Unveiling the Potential of Manifestation Events for Sustainable Development of Rural Areas

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Two-day training “Manifestation events as trigger for development of rural areas” was held on the Mountain Zlatibor, Serbia in a period 2’3 March, 2024. In total 28 participants from Serbia and B&H attended the training and were mostly representatives of grant beneficiaries who will be supported this year for organization of People to People events as well stakeholders supported within previous SWG/GIZ open call for P2P events who successfully conducted their manifestation in 2023.

Main topics of our gathering in the Mountain Zlatibor in Serbia focused on economic benefits and contribution of the manifestation events to tourism and cultural development of the community, valorization of local communities, volunteerism and local community activism, and media promotion (campaign, target groups, public relations). Though interactive work participants were able to analyze current situation what events are needed to activate and conned local community, how to manage project ide (event), planning, fundraising, implementation and evaluation of project activities.

Guest speakers Snežana Perić from Loznica Tourist Organization presented the LilaLo festival, while Branislav Mitrović, a member of the Nature and Tradition Festival board from Užice, introduced this event. Following the presentation of practical examples, an interactive exercise addressed the participants’ needs communicated through a needs assessment survey. Participants were tasked with mapping and analyzing stakeholders involved in fundraising. Using a pre-prepared template, each participant was assigned to map the stakeholders, describe their basic characteristics, assess the relationship between them, potential contributions, and risks.

Within the session on Economic Benefits and Contribution to Tourism Development, participants extensively discussed potential risks and ways to mitigate them to minimize possible damages. Accordingly, the trainer prepared an interactive exercise to help participants understand various levels of risk by comprehending the assessment of probability and their impact on their project/event.

This activity is supported by the project: “Promotion of Economic Diversification of Rural Areas in Southeast Europe (SEDRA II) in SEE- Value chain capacity building on agriculture and rural tourism to streamline rural employment opportunities” implemented in partnership by GIZ and SWG.