The Tourism Development and Promotion project works to consolidate what is now a fragmented tourism offer in the six Western Balkan economies - Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia – through the creation of joint regional (3+ economies) tourism routes and offers which would attract more international tourists, lengthen their stay in the region, increase revenues and contribute to the employment in the industry.

The project focuses on developing joint and internationally competitive tourism offers in cultural and adventure tourism niches and their global promotion, thus contributing to the branding of the region as a desirable tourism destination.

The project will actively involve and collaborate with relevant representatives of public and private sectors including policy makers, i.e. government representatives, tourism boards and tourism practitioners, e.g. tour operators and site mangers, as well as with civil society active in tourism and its development.

Through this cooperation the project will develop and globally promote at least two most viable regional tourism routes and offers. It will further identify policy barriers to free flow of tourists and further development of tourism in the region and formulate recommendations to alleviate them.

This RCC’s project will issue some 30 small grants (up to EUR 54,000 each) to support improvement of tourism infrastructure and services along the developed routes.

The Tourism Development & Promotion project represents a step forward in the implementation of the SEE 2020 Strategy and stems from the shift in RCC’s agenda which now focuses more on result-oriented interventions in selected areas which, among others, aim to reduce – and where possible remove – the obstacles to increased mobility, enhanced connectivity and improved competitiveness in South East Europe (SEE).

The project was developed by the RCC Secretariat in cooperation with the South East Europe Investment Committee (SEEIC) and its Tourism Expert Group which will guide its implementation. The European Union finances the project with EUR 5 million in line with its IPA II Multi-country Indicative Strategy Paper 2014-2020 which aims to strengthen “the economic and job creation potential of the region” and in line with the needs for economic development and competitiveness identified in the Enlargement Strategy.

Within the RCC Secretariat structure, the project is part of the Competitiveness Flagship, which under its Industry & Business component supports the work of the SEE Tourism Expert Group.

* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSC 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.