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J. Joksimović: Important support to increasing tourist potential

December 10 2020 | Belgrade

J. Joksimović: Important support to increasing tourist potential

Today, Representatives of the Municipality of Kladovo and the German Organisation for International Cooperation (GIZ) have officially signed the Memorandum of Understanding for the reconstruction of the Fetislam fortress in Kladovo.

Today’s online event has officially marked the beginning of the reconstruction of the Kladovo fortress. On this occasion, Minister of European Integration Jadranka Joksimović has stated that the reconstruction of the fortress and sites in this part of Serbia is extremely important as it is not only part of the national heritage, but also of the European cultural heritage.

She has further stated that tourism is the branch that has been the most affected by the pandemic, not only in Serbia but in the rest of the world as well, adding that it, therefore, requires long-term, planned, strategic and far-reaching investing in sustainable tourism and tourist potential of Serbia.

“As a ministry and I as the National IPA Coordinator, in agreement with other ministries, we determine priorities based on what brings economic growth and added value, particularly with regard to projects that improve and increase the local, as well as sustainable development”, said Minister Joksimović.

She has recalled that, two years ago, the project was agreed to be financed from IPA funds by the European Union, with EUR 15 million, and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), with EUR 1.6 million, while the German Organisation for International Cooperation (GIZ) was tasked with implementing the project. “Within the first component, we have managed to initiate the preparation for infrastructural works for the reconstruction of the Fetislam fortress in Kladovo, followed by the construction of the Visitor Centre in Felix Romuliana, the development of the Rajačke Pimnice site, and a project related to installing a heating system in the National Theatre”, explained Joksimović. Joksimović has said that this is all part of the first component, for which the Memorandum was signed, adding that the second component will include additional EUR 7 million (IPA funds for 2020) aimed at supporting sustainable tourism.

Joksimović has added that it will primarily include investments into the transfer of knowledge, training and increasing the expertise of tourism professionals, development agencies and everyone involved in improving the tourist offer, which will also enable the preservation of existing and the creation of new jobs, in hopes that the following year will bring positive developments.

As part of the post-Covid recovery of the tourist industry, training courses for hospitality professionals will be organised within the Clean and Safe campaign, as well as the procurement of disinfection equipment and materials.

“This is important to us, and it will contribute to greater safety, as well as competitiveness”, stressed Joksimović. With regard to the reconstruction of the Fetislam fortress, she has emphasised that it is one of the key sites on the Danube map and part of the map of the Danube cultural heritage.

“This is an important project and I expect that, after the signing of the Memorandum, the Municipality of Kladovo and GIZ will launch all activities in full capacity, in hopes that it will all contribute to the creation of new jobs, improved tourist potential and faster recovery in the post-pandemic period”, said Joksimović.

Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia Sem Fabrizi, Minister of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications Tatjana Matić, as well as the signatories of the Memorandum – #EUzaTebe team leader for cultural heritage and tourism and GIZ representative Alexander Betz, and Mayor of Kladovo Saša Nikolić, have all spoken at the online event. A part of the Kladovo fortress, including the Main Gate, the rampart from the first to the sixth bastion and accompanying underground tunnels, as well as the gate, summer stage and riverbank towers in ‘Mali Grad’, will be reconstructed within the project ‘EU for Cultural Heritage and Tourism’.

This is a part of the project #EUzaTebe which is aimed at the development of tourism as an economic potential that is essential for the economic growth of eastern Serbia and the Lower Danube Region.

Most of the funds from the project will be intended for the reconstruction and upgrade of the infrastructure of important Serbian cultural heritage sites for the purpose of improving and presenting them as one of the factors of enriched tourist attractiveness of this region.

In addition to the Fetislam fortress, the project will also provide investments into the development of archaeological sites Felix Romuliana near Zaječar and Rajačke Pimnice near Negotin.

In addition to investing into cultural heritage sites, the project aims to transfer knowledge on successful models of sustainable development of tourism, increase the quality of tourist offer by ensuring grants, and to improve the recognisability and attractiveness of eastern Serbia and the Lower Danube Region as tourist destinations.

Source: Tanjug