Vitebsk Oblast has received a grant under Germany’s Federal Government program to support Belarus for rural tourism development, BelTA learnt from coordinator of the project “Development of rural tourism as one of the main areas for sustainable development in Vitebsk Oblast”, adviser at the Johannes Rau International Center for Education and Exchange in Minsk Oleg Kravchuk.
“In summer 2014 the public council for rural tourism development in Vitebsk Oblast jointly with the public association Pridvinye near Novopolotsk (the urban-type settlement Borovukha) submitted an application and were awarded a grant. We have found a partner in Germany, the cultural union Hof Medewege, with which we will exchange experience as part of the project,” Oleg Kravchuk said.
The project that is slated for completion in March 2016 is aimed at training the owners of tourist farms in Vitebsk Oblast and getting regional public councils motivated in the rural tourism development. There are plans for a number of training sessions and seminars, a study trip around the best farms and rural clusters of Belarus and a visit to the German village of Medewege. The local people have created a brand of the village under which they sell their products and provide eco-services.
Besides, the German fund will finance two regional festivals, i.e. The Spring of Health in Polotsk District and Summer Cottage of Crafts in Miory District, and also four mini grants to implement the most interesting initiatives of tourist farm owners or public associations in rural tourism.
“A non-for-profit organization will be set up as part of the project to make the Vitebsk Oblast rural tourism network structure,” Oleg Kravchuk added.
The setting up of such an organization has been submitted for consideration to an introductory conference on the project which is due in Borovukha on 16 December. Attending the conference will be a member of the Board of the cultural union Hof Medewege to tell the Belarusian partners on the region’s sustainable development at the example of the village of Medewege.