"This document has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union. The contents of this document are the sole responsibility of Muzeji Hrvatskog zagorja and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union."



During the presentations of renowned scientists in the field of culture and tourism, several topics have been emphasised which are essential for the  successful implementation of projects in the field of cultural tourism.
These topics are the following:



This topic has addressed issues on a number of levels. One is certainly related to protection, and includes the elements that should guarantee for traditional culture, as one of the most sensitive parts of heritage, to remain safeguarded in its authentic forms. This also implies that the adaptations occurring in connecting traditional culture with the tourist sector must be evidenced and never harmful to the traditional heritage itself.
One part of the comments and problems that the discussion prompted addressed the issue of registration, protection of authenticity and the definition of quality standards. The examples stemming from practice (especially on the Slovenian side, as emphasised by dr. Bogataj) point to the need for creating a brand. Therefore, one of the conclusions has been that the CRAFTATTRACT project should create its own brand in the continuation of its implementation.
Such deliberations are clearly extensions to existing initiatives that were also mentioned by Manda Horvat, from the Ministry of Tourism, a Ministry that has for the past years intensively advocated the development of continental tourism. The emphasis has been placed on the rural areas, and included a range of measures and incentives (for the restoration of traditional houses and rural households, assistance to traditional crafts, the creating of souvenirs, etc.). They have already defined standards by which they work and award grants. One of the controversial issues is the preparation of food in a traditional way, for which there is a growing demand, but for which the legal framework is very rigid (the serving and preparation of food in wooden, earthen pots is forbidden), even though the intangible heritage includes the preparation of food in a traditional way and is part of the traditional offer. Health and safety measures should most definitely be acknowledged, in order not to jeopardize the health of people, but the question is really whether that can be done by using traditional means.
Dr. sc. Tomislav Šola compared the necessity of a change in approach with some other aspects where positive steps forward have already been taken (e.g. the acknowledgement of the needs of the disabled), emphasising that what is necessary are rules which are logical and valuable for the area of traditional heritage, and do not necessarily need to correspond with other sectors. The exception from general standards and the creation of ones for traditional culture especially does not mean that they are harmful - they are simply different.
Goranka Horjan emphasised the provision of services in heritage facilities, which sometimes do not satisfy the standards required by law (in terms of height, etc.) but a certificate should try to be obtained and certain exemptions applied - heritage licensed locations and licensed products may be exempt from the standard legal regulations, provided they must are safe and healthy for users nevertheless.


Dr. sc. Aleš Gačnik emphasised that, in the continuation of the project, it is necessary to research models that would revive the development of an area. In some places, workshops exist, but there are no longer any craftsmen, or vice versa. The models would research how to establish this partnership between: craftsmen - heritage - tourist offer. Therefore, it is necessary to make an analysis - what are the interests of craftsmen, of heritage institutions engaged in this field, what is the interest of the tourist institutions, and in which way they want to cooperate with the heritage institutions and craftsmen. This could be one of the main roles of the regional Centres for Traditional Crafts and Skills.
Dr. sc. Tomislav Šola also presented the Canadian experiences that he had recently encountered - especially with regard to the model of economuseums. They are examples of how to shape the tourist products for the market, and how to communicate with the market and the public. One should see the possibilities of opening such economuseums in Croatia and Slovenia. He especially emphasised the need to hire professionals in the implementation of heritage projects, since a superficial amateur approach can inflict a great damage.
Metka Fujs highlighted the role of a museum as an institution - the museum is the one safeguarding the object, information and documentation, but it is also essential to have active people in the field, the connoisseurs of traditional knowledge. If craftsmen disappear, the museum presenting and preserving their crafts will as well, so it is necessary to establish a connection between craftsmen and museums, but also teach younger generations so that they can further safeguard those crafts, knowledge and skills.
Goranka Horjan pointed out the problems of the market itself, which mercilessly acts according to the rules of supply and demand. The question arises about how to preserve local recognizability in the global world. A specific area of tourism creates various "fake" traditional elements within the offer, in order to cater to market demands. There is a question of the possibility of control of the wide number of interest groups which are active in tourism. She mentioned the distribution problem as the biggest one (even in the quick growing sectors such as cultural industries this is a burning problem) which can be solved only by well-thought through common initiatives and networking.


The transfer of knowledge and adjusting to the new conditions which are present on the market is today a complex task which requires continued training and learning.
Lidija Nikočević emphasised that the craftsmen engaged in the production of souvenirs do not  know how to access the market (how and where to place their products) and need expert help in this. If they are left to their own devices their work will disappear, despite souvenirs that are inexpensive and of good quality. A connection is needed between all participants in this process but also between different stakeholders and state and regional administration bodies.
Irena Roškar reminded that today, an entrepreneur starting a business must have a whole range of knowledge to successfully present his product in the market and be successful in this. Tradition should not be nostalgia, but what remains as a value today. Traditional objects may be useful for today's consumer and only in this way can they remain on the market.
The Ministry of Tourism offers a whole range of incentives for individual segments, including traditional crafts. They include the calls for proposals for designers and souvenir makers, but there is still an insufficient number of applicants, even though a big response is expected in the future.
Everyone present emphasised the undisputable importance of education in the creation of strategic partnerships. In some heritage institutions, there are examples of good practices, such as in the Ethnographic Museum in Zagreb, which initiated the sale of traditional handicrafts in its facilities, as emphasised by Iris Biškupić Bašić. However, she also stated the fact that every attempt at marketing, introduction of attractive packaging, "stories" about objects, etc. raises the price of the offer, and that similar actions are regularly only solitary examples. It is difficult to educate the manufacturers as well - as it shown by the example of wooden children’s toys in the Hrvatsko zagorje region. The manufacturers should be using ecological colours and abandon nails, since otherwise, these are not appropriate toys for children of the youngest age. Traditional craftsmen most often see only the rising expenses in the new proposals, not realizing their own benefit.
Finally, it is equally important to have an adequate ecological bag to put this souvenir in.

In summing up the main points of these discussions, moderators of the round table singled out several important points which are at the same time guidelines for the future development of the CRAFTATTRACT project:
- considering the option of establishing economuseums in the cross border area
- further encouragement of traditional craftsmanship through regional principle
- further education of all stakeholders and users
- institutional partnerships and networking between all factors, with the aim of creating a specific market offer
- education and assistance in using different options of incentives and grants




About the project | Objectives | Project leaders| Activities | Conclusions | Contact | Publications | Awards | Presentation of the Project | Project Sustainability | MHZ, Gornja Stubica | Znanstvenoraziskovalno središće Bistra Ptuj | 2007


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