The third international workshop

In May 28th the third international workshop was organised in Kobuleti Municipality, Georgia.The event was organised in hybrid format, local participants from Georgia participated on site however the representatives from partner countries participated distantly via Zoom platform. Despite the fact that partners have no chance to meet each other physically the conference was really fruitful and successful.  The stakeholders had a great opportunity to exchange ideas and experience with their colleagues, sharing the specificity of the topics in preserving the national heritage while using it as tourist attraction and as a mean of bringing together the nations in terms of culture and history. The discussions and presentations was based around the theme “Green Tourism Potential in the Black Sea Basin Regions”.

The stakeholders from all six partner country had chance to share their own experiences with regard green tourism potential in their regions.

During the workshop was broadcasted the video footage: Kobuleti Municipality – Cradle of Ancient, Historical and Natural Heritages. As international participants were not able to travel to Georgia to attend physically the event, as well as to go for the study visit, the video footage was prepared to provide unique opportunity for the stakeholders to get familiar with Kobuleti Municipality and to avaluate its tourist and energy efficient potential in heritage protection.

This kind of events respond to the necessity of the target group for obtaining opportunity for closing up the business environments, public authorities and heritage institutions and organisations from the Black Sea countries and facilitating the mutual relations. Multicultural and multidiverse events possess a strong potential to become traditional ones, as these correspond to the stakeholders aims and help them keep constantly updated. Additionally, the publicity of such forums and events attracts the users, which is additional benefit for the Black Sea tourist business.

 

Kolkheti National Park

Within the project “Green Tourism and Historical Heritage – a stepping stone for the development of the Black Sea Basin” (GreeTHis) representatives of NALAG organised the third site visit which took place in May 27th in the Kolkheti National Park located in Poti and Lanchkhuti Municipalities.

Kolkheti National Park –  the first natural site in Georgia, is nominated on the UNESCO World Heritage List, for its Colchic forests and wetland.  The Kolkheti Lowlands received international attention for the first time in 1996 when Georgia joined the Ramsar Convention – an intergovernmental treaty on wetlands of international importance, especially those that serve as habitats for waterfowl. Park is in the emerald network as well, which is ecological cooperation, created in order to make up special conservation interest. You will be astonished how many birds are migrating here, especially in late spring and early autumn.  Wetlands are an important resting and staging area for thousands of water birds migration between Northern Eurasia and Africa.  

Come and see how dolphins enjoy their day in the Black Sea and do not forget to take a boat tour on “Georgian Amazon,” – Paliastomi Lake and Pichori River awaits you! Do you love kayaking or boat tour? Come and discover Kolkheti National Park then. 

You are able to have a tour in Colchic forest and visit unique wetlands. After a long day enjoy picnic. Do not postpone, and spend the week-end in Kolkheti National Park. All you need is grabbing your backpack and enjoy vacations in Kolkheti National Park.

2nd Business breakfasts co-organized by BSC Programme /NALAG, Georgia/

The joint workshop  co-financed by BSC Programme,  N4ED and UNDP took place in Tbilisi and Batumi, in March 12, 2021. The aim of the workshop was announcing Georgian municipalities for the implementation of their Best Practices during 2020-2021 period.   Nine Georgian Municipalities were selected and received special recognitions: Bolnisi Municipality Project – “Establishment of an Effective Business Platform in Bolnisi”; Tskaltubo Municipality Project – “Establishment and financial support of the “Children’s Inclusive Center”; Senaki Municipality Project – “Economic Development of Senaki through Tourism Promotion”; Self-Governing City of Rustavi Project – “Creation and operation of municipal service Chat-Bot”; Ozurgeti Municipality Project – “Be a co-ruler” – participatory budgeting”; Self-Governing City of Poti – “Youth’ Ideas for Poti” and „Fostering Green Tourism“; Self-Governing City of Kutaisi Project– “Kutaisi Information Center for Combating COVID-19”; Marneuli Municipality Project – “Measures taken by Marneuli Municipality to prevent the spread of COVID-19”; Telavi Municipality Project – “Energy-efficiency of municipal kindergarten buildings and creation of a biomass supply chain (an alternative energy supply) to reduce emissions”. In addition, 10 successful municipalities, revealed based on the baseline study, conducted within the UNDP initiative “Development of Performance Management System for Street Cleaning and Waste Management Services in 23 Municipalities of Georgia” (MSWM&CS PMS), supported by Swiss, Austrian and Danish governments have been awarded by the UNDP.

The Mayors of municipalities of Georgia, experts, representatives of international and local NGOs attended the event in the conference room and via zoom platforma as well.

National Association of Local Authorities of Georgia (NALAG) holds BP contest, National Conference on Best Practices and the Award Ceremony annually, for these last three years. 9 best practices have been revealed by the BP 2020 Evaluation Commission and the Steering Committee, out of 22 projects, submitted by the municipalities of Georgia, on 13 announced topics of BPP, as one more theme – The respond of Municipalities to the challenges caused by COVID-19 pandemic, has been added to the 12 good governance topics in 2020 BPP.

This special experience of identification and recognition of the best practice will be encouraging for the municipality itself to make further improvements as well as for other municipalities, serving as good example of success.

Project staff encourages Georgian Municipalities, not only the ones involved in the project but all NALAG member  municipalities,  actively implement activities to promote  Green tourism, energy efficiency, environmental protection etc. activities in their regions. Project staff will continue to promote the BP initiative to give more incentive to the municipalities to contribute in green activities.

#Good examples serve as motivation for others!

Working Meetings organised by NALAG

In order to better demonstrate the tourism potential of Georgian municipalities, working meetings with target Municipalities still are being held within the framework of the project “Green Tourism and Historical Heritage”.

Project staff – Tatiana Bokuchava and Avtandil Osephaishvili – organised working meetings the aim of which was provision of information to the representatives of Lanchkhuti, Kobuleti and Poti municipalities on the new initiative –  to create individual virtual guides for project target municipalities. In this respect Municipalities should identify those destinations for the virtual tour which better corresponds to the green tourism and historical heratage in the region.

The meetings were also dedicated to the discussion of the organisation of the third international workshop planned in 2020 Spring within the framework of the Black Sea Cooperation project but postponed due to the COVID 19 Pandemic. As the representatves of the partner countries are not able to travel to Georgia due to the COVID 19 Pandemic situation the workshop will take place this Spring partially online format and the study visit will be pressented to the particiapnts via virtual travel video which NALAG will prepare specially for the workshop.

During the meeting with Kobuleti Municipality was also discussed the preparation of the touristic brochure which will be developed within the project  for the better popularization of Kobuleti municipality.

It should be noted that similar brochures have already been produced for Poti and Lanchkhuti municipalities, which were handed over to local government officials several months ago.

Business breakfast in Varna, Bulgaria organized by UBBSLA

On 19th of November 2020 the UBBSLA organized the local business breakfast as part of the Tourism Expo – Destination Varna. Representatives of the local and regional authorities, stakeholders (Varna Association of Restaurants and Hotels, tourist agencies, tour operators), tourist business met to discuss possibilities for promotion of four season tourist destinations from the Bulgarian Black Sea region and the potential of the forthcoming summer season 2021.

The event started with a presentation of the project and its reflection on the business potential in the region. A discussion followed based on the existing barriers and constraints inevitably caused by covid-19. Some best international practices applied in Spain and Italy were also shared. The participants agreed that these practices should be widely promoted within the Black cooperation area and especially among the partner countries to seize opportunities for their utilization and further replication.

Part of the Tourism Expo was also the topics related with “How to use digital modalities for tourism promotion in pandemic situation”. During a thematic session Mrs Elena Simeonova from UBBSLA presented the creation of innovative digital products to support the tourist business, especially the Virtual Guide and the Online Technical Catalogue, which are among the achievements of GreeTHIS project.