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Sustainability and innovation along the Via Dinarica: Italy supports 25 Kosovar tour operators

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Installation of solar panels, purchase of equipment for mountain sports, energy efficiency of high-altitude accommodation facilities: these are just some of the projects that won the call for launched by Italian NGO “Volontari nel Mondo RTM” (Volunteers in the World RTM) as part of the development cooperation project “NaturKosovo: natural and cultural capital in Kosovo and sustainable tourist development along the Via Dinarica”, financed by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation AICS.

Among the pre-selected proposals (25), leading to a total budget of EUR 360,000, are initiatives aimed at renovating accommodation facilities, reducing energy consumption, as well as purchasing agrifood machinery and safety devices for mountain sports activities. In addition, the pre-selected projects include promotional initiatives that will highlight the territory’s natural, cultural, and historical resources so to promote its attractiveness.

“The final aim is to improve the quality of the tourist services offered, which will contribute to enhancing the treasures of Kosovo, also thanks to the know-how that important Italian actors, such as the Alpine Club, the National Alpine and Speleological Rescue Corps, and the Italian Association for Responsible Tourism, have transferred in these first two years of the project”, the Italian Ambassador to Kosovo, Antonello De Riu, said.

On the selection procedure, AICS Tirana Director Stefania Vizzaccaro noted that “the quality of the proposals submitted confirmed the positive impact of the entire project, testifying to the enthusiasm and commitment of the local communities in developing the tourism sector in their territory”.

Along the same lines, Francesco Gradari, Project Manager Balkans Area of Volontari nel Mondo RTM: “The over one hundred applications received tell of a high interest in the call. The number of proposals preselected at present is, however, only provisional; we are working to extend the Fund’s support to projects currently on the reserve list”, he said.

The reference documentation about the NaturKosovo Endowment Fund can be found at this link, including the list of pre-selected applicants.

NaturKosovo is an initiative financed and promoted by AICS Tirana with the support of the Embassy of Italy in Pristina, implemented by the CSOs Volunteers in the World RTM and CELIM Milano in collaboration with Utalaya Foundation, CAI – Italian Alpine Club, CNSAS – National Alpine and Speleological Rescue Corps, and A.I.T.R. – Italian Association of Responsible Tourism.