UN Joint Programme for Sustainable Tourism at the 33rd International Fair of Tourism
Dođite na selo!, Come to Serbia’s countryside!, Come to meet the welcoming people, discover their proud tradition, and wonderful nature’, said the UN Resident Representative, William S. Infante, at the opening of the stand of the UN Joint Programme for Sustainable Tourism at 33rd International Fair of Tourism, held in Belgrade from 24th to 27th February 2011.
The Ambassador of Spain, Iñigo de Palacio España, who visited the stand of the UN Joint Programme, joined the UN RC in emphasizing the potential of rural Serbia in his address to the journalists, participants and guests at the stand.
The participation of the UNJP Sustainable Tourism for Rural Development in this fair to further promote Serbian rural tourism was closely coordinated with its implementing national partners, including the National Tourism Organization of Serbia, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management and the Ministry of Economy and Regional Development, as well as representatives of local organizations.
This joint effort resulted in a great success – between 1500 and 2000 people, including VIPs such as the Ambassador of Spain, Iñigo de Palacio España, the State Secretary for Tourism, Dr. Goran Petkovic, the State Secretary for Agriculture, Zeljko Radosevic and celebrities such as the actor Vojin Cetkovic visited the JP stand, participated in stand activities and mingled with journalists and guests.
With the aim of presenting the wide range of Serbian rural tourism potentials, the team’s presentation at the fair was organized under four umbrella themes: 1)Cultural heritage of rural areas and rural tourism, 2)Farming tradition, natural heritage and rural tourism, 3)Education, children and women in rural areas and rural tourism and 4)Business investment and rural tourism.
This rich programme and diversity of participants who offered traditional food, drinks, preformed traditional dances, demonstrated the art of artisan crafts and kids who dressed in traditional wears, made the stand attractive and fun for all – participants, journalists, guest and the team.
Jagoda Jovicevic, National Tourism Organizations’ advisor for village tourism, highlighted in her address to the media that the people from urban areas seek to recover from the busy life style, so they come to the Serbian villages, truly following the invite to ‘Come to the Serbian countryside’ because they know that they will find an oasis of tranquility, healthy food, and a green playground that invites to be explored.
About the Sustainable Tourism for Rural Development Joint Programme
UN Joint Programme Sustainable Tourism for Rural Development works towards the diversification of the rural economy through sustainable tourism to improve the quality of life, reduce poverty, and address environmental degradation in rural Serbia. One of the key activities of the programme is the development of the National Rural Tourism Master Plan. Activities of the Programme are implemented in South Banat on the Danube, East Serbia, Central Serbia and Lower Danube.
Five UN agencies, including UNWTO (United Nations World Tourism Organization), FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations), UNDP (United Nations Development Programme), UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) and UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) in cooperation with a number of Government of the Republic of Serbia national partners, namely the Ministry of Economy and Regional Development, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management, and the National Tourism Organization of Serbia are implementing the Joint Programme.
The Spanish Millennium Development Goals Achievement Fund (MDG-F) is providing 4 million USD for the implementation of the Joint Programme.
About the International Fair of Tourism
This year’s International Fair of Tourism is the 33rd and was held from 24th to 27th February 2011.The fair hosted 4000 visitors, over 900 exhibitors from 43 countries, including Croatia, which is the partner country for this year. Goran Petkovic, PhD, State Secretary for Tourism opened the fair.