“New minorities promoting sustainable tourism in traditional communities”
The Municipality of Bled hosted on 11th and 12th November 2017 the fifth Transnational Event “New minorities promoting sustainable tourism in traditional communities” organised within the EU project “GEMS – Integration and Solidarity European Models for Sustainability”, co-funded by EACEA Europe for Citizens Programme of the European Union. The project coordinated by the Alpine Pearls Association, links in a network of “Active GEMS”, five Alpine towns from four countries of the Region: Werfenweng – A, Bad Reichenhall – D, Municipality of Bled – SI, Municipality of Forni di Sopra – I, Municipality of Moena – I.
The event focused on the promotion of sustainable tourism and the inter-cultural dialogue with new minorities in the EU scenario. GEMS Task-Forces were called to identify actions that capitalise on cultural diversity and integration in the promotion strategies of sustainable tourism, within the context of alpine traditional communities.
The first day began with the presentation of the Networking Event at Visitor Centre Triglavska roža and in the afternoon participants took part in a Study Visit, aimed to illustrate success stories of a sustainable community. The evening was dedicated to a multicultural dinner with folk music and performances.
During the second day participants were involved in the GEMS conference and parallel workshops that delineated actions and strategies to allow members of “new minorities” to become active parts in tourism promotion activities. Both presentations and workshop debates focused on the potential of sustainable tourism as an ‘integration’ engine in Alpine communities.
During the GEMS parallel workshops participants were guided in debate sessions about: valorisation of EU and “non-EU” diversity in local development, de-activation of EU-skepticism vis-à-vis third countries immigrants and how to actively engage new comers in the promotion of traditional EU communities. The debates highlighted the following priorities on the GEMS network agenda: i) development of an inclusive and open community through intercultural dialogue and ii) promotion of culture and local traditions to strengthen a sense of belonging to small Alpine communities, as part of a wider EU community. Consequently, workshop debates have focused on possible network activities that could promote the Alpine heritage and the ‘activation’ of young ‘Alpine’ generations as a way to contribute to strengthening of integration and solidarity attitudes at local level (e.g. Alpine Culture Festival, establishment of an Alpine Youth Association, etc).
The debates during the sessions were facilitated by the Scientific Partner – ISIG and Alpine Pearls.
The event was organised in parallel of St. Martin Celebrations at the Blade Lake promenade.
A traditional market was coordinated by Bled local producers, under the motto “Taste Bled”, in which GEMS participants had the opportunity to experience the richness of local culinary, culture and tradition.
The project activities are open to a wide range of interested citizens from all involved towns.
All citizens may visit the project web-site (www.gemsproject.eu) or write directly to the Consortium (firstname.lastname@example.org) for receiving further information.