Project Description English

CHEESE ROUTE AS AN INNOVATIVE CULTURAL HERITAGE DRIVING FORCE FOR RURAL TOURISM DEVELOPMENT IN THE CROSS-BORDER AREA

CheeseCulT: Boosting the local economy the gastronomic potential, a driving force for rural tourism development In a region of abundant natural resources, numerous examples of cultural & historic heritage, as well as vibrant folklore, the tourism industry has yet to become a major development driver.

CheeseCulT presents a unique opportunity for sustainable tourism and new development models for the cross-border area, considering that livestock herding and the production of dairy products, most notably cheese, milk and yogurt, are an integral part of local culture and culinary tradition.

Expected Results CheeseCult focuses on the interlinkage between agri-food and tourism sector, using local cheese & culinary tradition for boosting local economy through the increase of tourists in the CB area. The project is implemented under the Interreg IPA II CBC Greece-Albania Programme 2014-2020, and is co-funded by European Union and National Funds of Greece and Albania.

The Project’s Lead Beneficiary is the University of Ioannina – Special Account for Research Funds/ Department of Agriculture. CheeseCulT also includes two Albanian partners, Argjiro and the University “EQREM ÇABEJ” Gjirokaster and one partner from Greece, Hellenic Agricultural Organization – Demeter.

The gastronomic potential, a driving force for rural tourism development

In a region of abundant natural resources, numerous examples of cultural & historic heritage, as well as vibrant folklore, the tourism industry has yet to become a major development driver.

CheeseCulT presents a unique opportunity for sustainable tourism and new development models

for the cross-border area, considering that livestock herding and the production of dairy products, most notably cheese, milk and yogurt, are an integral part of local culture and culinary tradition.

CheeseCult focuses on the interlinkage between agri-food and tourism sector, using local cheese

& culinary tradition for boosting local economy through the increase of tourists in the CB area.

The project is implemented under the Interreg IPA II CBC Greece-Albania Programme

2014-2020, and is co-funded by European Union and National Funds of Greece and Albania.

The Project’s Lead Beneficiary is the University of Ioannina – Special Account for Research Funds/

Department of Agriculture. CheeseCulT also includes two Albanian partners, Argjiro and the

University “EQREM ÇABEJ” Gjirokaster and one partner from Greece, Hellenic Agricultural Organization – Demeter.

Expected Results

  • Preservation of local dairy culinary tradition/product quality and stimulation of innovation on cheese production
  • Sustainable tourism development by creating a new cultural tourism product based on Cheese
  • Market uptake & stronger involvement of SMEs (especially in cheese products)
  • Introduction of the brand “CB Cheese route”
  • Networking of local producers / stakeholders in cultural/ tourism sector in the area.

OUR APPROACH

  • Establishment of a traditional Cheese Route in CB area for raising gastronomic potential as a driving force for rural tourism development
  • Capacity building on cheese route agritourism through jointly developed training activities for local stakeholders on both countries.
  • Creation of Cheese Exhibition Centres in Gjirokastrër and Ioannina
  • Organizing of Pilot Exhibition Visits for Stakeholders through the CB Cheese Route
  • Publication of a Joint Cheese e-Cookbook

Development of Cheese Agri – tourism network