Between the 12th and the 15th of Febryary 2018, the “Ţara Haţegului” National Geopark, an international UNESCO geopark, governed by the University of Bucharest, hosts the third meeting within the “Interreg Danbue GeoTour” international project. Representatives of 10 geoparks, universities, natural parks and cultural institutes from seven partnering countries will be joining in Haţeg to debate on issues regarding common development, as well as on means of further developing the project.

During the days they will be spending in Ţara Haţegului, participants will see some of the visiting points of the geopark and will meet the ambassadors. Cristian Roman, director of the Corvin Castle, as well as caricaturist Ion Barbu, initiator of the “Planeta Petrila” project, are invited to share with the participants their experience related to means of creating and promoting successful cultural touristic destinations in the Hunedoara County.

The first days will be dedicated to discussions and to exchanging experience regarding the development of common geo-products and the implementation of the concept of ” gamification”. Geo-products can be any type of products (objects, activities, creative events etc.) that fulfil three criteria: they must have a direct connection to the geological patrimony, focusing mainly on geological elements (sourcing inspiration from the connection between humans and Planet Earth), they must be produced by a partner of the geopark and sustain local economy based on following the local laws and regulations. “Gamification” is a new concept which facilitates the explanation of complex notions through games.

Two other days will be reserved for discussions regarding the status of picking the project back from where it was left, as well as the following steps to be taken.

The “Interreg Danube GeoTour” mainly aims to value the geological patrimony for the development of sustainable and innovative tourism in the geoparks found in the partnering countries. Based on a common strategy, the main result of the project will be the consolidation of the cooperation between the countries and between the geoparks that can be found in the countries along the Danube, by promoting and developing common products. By exchanging experience, testing pilot touristic products, as well as by taking new approaches in interpretation, the project aims to grow the involvement of local communities in the activities of the geoparks and to bring the products of the geoparks to the same level of quality as those from other countries of the European Union.

The international project is initiated by the Idrija UNESCO Geopark in Slovenia, through the Idrija Heritage Centre, and it brings together partners from 11 countries (Slovenia, Hungary, Austria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Romania, Slovakia, Finland, Portugal and France): geoparks, universities and natural parks from the Danube countries, as well as from the European Geopark Network. Also, the Danube GeoTour benefits from the support of the global network of geoparks, which is a partner of the project.

You can find more details about the “Interreg Danube GeoTour” project here and here.

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