Project name: Carpathian portal.
Recipient: FOR REGION EU, n. o., Kósu Schoppera 8, 048 01 Rožňava
Project grant amount: 247.921,- Eur Cofinancing FOR REGION EU, n.o.: 27.547,- Eur
Financial project partners:
Partner 1: International Development Norway
Partner 2: TranscarpathianAgency of Investments, Innovations and Development
Program: Cross-border cooperation
Goal: To reduce the existing barriers of cross-border cooperation
Funding: The Norwegian Financial Mechanism
Territory of Slovakia: National Parks Slovenský kras, Slovenský raj, Muránska planina
Districts: Rožňava, Spišská Nová Ves, Revúca
Slovakia's interest to develop their political, economic and social contacts with Ukraine is the result of the direct neighbourhood of both countries. Slovakia considers Ukraine as an important economic partner with an important and prospective market for Slovak producers and exporters of goods and services. This potential has a growing tendency, which is connected for example with the fact that Ukraine received the title – Ukraine the status of country with market economy at EU-Ukraine summit on the 1st of December 2005.
In general Slovakia gets on well with Ukraine. The countries have friendly relation supported by deep historical and cultural connection of both nations without negative historical reminiscences and with high development of potential in many areas. The core element of bilateral relation between Slovakia and Ukraine remains cross-border and regional cooperation with a focus on the Transcarpathian region. Despite these facts, the mutual cross-border cooperation is unable to profit from the potential of both countries and that is also due to uncompleted institutional base, strong overlapping competencies of institutions, uncoordinated activities and initiatives and the significant asymmetry of competencies among the Slovak and Ukrainian institutions. The lack of integrated regional development of the border area, the lack of mutual planning, the low socio-economic development and the backwardness of the border areas with undeveloped infrastructure are the significant barriers in the development of cooperation between Slovakia and Ukraine.
The current implementation of economic policies, the lack of coordination of regional policies and the non-expressed effect of EU funds to support regional development caused that the existing regional disparities in Slovakia are reflected differently in regions and the differences have tendency to deepen. Therefore the project promotes the cooperation of partner organizations on both border sides through in common implemented activities for Carpathian portal and its version for mobile phones in the form of applications for different types of operating systems - Android and Apple. The project brings new opportunities for domestic and foreign visitors how to obtain information about the region – the eastern Slovakia and the Transcarpathian region, the promotion of local cultural and sport activities of the regions and that all in one place on the internet and also in mobile phone.
The portal and the application will be multilingual and will be usable for Slovak and Ukrainian citizens in the region. The both of them also allow presenting the subjects on both border sides for the users of their products. There will not be necessary for visitors of this area to call up any information centres, or surf the internet to search any sites of the institutions in the region.
The project will offer a new and unique approach to improve the understanding and cooperation of border areas with a focus on tourism. There will be the region mapped on both border sides to the one place, where will be available the information about hiking, sport activities, cultural events and information about public transport, accommodation and other information in multiple languages.
All project partners are organizations working in tourism or free-time activities. Results of the project are primarily given for residents of the regions, but also for foreign tourists. The goal of the project and its activities has non-profit character and will promote the cross-border cooperation and activities "people to people". Three of the four project partners from abroad did not get to interact in cross-border relations with the Slovak partners. The fourth project partner from Ukraine has rich experience in cooperation with the Slovak side and that is an advantage by organization the project activities. Representatives of local and regional authorities will be actively involved in the preparation of the Carpathian portal and its communication to the public. They will also be invited to attend events to build networks with foreign partners at the same level. The project partners from Slovakia are chosen in the way to be the most useful by cooperation and fulfilment the website with the most relevant information for the users of portal to get the complete offer of data and services.
The project will create different platforms for neighbours on both border sides – Slovakia and Ukraine how to collect and access various information about cultural heritage, natural heritage and opportunities of free-time activities. Along with that will be improved the flow of information to people, tourists and other entities in various areas of the border region. It will cause that the government institutions and institutions of non-governmental sector begin to communicate and cooperate on the selection and mapping of interesting heritage for visitors. The institutions of private sector start reaching the visitors and organizing the various campaigns for them. They also start cooperation with the non-profit sector on both border sides. The cooperation will continue after the completion the project activities and the offer of portal will be in process of constant expansion.
All project activities will be oriented:
- to raise the awareness of regions on both border sides of the border and provide the basic practical information for visitors about countries,
- to increase the attractiveness of regions for people living there, but especially for people living outside the regions (other parts of Slovakia and Ukraine)
- to ensure the common awareness of tourism, natural and cultural resources and related services.
The first activity of the project is to analyse the area of regions. The result of this analysis will be a detailed survey, identification of all cultural, historical and natural attractions and charting of them, creating the descriptions, photos, documentaries and 3D panorama. On the basis the first activity will be possible to create a proposal of attractiveness and get the main subject of the project – the identification of interesting attractions that need promotion and are interesting for visitors not only from Slovakia but also from Ukraine and other countries. It will propose attractive areas or specific locations and mark them by electronic labels. These will be added to the mobile application with the description and classification. The application becomes available for downloading to the mobile phones of visitors for free. Except of the application the collected information will be also available on the portal as an interactive map.
The portal will contain a database of all cultural, historical, sport and natural attractions and their GPS and an interactive map with pictograms on the location of attractiveness. By click on the icon will be possible to get a description, opening hours, fees and photos, videos and 3D panorama. The portal will also contain the links to the provided services in that area. It will be multilingual at least Slovak, Ukrainian, and English and other languages in the future. There will be also added ideas for trips and program for tourists.
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