ONE MUNICIPALITY - ONE PRODUCT’ AND MUCH MORE
The town of Elena is famous for the famous ‘Elena But’ – dry-cured ham that does not contain enhancers, artificial colours and preservatives, which makes it unique. The technology for its preparation is ancient, it has been passed down from generation to generation. There is nothing complicated in the technology for the preparation, except for the necessary natural conditions, available in the wonderful Elena Balkan Mountains. To promote this local product and encourage locals to preserve this tradition and livelihood, since XNUMX the municipality and the local Tourism Council have been organizing the festival of Elena But. It extends the tourist season and increases the number of tourists, promotes and preserves local customs, traditions and crafts. At present, however, there is only one officially registered producer of Elena But in the municipality, whose production complies with EU regulations. The first workshop with traditional technology has been a fact for several years now. Future development is meant to promote and support local entrepreneurs to start their own business, connected with the production of this delicacy, to expand the niche market in the country, bringing together manufacturers and to apply for the EU quality labels. It is necessary to promote and enrich the local tourism by closer connection with the other natural wonders of the Balkan Mountain and the unique architectural and historical ensemble of Revival-era Elena.
To promote this local product and to encourage locals to preserve this tradition and livelihood of 2012 at the initiative of the Municipality of Elena и Elena Local Tourism Council organizes a celebration of Elena's thigh. This helps to create a sustainable cultural product, prolong the tourist season and increase the number of tourists and their stay in the municipality; popularization and preservation of local way of life, traditions and crafts.
At present, however, there is only one officially registered producer of Elena But in the municipality, whose production complies with European regulations. For several years now, the first workshop for the production of Elena thigh using traditional technology has been a fact.
The future development is related to encouraging and supporting local entrepreneurs to start their own business related to the production of this local delicacy, expand the market niche in the country, join the producers and apply for European quality schemes.
There is a need for further promotion and enrichment of local tourism through closer integration with the rest of the natural wonders of the Balkans and the unique architectural and historical ensemble of the Renaissance Elena.
MAARATA PARK WITH KRUSHUNA FALLS
Part of the protected area "Devetashko plateau", "Maarata" is a unique creation of nature. The park includes a karst waterfall with a height of about 15 m and the country's largest water travertine cascade и the country's second largest water cave. In addition, “Maarata" offers, gathered in one place, all kinds of surface and underground karst forms, which have preserved information about people, fauna and flora from ancient times to the present day.
In 2007 the beginning of its modern development was given. Letnitsa Municipality with the support of active citizens is taking the first steps in promoting and creating appropriate conditions for tourism. The Krushuna Waterfalls eco-trail has been built. In the area of the park are created places for rest and relaxation, solar lighting, parking for cars. Tourists are provided with a geographical map with routes and information, there are places for eating and selling souvenirs. A visitor center has been built.
Taking into account the rich natural and recreational resources and driven by the desire to create new attractions, the local government is building a mineral pool in the approaches to the waterfalls with its own resources. Thanks to the applied usuli, the tourist flow increases with each passing year, exceeding 100 people per year.
The development and support by the municipality of various new attractions is an important part of the strategy for attracting and retaining tourists in the area. The demand is oriented towards modern attractions combining the natural environment as a background for organizing events of different duration and regularity.
Additional efforts are needed to complete the network of eco-trails connecting natural phenomena and tourist attractions, providing access to some of the most interesting caves on the Devetashko plateau and upgrading the infrastructure for accommodation and meals for tourists. Tasks that the municipality and the local community must solve together.
Municipality of Sarnitsa
Young and cohesive
The municipality of Sarnitsa is the youngest municipality in the country. In the short period of almost 5 years since the municipality emerged, it has made tangible progress. The local government is investing heavily in improving the visibility of the settlements in order to establish itself as an attractive tourist destination. The municipality has unique nature, which combined with tranquility and preserved traditions, attracts many people. Also, against the background of the demographic situation in the country, most young people from Sarnitsa still want to live in their hometown and have a livelihood here. The municipality makes efforts to support their entrepreneurship. In the past few years alone, more than 10 places of accommodation of various types have been built - small hotel complexes, campsites, bungalows, guest houses. In addition, new openings include souvenir shops, confectioneries, whose products are made on site, a local dairy and a shop for local products - cheese, brine cheese, jam, meat products, etc. To support local tourism an advisory council has been set up to discuss topics related to local development, as well as problems and challenges facing local people involved in tourism. It is also a good local practice to reinvest the tourist fee collected during the year in the tourism sector, as employees in the industry have a clear idea about the funding needs in the sector and areas where this investment will have the greatest effect on the development of the sector and on attracting tourists. In addition to rich natural resources, the municipality has significant cultural heritage. But locals are the key asset - in Sarnitsa you can see amazing things created by the skillful hands of the Rhodope woman. To meet the growing needs to create an environment conducive to tourism development, the municipality plans to: - strengthen marketing and advertising, and build a tourist information centre, where visitors to the municipality will have the opportunity to learn about accommodation, tourist sites and local traditions, as well as to receive any information regarding their stay; - improve the infrastructure for access to natural and cultural sites, to enrich the tourist attractions, including new trails and routes.
To support local tourism, an advisory board was set up to discuss topics related to local development, as well as problems and challenges facing local residents involved in tourism. It is also a good local practice to reinvest the tourism tax collected during the year in the tourism sector, with industry employees having the opportunity to assess exactly where the greatest need for funds is and where it would have the greatest effect on the development of the sector and attraction of the sector. tourists.
In addition to rich natural resources, the municipality has a significant cultural heritage. But the most valuable are the local people - in Sarnitsa you can see amazing things created by the skillful hands of the Rhodope woman.
In order to respond to the growing need to create an environment favorable for tourism development, the municipality plans to:
- strengthen marketing and advertising, as well as build a tourist information center, where visitors to the municipality will have the opportunity to find out about accommodation, tourist sites and local traditions, as well as to receive any information regarding their stay;
- improve the infrastructure for access to natural and cultural sites, to enrich the tourist attractions, incl. new paths and routes.
Municipality of Montana
HEALTH AND EDUCATION FOR VULNERABLE MINORITIES
The municipality of Montana has implemented project ‘Integrated Approach to Roma Inclusion in the Municipality of Montana’ within the Bulgarian-Swiss Cooperation Programme. The project targeted vulnerable groups. The village of Gabrovnitsa was chosen to implement the project activities because a large part of the Roma population of the municipality lives there and it is a kind of natural hub for services for children and parents in this area, including because it houses the school and kindergarten teaching centre. Education The intervention aimed to improve the access of young children to quality education and development through coverage in kindergarten and school. An educational mediator - a representative of the Roma community, who works with children and their parents from the villages of Gabrovnitsa, Virove and Bezdenitsa, was appointed at partner community cultural centre Zvezda XNUMX in the village of Gabrovnitsa. Through the project, the municipality managed to send to kindergarten all Roma children from XNUMX to XNUMX years from the three villages, which were not enrolled so far and/or did not attend kindergarten regularly. The municipality of Montana provided transport for children from other villages to Gabrovnitsa with its own funds, and with its partners - Kindergarten No. XNUMX Spring and community cultural centre Zvezda XNUMX – it ensures community work and support to motivate Roma families to enroll children and guarantee they regularly attend kindergarten was carried out with. Extracurricular classes with children were essential for the success, as the curriculum placed a strong emphasis on the acquisition of Bulgarian language and the development of language skills, activities for development of learning skills, social counseling and parenting skills courses. Extracurricular activities with students and teacher training for working in a multicultural environment and applying new approaches to working with children in kindergarten and school also proved to be very effective. Healthcare In healthcare, the mapping of the villages of Gabrovnitsa, Virove and Bezdenitsa identified cases where health mediators and health specialists should pay special attention; health campaigns were conducted to raise awareness of vulnerable groups with a focus on Roma in terms of health prevention, with a special emphasis on working with adolescents and young people in relation to health prevention and working with parents with a focus on maternal and child health. A community health counselling centre was established. The municipality of Montana has traditions in the integration of the Roma community. The relations between the Bulgarian and Roma ethnic groups are based on goodwill and trust, and suggest opportunities for future positive development. There are a number of other villages in the municipality with vulnerable groups and similar issues where the described complex approach can apply. There are trained teachers and medical professionals, efficient partnerships between municipalities, educational institutions, social services, hospitals, cultural institutions. Rural health service buildings, closed down schools and kindergartens are available to be rehabilitated and become operational as social services and hospices. These centres and extracurricular activities can seek to preserve local arts and crafts - woodcarving, basketry, blacksmithing, pottery.
The intervention was aimed at improving the access of young children to quality education and development through coverage in kindergarten and school. An educational mediator - a representative of the Roma community, who works with children and their parents from the villages of Gabrovnitsa, Virove and Bezdenitsa, was appointed to the partner Chitalishte Zvezda 2007 in the village of Gabrovnitsa. Through the project, the municipality managed to cover in kindergartens all Roma children from 3 to 6 years of age from the three villages who have not been enrolled so far and / or have not attended kindergarten regularly. The Municipality of Montana provided transport for children from other villages to Gabrovnitsa with its own funds, and community work and support to motivate Roma families to enroll children and continue working with them to regularly attend kindergarten was carried out with partners Kindergarten № 8 "Spring And National Chitalishte "Zvezda 2007".
Additional lessons with the children were essential to the successes, with a strong emphasis on the acquisition of the Bulgarian language and the development of the linguistic culture, activities for developing learning skills, social counseling and courses for the development of parenting skills. student activities and teacher training for working in a multicultural environment and implementing new approaches to working with children in kindergarten and school have also proven very effective.
With regard to healthcare, a mapping of the villages of Gabrovnitsa, the villages of Virove and the villages of Bezdenitsa was made and the cases in which health mediators and health professionals should pay special attention were identified; Health campaigns were conducted to improve the awareness of vulnerable groups with a focus on Roma in terms of health prevention, with a special emphasis on working with adolescents and young people in relation to health prevention and working with parents with a focus on maternal and child health. A community health counseling center was established.
The municipality of Montana has traditions in the integration of the Roma community. The relations between the Bulgarian and Roma ethnic groups are based on goodwill and trust, and suggest opportunities for future positive development. There are a number of other villages in the municipality with vulnerable groups and similar issues in which to apply the described complex approach. There are trained teachers and medical professionals, working partnerships between municipalities, educational institutions, social services, hospitals, cultural institutions. Rural health service buildings, indoor schools and kindergartens are available to rehabilitate and become operational in order to develop social services and build hospices. Through these centers and extracurricular activities can be sought preservation of local arts and crafts - woodcarving, basketry, blacksmithing, pottery.
WITH LOVE AND FAITH IN SHARED VALUES
The Municipality of Belitsa has created a unique project, which, along with diversifying the stay of tourists, will preserve local traditions, customs and folklore. For three consecutive years, at the end of August and the beginning of September, the Municipality with the assistance of the National Chitalishte "Georgi Todorov-1885" and the Information Center - Belitsa organized a program "With love and faith in common values."
Residents and guests have the opportunity to participate in organized demonstrations and learn forgotten crafts and skills - hand-sharpening pies, spinning and twisting wool, knitting slippers / shushoni /, embroidery souvenir balls, crochet, souvenir making of fabrics, embroidery of plaids, tapestries, demonstration of Bulgarian embroidery and specialties of local and national cuisine under the name "Colorful table". At the same time, all visitors can see the exhibition of agricultural, eco and natural products, as well as buy from the spring. The weaving of a loom in the historical museum is one of the attractions set in the program, as it manages to transport people to another past world - authentic and colorful / making old colorful Bulgarian rugs /.
The project provides a field for performance of folklore ensembles and performers from Bulgaria and abroad to show the richness of their folklore, to preserve and promote Bulgarian and international folk art and to show its worthy place among other nations. To present and promote the model of peaceful coexistence of ethnic and religious communities in the municipality of Belitsa. The demonstrations are accompanied by folklore ensembles from all settlements of Belitsa municipality, as well as amateurs from about 25 groups and many individual performers from the country and abroad. The local musical richness expressed with authentic instruments and traditional songs and cultural heritage expressed in authentic costumes from the region is demonstrated all the time.
Guests of the city have the opportunity to experience the rich cultural and historical heritage of the area by visiting the Museum of History and numerous archeological, religious and architectural-ethnographic sites. Numerous local authors transform the lobby of the Information Center by organizing exhibitions on the topics of painting, woodworking and wood plastics, icons, wrought iron and more.
The municipality will strive to further develop and stimulate local tourism by activating the program of events during the summer season and enriching the tourist attractions. The holidays will be promoted and linked to the offered eco-routes in the Rila Mountains and with the possibilities for accommodation in the settlements of the municipality and in the mountain resort "Semkovo".
UNFOLDING THE LOCAL GEOTHERMAL POTENTIAL
In 2017, the Municipality of Straldzha in partnership with INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT NORWAY RESEARCH AS - Norway completed the implementation of the project "Utilization of local potential of hydrothermal energy in heating installations of schools, kindergartens and kindergartens in Straldzha, district. Yambol ”. The project is implemented with the financial assistance under Program BG 04 "Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy" to the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area 2009-2014.
The overall objective of the project to improve conditions in schools and kindergartens was achieved after the commissioning of the centralized system for heating with renewable energy - geothermal water from existing wells. The implementation of the project has influenced the development of human capital at the local level, increasing the satisfaction of young people and families with the conditions in schools and kindergartens.
By achieving the planned results of the project, a successful model for partnership with parents and schools was created, the energy efficiency of the buildings was improved, and thus the costs for heat and electricity were reduced. Greenhouse gas emissions have been significantly reduced and greater comfort has been provided for the educational process.
The municipality intends to further develop the existing geothermal resources by investing with its own and attracted funds in the construction of a balneological and sports complex. The latter will benefit both locals and guests of the municipality.
Municipality of Valchi dol
Through a series of EU-funded projects, the municipality has renewed a significant part of its basic infrastructure, including educational, child care, health and cultural institutions. Opportunities for further development are related to creating conditions for alternative tourism. The municipality of Valchi Dol has potential for development of cultural, rural, fishing, sports tourism (based on the recently reconstructed Olympic-sized swimming pool and the only ski slope and ski lift in Northeastern Bulgaria) and ecotourism, underpinned by a number of favourable conditions - natural resources and the rich cultural and historical heritage. Climatic factors - temperature, precipitation, winds, humidity, etc., create suitable conditions for year-round recreation and tourism. Building upon the projects implemented thanks to funding from various donors is essential for the potential of the municipality to use the infrastructure built so far, especially through the development of sports, tourism and social activities: XNUMX. Ski slope: in XNUMX Valchi Dol municipality acquired XNUMX% of the ownership of the only ski slope in Northeastern Bulgaria, part of which was previously owned by the Hunting and Fishing Association. In addition to the ski slope and the ski lift, there is a building on the terrain. A technical design has been prepared, whereby the administration will apply for financing for the site, including for extension of the lift and reconstruction of the building with a restaurant, a hotel and a ski school (winter/green school) for children. XNUMX. Museum of Crafts: A municipal entographic museum was opened and functioning in the municipality of Valchi Dol. In XNUMX, a technical design was developed for the reconstruction and construction of the Museum, transforming it into a Museum of Crafts. The project envisages the construction of tents where local craftsmen will make, train and offer their works to visitors. XNUMX. Park with a stage for cultural ethno-events in the village of Shtipsko: The municipality of Valchi Dol has developed a technical design for the construction of a park with a stage for cultural ethno-events in the village of Shtipsko. The village is located XNUMX km from the town of Valchi Dol and in close proximity to the area of the ski slope. The project aims to organise open-air various events for ethnic performance for visiting groups from the country and abroad. These assets can be skillfully combined into a product for alternative or eco-tourism, which will give additional impetus to the socio-economic development of municipalities.
Climatic factors - temperature, precipitation, winds, humidity, etc. create suitable conditions for rest and tourism in all seasons.
In this regard, upgrading the funds created by projects from different donors is essential for the municipality's potential to utilize the infrastructure that has been built so far, especially by developing sports, tourism and social activities, as follows:
- Ski slope: The municipality of Valchi Dol acquired in 2019. 100% of the ownership of the only ski slope in Northeastern Bulgaria, part of which was previously owned by the Hunting and Fishing Society. In addition to the ski slope and ski lift, there is a building on the ground. A technical project has been prepared, with which the administration will apply with a project for financing the site, incl. to extend the cable car and to reconstruct the building with a restaurant, a hotel and a ski school (winter / green school) for children.
2. Craft Museum: In the municipality of Vulchi dol, a municipal entographic museum has been opened and is functioning. In 2019, a technical project for the reconstruction and construction of the Museum, as well as crafts, was completed. The project envisages the construction of tents in which local craftsmen will design, train and offer their works to their visitors.
- A park with a scene for cultural ethno-expression in the village of Shtipsko The Municipality of Vulchi Dol has developed a technical project for the construction of a Park with a scene for cultural ethno-expression in the village of Shtipsko. The village is located 2 km. from the town of Vulchi dol and in the immediate vicinity of the ski slope area. The purpose of the project is to organize outdoor events for ethnic groups for visiting groups from home and abroad.
The above-mentioned facts can be cleverly combined into a product for alternative or eco-tourism, which can give additional impetus to the socio-economic development of the municipalities.
THE UNKNOWN BEAUTY
The specifics of the municipality predispose the development of ecological historical and cultural tourism. It is located on three mountains - Rila, Rhodope and Sredna Gora. The beauty of nature, cultural and historical features of the region are still not well known, as the lack of enough places for accommodation and accommodation hinder the development of tourism.
The municipality has set out to change the status quo. With European funding, the settlements are being improved. The renovated building of the local museum and the museum exposition were also restored according to a project. New guest houses are registered and popularized - in the village of Gabrivitsa and in the Malko Belovo neighborhood.
The municipality is fabulously beautiful, quiet, peaceful, the climate is mild and favorable, small repairs and improvement of the urban environment, renovated playgrounds, lack of crime and tranquility can bring people back to life in small towns.
Natural Resources- Belovo town and Golyamo Belovo village can be destinations for Belov basilica, Belmeken dam and Kurtovo locality. Small roadside parks and recreation areas can be established near the Jadenitsa River and the Maritza River. The municipal administration has prepared several projects in this direction that can be integrated and create a complete product: an outdoor pedestrian walkway to the Maritza River, allowing for hiking and cycling, with provided panels and outdoor expositions and a series rest places near the Maritza River .;
Cultural and historical resources - in the village of Golyamo Belovo several projects have been developed, both municipal and private, which can be financed and thus achieve an integrated product - a guest house / the house was built in 1922, entirely brick, and the idea is to keep its authentic appearance and to be restored in the form in which it was to welcome guests. There is a project to renovate the former cinema to turn it into a Youth Sports Club and a presentation hall. The old school with a ready project for its reconstruction into a "Center for Arts and Crafts", and with accommodation where plein airs and various events can be held. There is an old bread oven built in the distant 1940s, which the municipality has a desire to restore so that handmade bread can be made according to ancient recipes and technologies. Around the village of Golyamo Belovo are still preserved the old limestones, where lime was made in an authentic way, we have stone sheepfolds, which can be turned with little money into roadside places for recreation and shelters, places for selling herbs, jam and teas, because they are right next to the road.
Near the village is the resort Livada Bachia, where there are over 30 villa buildings, the place is well situated, but unknown to mass tourism has the existing villa of the municipality with a capacity of 30 seats. It would become a wonderful children's camp where the children from the municipality and neighboring municipalities.
Economic resources - The municipality is ecologically clean, there are no polluting productions. There is already a serious farm in the village of Akandjievo, where a young family returned from the United States and began growing organic vegetables, there are very good opportunities for organic farming and animal husbandry, for collecting herbs and producing organic vegetables along the Maritsa River where the soil is fertile.
The region is very interesting and rich, unknown and preserved in its authenticity as a culture, livelihood, lifestyle and customs, and we believe that with the help of such projects can be achieved amazing results, as the municipality of Belovo and the management have many and innovative ideas and intentions , but unfortunately investment funds are given priority to large municipalities and this makes it difficult to realize our ideas and projects.
Municipality of Chuprene
ETHNOGRAPHIC AND FOLKLORE ASSETS AS A POTENTIAL FOR LOCAL DEVELOPMENT
The so-called ethnographic group of Turlatsi (Turlaks) lives in the municipality. When asked what Turlak stands for, locals give the following explanation: ‘Neither fish nor crab. He is a Balkan man and a joker like someone from Gabrovo, but he is not stingy. When it comes to work and stubbornness, he resembles his Shopp brother’. The Turlaks have a specific dialect, cuisine, traditions and beliefs. Local government sees this as a potential to boost employment, to stimulate the economy and tourism and halt depopulation. In XNUMX the municipality and community cultural centres Hristo Botev XNUMX organised the first Turlak Folklore Festival. In the following years, the participants in the fair grew in number; it was held under the title ‘Kada kum prase i ti vrechu’ (the most important proverb of the Turlaks, meaning ‘if they give you something, take it immediately’). Groups from neighbouring Serbia and Romania joined. The fair is held for XNUMX days and has acquired an international status. In XNUMX we marked its XNUMXth edition in a row. Various competitions and culinary exhibitions are organised within it, as well as local customs and cuisine. There is also a market where locals offer their products - meals, agricultural products, handicrafts and other products. The participants in the last fair alone were over XNUMX people organised in XNUMX folklore groups. Over the years, their number has reached over XNUMX people. The need to provide tourist services for the participants and guests of the fair has encouraged the opening of many guesthouses and family hotels in the village of Chuprene, in the town of Belogradchik and the surrounding villages. The municipality also opened its lodge, which also has halls for various events. The lodge building also houses the tourist information centre, established in XNUMX with the support of the Swiss Cooperation Agency. On the dates of the fairs, the municipal lodge, the guesthouses and the family hotels in the area operate at full capacity, and can hardly meet the demand. The fair enables both the business in the municipality and its residents to generate additional income. The municipality is located in the Chuprene Biosphere Reserve which is on the UNESCO list. It has some accessible caves on its territory. The distance to the town of Belogradchik, a place of numberous cultural and tourist attractions and various events, is about XNUMX km. This is a potential whereby the cooperation between the two municipalities can be used to launch a joint year-round tourist product. For over XNUMX years, the municipality has had a project and a master plan to establish Tourist and Ski Zone Midzhur with ski slopes, lift facilities and attractions. The investment is unlikely to materialize, but if it does, it will make a significant contribution to reviving the economies of Vidin and Montana. Forests occupy XNUMX% of the territory of the municipality. They are also a potential for development of the wood processing industry and the creation of jobs.
In 2006 the municipality and the "Hristo Botev 1897" Community Center organized the first Turlach Folklore Fair. In the years to come, participants in the cadastre, entitled "Kad kum pig and you rush" (the most important wisdom of the Turks, mean giving you something, take it right away) are increasing, and groups from neighboring Serbia and Romania are also joining . The fair is held for 3 days and acquires international status, and in 2019 it is XIVits next edition. Various competitions and culinary exhibitions are organized within it, as well as local customs and cuisine. There is also a market where the locals offer their products - dishes, agricultural products, handicrafts and more. products. Only the participants in the last fair are over 1 people organized in 500 folklore groups. Over the years, their number has reached over 80 people. The need to provide tourist services for the participants and guests of the fair stimulates the creation of many guest houses and family hotels in the village of Chuprene, in the town of Belogradchik and the surrounding villages.
The municipality also creates its own Tourist Bedroom, which has halls for various events. The dormitory also houses the TIC, which was established in 2005 with the support of the Swiss Cooperation Agency. On the dates of the fairs, the municipal tourist dormitory, guest houses and family hotels in the surrounding area work at full capacity, and not everyone can accommodate. The council provides an opportunity for both the business community in the municipality and its residents to generate additional revenue.
The municipality is located in the Chuprene Biosphere Reserve, which is on the UNESCO list. There are also caves accessible on its territory. The distance to Belogradchik, where many cultural and tourist attractions and events are organized, is about 12 km. This is a potential that, in cooperation between the two municipalities, can be used to create a common year-round tourism product.
For over 11 years the municipality has had a project and Master Plan for the establishment of the Tourist and Ski Zone "Midzhur" with ski slopes, lift facilities and attractions. It is unlikely that the investment will be realized, but if this happens it will have a significant contribution to the revival of the economies of Vidin and Montana. Forests occupy 50% of the territory of the municipality. They are also a potential for the development of the wood processing industry and the creation of employment.