The opening event of the project entitled Lifelong learning programmes for increased growth capacity in ecotourism (ECOTOP2), HUHR/1601/4.1.2/0031 within the Interreg V–A Hungary-Croatia Co-operation Programme 2014-2020 (HU-HR) was held in Krizevci on 29 June 2017 organised by the Krizevci College of Agriculture.
The project aims at the solution of the problems arising during the implementation of the project ECOTOP 1 completed in 2015: improving the range of ecotourism services in the region in order to make the region more attractive for tourists interested in cycling tourism, cultural tourism and ecotourism. Research and studies completed within the previous project have shown that ecotourism is available in the region but it is not highly developed enough to meet current tourism needs. This can be attributed primarily to marketing problems: several service providers have outstanding ecotourism opportunities but tourists are not aware of them. Others have excellent ideas and opportunities to improve their family enterprises (they own unused facilities near the river Drava or on both sides of the border) but they lack the knowledge of setting up or successfully managing an enterprise. The project activities have been designed to solve these problems.
The project partners were represented by Krisztina Németh (Somogy Chamber of Commerce and Industry, secretary), Dr. Viktória Szente (Kaposvár University, Faculty of Economic Science professional leader), Renáta Verger (Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Zala County, project manager) and Jadranka Lakus (Tourist Authority of the Town of Koprivnica), while the lead beneficiary was represented by Valentina Papic Bogadi (Krizevci College of Agriculture, project manager).
Marijana Ivanek-Martinčić, the dean of Krizevci College of Agriculture gave a welcome speech followed by a short presentation by Mariann Zelei (Interreg Joint Secretariat, programme manager) on the results of Interreg V–A Hungary-Croatia Co-operation Programme 2014-2020. Afterwards Valentina Papic outlined the activities and indicators of the project ECOTOP2. Finally the partners briefly summarised their planned activities within the project.