Title : Alliances for Cultural Tourism (ACT) in Eastern Anatolia

Thematic Window : Culture and Development

Participating UN organisations : UNDP, UNESCO, UNWTO, UNICEF

Signing partners : Ministry of Culture and Tourism; Ministry of Foreign Affairs, State Planning Organization (Ministry of Development as of September 2011)

Source of funds : Spanish MDG Achievement Fund


Designed to develop and enhance cultural tourism in Kars through pro-poor tourism development policies, safeguarding of tangible and intangible cultural heritage and development of capacities of communities and enterprises for income generation and job creation in the province of Kars.

The UN Joint Programme aimed specifically to develop the cultural tourism sector in Kars contributing to social cohesion by recognizing pluralism and by reducing income disparities between the people of Kars and the rest of the country. To achieve the objectives, JP actions have mainly focused on the following: development of institutional capacities and the regulatory framework for the safeguarding of tangible and intangible cultural heritage and cultural tourism delivery; increase of communities’ capacities and enterprises in Kars for income generation and job creation in the culture based tourism sector; promotion of social cohesion and dialogue through the development of conceptual tools, partnerships and governance mechanisms for local authorities and civil society.

Millennium Development Goals addressed

  • Goal 0: Millennium Declaration: an enabling environment (human rights, democracy and good governance)
  • Goal  1 : Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger (Targeted)
  • Goal  3 :  Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women  (Contribution)

Project details

Total Budget in USD: $ 3,800,000 | UNESCO Budget as UN Participating Organization (amount broken down) : $ 830,320 | Geographic focus : Turkey | Started : December 2008 | Keywords : Heritage, dialogue, capacities, "brand city", alliances | End date : April 2012 | Status: Closed


18 November 2008 : Official Signing Ceremony in Ankara and kick-off meeting | 15 December 2008: Official Joint Programme start date | 5 March 2009 : Inception workshop held in Kars | 01 April 2009 : National Professional Officer (NPO) in Ankara, Serra Aytun, joins UNESCO | 29 August 2009 : 6-month extension request approved | 7-10 May 2010 : International Minstrel’s Festival in Kars |  30 April 2012: Closure of Joint Programme | 8 May 2012: Closing event in Kars held


Main Achievements

  • 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;
  • 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;
  • 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.

Map disclaimer

The boundaries and names shown and the designations used on maps do not imply official endorsement or acceptance by the United Nations.

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