About Balkan Hiking Adventure


The BALKAN HIKING ADVENTURE tourism product is a result of the project Sustainable Tourism for Support of Regional Economic Development in Structurally Weak Regions implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GIZ on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development BMZ over the course of 2015. The project’s aim was to develop a new mountain tourism product as a means for generating income for the targeted local communities. The development of the product included: marking and signposting of 29 hiking trails on 7 mountain ranges in the western part of Macedonia and their connections through green passes to trails in Kosovo and Albania; identification, selection and inclusion of accommodation and catering services as well as points of interest linked to cultural and natural heritage. In order to improve the standard of offered services, the project supported the renovation and equipping of selected facilities along the trails and organized awareness-raising workshops and training for service providers and local stakeholders. Within the project, 15 young people from all targeted regions were trained to be professional mountain leaders in accordance with the IML standard. During the implementation of the project a large network of actors active in adventure tourism from national, regional and local level was developed. In addition, the project facilitated cross border cooperation among mountain tourism experts from Macedonia, Kosovo and Albania as well as the creation of a cross border coordination group for the purpose of the Balkan Hiking Adventure product and future mountain tourism projects. The Balkan Hiking Adventure product is presented and promoted in a guidebook, maps, website and android application.