The mountain tourism product High Scardus Trail is a result of the project Future Prospects through Mountain Tourism, implemented by the Deutsche Gesselschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) over the course of 2017. The project’s aim was to improve the employment opportunities in the tourism sector in the border region between Macedonia, Kosovo, and Albania by developing and promoting existing and new regional adventure tourism offers. The development of the product included: the marking and signposting of 33 hiking trails on five mountain masiffs in the cross border region of Albania, Kosovo, and Macedonia; identification, selection, and inclusion of accommodation and catering facilities along the trail, as well as points of interest linked to the cultural and natural heritage of the region. In order to upgrade the existing infrastructure, the project supported the start-up and extension of existing small accommodation and catering businesses. Through a tailor-made training programme on rural tourism, over 170 representatives of the targeted communities have increased their knowledge and skills for service provision in the segments of catering, accommodation, small scale production, artisanship, and guiding. The training facilitated creation of wide networks of different potential service providers, which serve to ensure quality tourism offer leading to income generation and new employment opportunities.
The High Scardus Trail product is presented and promoted in a small guidebook, maps and at: http://www.balkanhikingadventure.com.