03.05.2012 - UNESCO Office in Venice

4 Years later. Alliances for Culture Tourism in Eastern Anatolia presents final results and achievements

© UNDP Turkey - Saz and Tar traditional instruments laboratory

The MDG-F Joint Programme “ Alliances for Culture Tourism (ACT) in Eastern Anatolia”, started in November 2008 and completed in December 2011, will be officially closed on 8 May next in Kars. This UN Joint Programme, under the thematic window “Culture and Development”, was designed to promote and enhance sustainable cultural tourism in the province of Kars (Eastern Anatolia). Financed by the Spanish MDG Achievement Fund, the project was implemented by UNDP, UNESCO, UNICEF and UNWTO, in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Turkey.

The Joint Programme mobilized the culture sector in Turkey’s least developed region – eastern Anatolia, with the aim of increasing incomes and enhancing respect of cultural diversity among people of different origin and background, through the development of a sustainable and responsible tourism based on local cultural and natural heritage. In particular, the Joint Programme built capacities of managers of cultural assets, tourism professionals/entrepreneurs, local authorities and civil society in eastern Anatolia to protect and promote their heritage, while at the same time fostering sustainable tourism practices, through provision of support, training, and capacity-building.

Besides the UN partner agencies and the Turkish implementing partners, representatives of all local partners and stakeholders will participate in the event, as well as the local civil society and the local media/press. Will participate in the closure event: Ahmet Kara, Kars Governor; Cristobol Gonzales-Aller, Ambassador of Spain to Turkey; Matteo Rosati, Culture Programme Officer, UNESCO Venice Office; Ayman Abulaman, Representative, UNICEF Turkey; and Özgür Özaslan, Undersecretary, Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

This final event will allow the Joint Programme partners to present the Final Evaluation findings and Programme outputs. Among the main achievements to be noted: the Tourism Strategy Document for Kars, with the vision of promoting the region as a centre for natural and cultural tourism, was developed and approved by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism; a complete audit was carried out on Kars Province’s tourism facilities and services; trainings held to develop the capacities of relevant stakeholders on the management of cultural heritage sites, preparation of management plans and entrepreneurship to enhance income from tourism-related activities; and, Kars tourism supported through marketing and awareness activities, the mapping of Intangible Cultural Heritage, establishment of the Kars Culture House, and activities to safeguard the Minstrelsy tradition; Children Museum Rooms were established in Kars and Erzurum, and a Children Museum Training Programme was developed and carried out in nine provinces.

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