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Interreg Danube GeoTour

Upgrading geological attractions in European Geoparks by providing sustainable and innovative tourism

Main project objectives

The main project objectives are to improve management capacities and strategies, develop practical solutions for the activation of geodiversity/geoheritage and seize positive market trends to develop sustainable tourism in 8 Geoparks in the Danube region.

Implementing an integrative approach, the project shall address four common challenges:

  • Avoid or handle negative effects and environmental impacts of new forms of Geopark tourism
  • Seize the potential of the brand Geopark and its values for socio-economic development while inspiring local residents and small businesses to develop new, sustainable and innovative geoproducts along the defined Danube GeoTour
  • Present geodiversity in a comprehensive, understandable and attractive way
  • Use the synergies of joint learning and marketing for greater awareness of Geoparks in the Danube region
  • The project shall result in a joint Danube GeoTour which is based on the unique natural, cultural and geographical heritage of the Danube region and comprises a variety of itineraries as well as a set of innovative geoproducts and geointerpretation sites.

Work packages:

  • WP1: Project Management
  • WP2: Communication Activities
  • WP3: Geopark with(out) limits
  • WP4: Distinctive GeoProducts
  • WP5: GeoInterpretation

WP6: GeoPartnership & Marketing

The 3 subgoals of the project:

  1. A first step is to establish a balance between the preservation of geological sights and geotourism development in Geoparks. This involves defining and analysing common opportunities and constraints of sustainable geotourism development. It is also essential to form a set of measures for managing the increased pressure, negative variations and new forms of tourism in Geoparks such as the collection of fossils, adrenalin parks, etc.
  2. Developing, demonstrating and evaluating innovative geoproducts and analysing the geosites of 8 participating Geoparks shall be a pillar of a joint “Danube GeoTour”. Collaborating closely with partners, visitors and local inhabitants, the project shall create, test and implement a set of specialized and authentic geoproducts (geoCulture and geoOutdoor) along with modern interpretation methods and techniques. The aim is to improve touristic offers and attract new visitors. By the inclusion gamification methods, locals are to be motivated and integrated into the process by group-work approaches or idea contests. Thus, interested local people get involved in the learning process and are asked to help develop the geoproducts. Finally, the Danube Geoparks are to be bolstered in terms of visibility and identity both nationally and internationally. Cooperating in GeoTourism will benefit the local population socio-economically.
  3. In this project, transnational partnerships shall be the foundation of joint marketing activities. The joint Danube GeoTour will get a platform using innovative digital concepts, creative marketing and collaboration tools.

During the project, the partners have to manage a variety of tasks. The Slovenian lead partner Idrija Geopark will establish a new visitor centre. The focus will be on the local mercury mine which has an important geological legacy. The Hungarian Bakony-Balaton Geopark has two objectives: renovating the existing visitor centre in Hegyestű and updating the “Volcanism” theme trails. The Austrian Styrian Eisenwurzen Nature & Geopark will set up three modern visitor information points in three different places, which will focus on the region’s abundance of water and thereby represent a further link to the Danube GeoTour. The Croatian Papuk Geopark is going to install an innovative visitor information board in Zvečevo. This serves as a means to learn about geology, metamorphic rocks and processes related to them. The Serbian Djerdap National Park, as a potential geopark, will create a venue for knowledge transfer in Tekija. The village is located directly on the Danube near the Iron Gates known as the Danube water gap.

Project co-financed by European Union funds (ERDF, IPA)

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