ivano-Frankivsk region, Ukraine

The project created a database of tourist attractions and tourist services’ providers with the accompanying maps. The information has been provided in different languages and presented in DVD format. DVDs were distributed among local tour operators, state and local authorities.

Business Consultancy and Training Centre

Donor Europe Aid project ‘Improving SME environment, Ukraine’ ECORYS Nederland BV together with the BIZPRO business-associations coalition programme
Role in the project Implementing partner
Partners NGO ‘Agency for Private Initiatives Development’ (principal implementing body)
Implementation period 2003 – 2005
Project locations Ivano-Frankivsk region of Ukraine

Within the project 4 new training products were developed – ‘Marketing in tourism sector’, ‘Customer service skills – Golden services’, ‘Restaurant management’, ‘New community based tourism product development’. 4 trainings for local tourism counterparts from Ivano-Frankivsk region were conducted using the voucher scheme attracting more than 50 participants.

Publication of Periodical ‘Tourist Prykarpattia’

Donor Ivano-Frankivsk Regional State Administration
Role in the project Principal implementing body
Implementation period 2003-2007
Project locations Ivano-Frankivsk region, Ukraine

The analysis of needs and problems of tourist sector in the region, collecting success stories and best practices of tourism development in the region, development of project publications, quarterly design and production of publication.

Tourism Labour Market Research for Ivano-Frankivsk Region

Donor Eurasia Foundation
Role in the project Principal implementing body
Implementation period 2003 – 2004
Project locations Ivano-Frankivsk region, Ukraine

Assessment of the workforce development in the tourism sector, analysis of the quality of staff education and retraining in the tourism sector, preparation and presentation of summary report.

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