Tourism Development through Cultural Heritage

Hello! My name is Maria and I am from Greece. I graduated from History and Archaeology in Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and I had the opportunity one month ago to start as an IVY Volunteer for the program of Interreg for Cross-Border Cooperation between Greece and the Republic of North Macedonia, at the host organization Regional Development Fund of Central Macedonia (RDF CM), in my hometown, Thessaloniki.

The project “EuroP@st & future” I am part of, aims in general to encourage tourism and cultural and natural heritage, with a further achievement of a cross border visibility and cooperation between Greece and North Macedonia. Three archaeological sites, two in Greece and one in North Macedonia, will play the role of “regional attractors” for potential visitors both in the region and the surrounding areas. By improving the attractiveness of the archaeological sites and promoting tourism in the cross-border area, new business opportunities in the tourist, cultural and creative industry will arise. Ultimate goal, is to create a boost of the socio-economic and cultural development of the region.

My role in this, is to communicate and disseminate the objectives and activities of the project, both online, through web and social media, and in person, in relevant activities.

I am very glad to be an IVY volunteer for many reasons. Firstly, I have the opportunity to understand the framework of the European Union Cohesion Policy and realize the benefits for every country in Europe to cooperate with each other. Also, I already had the chance to participate in a workshop related to an archaeological tour, that took place in one of the archaeological sites in Greece, Palatiano in Kilkis, so I met in person all the project beneficiaries and there were discussions that triggered my interest, regarding the suggestions to be done in the framework of cross border cooperation. Furthermore, new workshops will take place both in Greece and North Macedonia and I am looking forward to taking part!

Moreover, the building of my host organization RDF CM, Villa Allatini, is a historical building of 19th century, so it is very interesting working in a place like this. On top of that, my project team and mentor, Chrysanthi Kiskini, are very helpful and supportive and I feel truly lucky to be part of such a working environment and learn continuously new things. The RDF CM, hosts many European projects and I had the opportunity to meet and collaborate with another IVY volunteer. The volunteering experience for Interreg, is a very good opportunity for me to learn how a European project works and how a territorial cooperation can be achieved!

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– Maria, IVY Project Partner for “EuroP@st & future” at the Regional Development Fund of Central Macedonia

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