Regional Development Agency Srem and its partners started implementing the activities of the project „Bicycle Tourism to Rural and Regional Development of Srem“, under the Program for Support to Rural and Regional Development of the Republic of Serbia, funded by the Swiss Agency for Cooperation (SDC). The value of the project is 353.271,98 CHF and the period of realization until 31st August 2018. As many times before, the City of Sremska Mitrovica hosted the Open Conference and the First Meeting of the Inter-Municipal Working Group for Tourism and, besides the representatives of the partners, the IMWG meeting was attended by the representative of the Swiss Embassy and the Program for Support to Rural and Regional Development.
At the very beginning, Milan Mirić, director of the RDA Srem, greeted the audience and thanked them for their presence since the Tourism Fair in Novi Sad was opened at the same time. He reminded all the participants that the process of preparing the project itself lasted two years, a series of workshops and meetings were held in order to identify quality partners, harmonize the interests and define concrete actions that were in line with the policies of rural and regional development, from project initiatives. Cycling links all three sectors public, private and civil. Routes pass through NP „Fruška gora“, connects two rivers Sava and Danube, localities like SRP „Obedska bara“, SRP „Zasavica“. All of these, donor have recognized and our project will have the second phase, the establishment of the Destination Management Organizations – DMO of Srem.
Deputy Mayor of Sremska Mitrovica, Svetlana Milovanović, on behalf of the host, addressed the gathering and stressed, „We are very honoured that we are partners in this very important, interesting and useful project. The city of Sremska Mitrovica is working on the project documentation and by the end of this year, it is expected that all project documentation will be completed. The value of the works is 165,000 CHF, which has already provided the Program with more than 65,000 CHF, and the rest will be financed by the Ministry of Tourism and Telecommunications, the Provincial Secretariat for Tourism and Economy and the City of Sremska Mitrovica“.
Representative of the Swiss Embassy, Milica Stojanovic, thanked RDA Srem for a well-organized gathering, a significant contribution to the implementation of the Program for Support to Rural and Regional Development of the Republic of Serbia and visibility of donors – Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). „I hope that soon, with the director of the office and other representatives of the Program, I will visit the route and make sure that the region of Srem is rightly supported by the Program and have relevant partners who will carry out all planned activities,“ she added.
In front of the Provincial Secretariat for Economy and Tourism, Sergey Tamaš, assistant to the Provincial Secretary for Tourism, addressed the audience emphasizing that he was pleased to note that he sees people and the profession in the right place. „The topic is current and as such is supported at the Tourism Fair in Novi Sad. It will also be included within the Tourism Development Program of AP Vojvodina, which will be implemented in the first quarter of 2018. The development of Srem as a destination is an example of how other regions should be developed, what was recognized and supported by the Ministry and the Provincial Secretariat for tourism“.
After introductory words, Sanja Stupar, RDA Srem project manager, presented the project itself, its goals, planned activities. Apart from the construction of the bicycle route Zasavica – Sr. Mitrovica, as the most important part of the project, it is important to mention the preparation of project documentation and installation of bicycle signalling on the Sava bicycle route, preparation of project documentation for the rehabilitation of the “Grebenski road” from “Iriški venac” to “Zmajevac” (about 6 km long) procurement of equipment for improvement of tourist offer of NP „Fruška gora“, SRP „Zasavica“ Ethno villages Kupinovo and Ogar, PD „Kozarica“ as a future bicycle camp, development of mobile application and web site, capacity building for rural tourism management of public, private, civil sector and MORG members for tourism.
After the Opening Conference, the First Meeting of the Intergovernmental Working Group – IMWG for Tourism was held. RDA Srem director, Milan Mirić presented to the present members the concept and role of the IMWG in the preparation and implementation of regional projects and the work plan of the MORG during the project implementation. Svetlana Sabo, director of the Touristic Organization of the City of Sremska Mitrovica, was elected the chairperson of the IMWG for tourism.
As the central institution implementing the project, RDA Srem will, through the achieved results, make the Region of Srem become recognizable by the end of 2018 as a region with established international cycling routes Srem and Sava, a system of accompanying tourist services and products in rural tourism, improved tourist offer, areas of particular natural and cultural – historical interest, which will directly contribute to the local economic development of Srem but also to the overall development of the region.