The first International Ski Tour Festival was held for the first time this year in the period from 28 February to 7 March in Montenegro. Apart from Montenegro as a host country, this ski caravan has also planted in the territory of the neighboring countries of Albania and Kosovo with the aim to connect the region and to show the world what potential and beauty we have for this kind of sport and tourism, which is getting more and more popular every year among the younger and older generation of people looking for alternatives to alpine skiing, large ski resorts and crowded ski slopes.
Since that Western Balkan ski resorts cannot compare with large ski resorts in quality and offer, such as those in Austria, Italy, and France, with this festival was promoted off-piste skiing, in untouched and wild nature on beautiful mountain ranges of Durmitor and Prokletije. Therefore, the very idea of the Ski Tour Festival was to connect the region, develop rural and mountain tourism, to present the beauty and potential of our region and, of course, to connect the local population and the economy in order to create a recognizable tourism brand in the future. Numerous festival participants from 10 different countries, from Canada to Russia, but also numerous positive comments from both Local Authorities and National Parks, as well as locals and businesses has proven that this festival is on the right track. During the festival, participants had the opportunity to learn about mountain safety, avalanche rescue, and first aid, and lectures were given by instructors from Croatia and Slovenia. In addition, participants toured through 4 mountains, climbed 6 mountain peaks and skied in the snow idyll nature of Durmitor and Prokletije massifs, and most importantly, the participants had the opportunity to learn about the local traditions and culture and to get to know the locals and guides.
The activity is part of the project “Diversification of economic activities in rural areas of Southeast Europe: value chain investment support and capacity building” implemented by the Regional Rural Development Standing Working Group (SWG) in South-Eastern Europe in partnership with The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ).