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BART Expands Knowledge of Tourism Business

14.06.2012

During a benchmarking June 5 – 9, 2012 representatives of partner-universities and municipalities of the international project "Public-Private Partnership in Tourism in the Barents Region (BART)" visited Montenegro and Italy, for the experience exchange in tourism industry of the Barents region and the Balkans.

Partners involved in the trip came from Finland, Sweden, Norway and Russia. On the Russian side there were representatives of the administration of the city of Monchegorsk, Northern (Arctic) Federal University, Murmansk State Humanities University and Murmansk State Technical University. This trip turned up to be an interesting experience for the project coordinator from MSTU, Natalia Anikeeva, Head of International Cooperation Department, and for the project researchers Mariia Rozbitckaia, associate professor of Social Work and Theology Department, and Tatiana Mulina, junior research fellow of Sociological Research Laboratory (MSHU).

In the period June 05 – 7, 2012 participants visited a number of official institutions, firstly, Faculty of Tourism and Hospitality Management at the University of Montenegro. As Deputy Dean for Academic Affairs Dr., Professor Djurdjica Perovic said there are around 1200 students currently studying at the Faculty and 30% of them are foreign. As the tourism sector is very important for economy of Montenegro, the government subsidizes 10% of budget-funded places. The faculty also works with regional companies, the project "Summer Job" can be mentioned as an example of such cooperation. Within this project students receive help in on-the-job training arrangements with a possibility of further employment.

After that, the delegation held a meeting with the representatives of the National Tourism Organization of Montenegro "Visit Montenegro" and the local tourism organization "Visit Bar", which is also a member of the project "InteGRATEd Actions to Promote Sustainable ToURist Development – TUR.GRATE2" (www.turgrate2.eu) Also, the delegation of the Barents Region got to know the local Tourist Information Center activities and learned the experience of tourist destinations development (the example of national park "Lake Skadar").

June 8, 2012 project participants arrived in Italy, where they attended a meeting at the municipality of Mesagne and learned about key tourism products of the region. Then a meeting with a representative of Mesagne Tourism Department was held where representatives of the tour operators consortium of the Puglia region were present, as well as "TUR.GRATE2" project partners and the project technical secretariat. The Barents Region delegation had a perfect opportunity to ask all necessary questions, especially concerning issues of regional cooperation in tourism development, effectiveness of international tourism cooperation in the Balkan region and common brand practicability.

In addition to business meetings sightseeing tours were organized for the project participants about the city of Kotor, Podgorica, Cetinje, Bar. The delegation visited several museums and archaeological sites.

The organizers and participants were unanimous in their opinion that the trip dedicated to the tourism industry experience exchange with Montenegrin and Italian municipalities and tourism organizations, was successful and fruitful. By autumn 2012 there will have been a number of publications in English which will summarise findings of the benchmarking trip to Montenegro and Italy.

The project is supported by EU within "ENPI CBC Kolarctic" programme