On 19 April 2018 at 10 a.m. The LANDS Conference – Next Destination Balkans: Development of Agritourism in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina started within morning session of LANDS project participants Meeting at The College of Tourism in Belgrade, Boulevard Zorana Djindjica 152 A, 11070 Belgrade, Serbia.
Project participants are listed on the List which is attached to this Minutes of the Meeting, representing Project Consortium of 15 high education institutions and regional development agencies from 6 countries. Special guests on The LANDS Conference, with Mr. Zoran Milenkovic, Director of the College of Tourism in Belgrade as a host, were:
- Special guests:Mr. Miroslav Knezevic, The State Secretary of Tourism in Serbia, Mrs. Ljiljana Cerovic and Mr. Pavle Djukic, representatives of The Tourist Organization of Serbia-TOS, and Mrs. Slavka Nedeljkovic, President of honor of the Association of entrepreneurs in Agitourism of Serbia
- Special guests representatives and presenters of the success stories of 5 family agritourism businesses in Serbia and the president of the Association of Vine Roads of Serbia.
Milenko D. Djuric, Director of Public Relations and International Cooperation Center at the College of Tourism in Belgrade opened the LANDS Conference. He greeted all guests and participants and presented working agenda. He highlighted the need for creating conditions for developing cooperation among all members of LANDS Consortium in 15 institutions from 6 countries and exchange of experiences and know how in agritourism in order to provide high quality standards and satisfy the rising demand for services in agritourism in the world and both in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Mr. Zoran Milenkovic, Director of the College of Tourism in Belgrade, greeted all participants and expressed his pleasure of hosting The Conference and about active engagement of the College of Tourism with the LANDS Project.
Mr. Miroslav Knezevic, The State Secretary of Tourism in Serbia, confirmed that agritourism getting more and more important role in the strategy of tourism development within The Ministry of tourism, trade and telecommunications in Serbia
Mrs. Ljiljana Cerovic and Mr. Pavle Djukic, representatives of The Tourist Organization of Serbia-TOS, focused on TOS activities to provide support to private entrepreneurs in agritourism in Serbia and listed promotional activities in 2018 directed to promotion of agritourism of Serbia on local and international manifestations, mainly at international tourism fairs.
Mrs. Slavka Nedeljkovic, President of honor of the Association of entrepreneurs in Agitourism of Serbia, summarized the historical process of development of agritourism in Serbia with all barriers, opportunities and perspectives of Serbia at the international and local tourism market.
After introductory speeches of special guests on the LANDS Conference, The Art Exhibition: Motives of Agritourism in Serbia was opened to mark LANDS project participants meeting in Belgrade.
Special guests artists Mr. Slobodan Topalovic, painter from Lipolist, a village near Sabac and Mr. Nenad Vujnovic painter from Odzaci in Vojvodina presented their art works specially prepared for the LANDS Conference in Belgrade in the premises of The College of Tourism with the aim to contribute to the promotion of agritourism opportunities in Serbia.
Interviews were given to the representatives of media. The list of present media representatives is as following:
TouristMagazine “Turistički svet”, Internet portal “Kuća dobrih vesti”, Internet portal “Vesti.rs”, Magazine “Revija Uno” (internet edition), Internet portal “Internet Serbia Travel News”, TV Production House “Srbija koju volim” (coverage on 70 regional and local TV stationsin Serbia and region), Radio Beograd and Radio Beograd 202.
Internal Video News Release (VNR) for further visibility and promotion of the LANDS Project for Consortium members is provided by The College of Tourism in Belgrade.
During the working session of the LANDS Conference special guests entrepreneurs presented their success stories in starting and developing agribusiness in different locations of rural ambient in Serbia.
Case studies with video releases were presented in this order:
- Slaviša Živković, Babina reka, Lazarevac
- Elvis Zornić, Zornića kuća, Baćevac near Barajevo
- Milojka i Cane Kovačević, Villa Albedo, Varna near Šabac
- Slobodan Topalović, Ethno Center Topalović, Lipolist near Šabac
- Bosko Ivanov, Perkov salaš, Neradin, Irig
- Zoran Rapajić, President of The Vine Roads of Serbia
In discussion after presentations an attempt has been made to find answers to some important questions and dilemmas in agritourism in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina about the proper definition and frame of activities in agritourism, and to make clearer process of categorization and to set up quality standards in services provided to guests.
Focus was on these questions: when we say Agritourism what could we expect in Serbia: resting in a village, enjoying traditional culinary recipes, organic food, listening to story tellers, unique local events, testing the vine roads, or active engagement of visitors with field activities with a local host. Is and how much Agritourism demanded in Balkan countries and in comparison with the situation in the EU? What resources do we have in Serbia and what profile of visitors we might expect? How much is Agritourism important for a local community.
In the afternoon working session focus was on CLOSSING THE WORK PACKAGE 1 and discussing WP 2: AGRITOURISM IN SERBIA AND BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA – DEVELOPMENT POTENTIALS, THE NEEDS AND PARTICIPANTS
The Final Report on The Research of the Potentials for Agritourism in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina was presented by Milenko D. Djurić, The College of Tourism in BelgradeandMiljan Cvetković, The University of Banja Luka.
Plan is confirmed to update The Research in cooperation with EU partners on the LANDS project with results of comparative analysis on the status of agritourism in Slovenia, Greece, Romania and Slovak Republic. Initiative was to prepare document with research results for printing and the version for the LANDS website in order to provide visibility and to promote LANDS activities, research results and the project in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. In discussion rough plan of activities was confirmed.
The next issue that was discussed was about Trends in the Balkan Region and the Need for Trainings and Transfer of Know-How to Entrepreneurs in AgribusinessThe list of most needed topics for seminars and one day training was discussed.
Closing remarks were presented by Milenko D. Djuric with the plan of activities for next period.
At the end all participants had 1 hour for networking and consulations for further cooperation on the project.
At 8.00 p.m. for all participants of The LANDS Conference – Next Destination Balkans: Development of Agritourism in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, The College of Tourism in Belgrade hosted the gala dinner at the local Ethno Restaurant Gigo in Zemun with presentation of traditional culinary recipes