The action entitled “Greece and Albania Joint Initiatives for Cultural Preservation Through Innovative Actions” with the acronym “CULTURAL LANDS” is part of the Specific Objective 2.1 “Preserve cultural and natural resources as a prerequisite for tourism development of the cross border area” under Priority Axis 2. “Boosting the local economy” and is being implemented through the European Cross-border Program INTERREG IPA II CBC PROGRAMME “Greece-Albania 2014-2020” and co-financed by the EU through the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance II (IPA II) (85%) and by National Resources (15%).

Cultural heritage has traditionally been the basis for cross-border cooperation. Cultural industries including cultural goods, services, activities, cultural tourism, and museums have also contributed significantly to CB economies. Nowadays cross border cooperation concentrates in the Greek-Roman and Byzantine heritage sites, as well as aspects of intangible common heritage.

The eligible CB area is characterized by:

1. unique and diverse cultural heritage,

2. significant inland undeveloped potential (traditional villages, historical buildings etc) and

3. many common cultural elements that could form the basis for further tourist development.

The geographical areas of the proposed project, have a rich architectural and cultural heritage and are the lands where famous historical figures, were born and lived. Those figures, are strongly related with the cultural-historical legacy of the CB area as they directly contributed in shaping cultural identity at local,regional and national level.

However, the CB area is characterized from inadequate planning and management for mild types of tourism and lack:

1. of active management, so there is no special care to protect cultural assets which are threatened with degradation and

2. of a common action plan for tourist development (no area branding, no special tourist destinations).

Main Project Characteristics

CULTURAL LANDS is about how a joint route of promoting and preserving the CB cultural assets, can support non-homogeneous areas to flourish in the field of tourism development. Furthermore the project embodies the establishment of a cooperation network in the service of sustainable, local and regional development in the field of preservation and promotion of similar cultural assets as a prerequisite of cultural tourism development. Furthermore, the CB cooperation is demonstrated through the development of a thematic CB cultural touristic path, in terms of a CB tourism brand development. The nodes of this path will be primarily the historical buildings of special architectural and cultural characteristics, strongly associated with historical figures, aiming to enhance the competitiveness of the CB area as a tourist destination. Thus, a cooperation network will be set up that can, with time & reasonable effort, expand and multiply its effect and results in the GR/AL CB area.

Expected results

The expected results of this project are:

  • Both tourism destination branding and the development of a thematic CB cultural touristic path consisting of buildings and other cultural assets of high architectural and cultural heritage, will lead to an immediate multiplication of the results due to the numerous visitors and the achievement in practice of touristic growth. It is expected an increase of 1.500 of visits to supported sites and attractions which is also expected to result to 0,1 millions overnight tourism stays of the CB area on annual base.
  • Multidimensional contribution to the goals of Greece and Albania towards 2020. Specifically for the Greek territories, cultural touristic growth policies will be initialized in view of the new programming period (2014-2020), through the specialization of the “Europe 2020” strategy and future cohesion policy.

Total Budget of the project: € 401.079,96

EU Support (85%): € 340.917,97