Priority Axis 4: Cooperating for more sustainable and socially innovative tourism and culture

Specific objective: RSO4.6 Enhancing the role of culture and sustainable tourism in economic development, social inclusion and social innovation

The cross-border area of Croatia and Serbia abounds with natural, historic and cultural resources, but with a general low level of marketing of the region’s cultural heritage. In line with the EU Green Deal and Territorial Agenda 2030, it is important to balance economic, social and environmental aspects in all support activities (all three strand of sustainability shall be taken into account). In this context sustainability of tourism and culture can be informed through social innovations as cooperative processes, which respond to local needs and create novel solutions and social and other value at the destination. Therefore, it is of uniform importance throughout the programme area that tourism and culture develops sustainably (including financial self-sustainability) and that it has an added value that it brings both to the consumers and to the local communities that will act as hosts.
The programme aims to support the specific, innovative, sustainable, green, digital and smart forms of tourism and culture (including new and existing sustainable tourism/cultural sites) that develops the advantage for the local communities and economies.

Types of actions
Examples of cross-border actions to be supported (non-exhaustive lists):

  1. Developing and implementing joint (pilot) actions (including place-based solutions) to support diversification and sustainability of the tourism by investing in lesser-known destinations and diverse forms of tourism (cultural, rural, agro, active, etc.) including small-scale infrastructure preferring nature-based solutions
  2. Developing and implementing innovative solutions and creating smart destinations (e.g. through digitalisation and creative industries), and new services and products for specific targeted market segments such as seniors, young people or people with disabilities including small scale infrastructure preferring nature-based solutions
  3. Development and implementation of measures to protect, develop and promote sustainable cultural heritage and cultural services, landscape heritage, public tourism assets and tourism services including investments in physical regeneration and security of public spaces (including small scale infrastructure preferring nature-based solutions), in the scope of their inclusion in the touristic and/or cultural circuit
  4. Support of social innovation and inclusion in tourism and culture – development of existing and/or new tourism and culture businesses to support job creation including up-skilling and re-skilling of vulnerable groups
  5. Protection, development and promotion of natural heritage and eco-tourism including Natura 2000 sites (including campaigns to eliminate invasive species in the Programme area and integration of green infrastructure as means of stopping the loss of biodiversity and supporting multiple ecosystem services)
  6. Integration of existing tourist products into cross-border thematic routes, products or destinations and their further advancement
  7. Capacity building for innovation in tourism and cultural heritage, focusing on recovery and resilience, and sustainable development of new or upgrading of existing cross-border tourism products, product diversification to adapt to new trends and needs, including sustainable mobility measures such as use of public transportation, alternative mobility modes, low-emission transport
  8. Adoption of green concepts and standards in cross-border tourist products and services and sustainable use of culture and tourist potentials of the border regions (including support to existing mainstream tourism destinations to make them more environmentally sustainable).

Allocation: 5,568,240 €

Main target groups
Target groups include all the actors in creation and provision of the tourist services in tourism and culture, especially:
– Public authorities (national/regional/local level) and bodies governed by public law,
– Regional and local development agencies,
– Associations and NGOs operating in the field of tourism, culture, nature, training and education, rural development,
– Sectoral agencies active in the field of tourism, culture and nature protection, rural development,
– Education and research organisations,
– Tourism organisations and institutions,
– Culture organisations and institutions,
– Chambers of commerce and chambers of trades and crafts,
– Clusters of producers,
– SMEs (only indirectly).