• Acronym: KRA'GAS
  • Call: HUSKROUA/1702
  • Priority: 3.1: Promoting local culture and historical heritage along with tourism functions
  • Project ID: HUSKROUA/1702/3.1/0027
  • Project start date: 1 October 2019
  • Project end date: 30 September 2021
  • Total contracted budget: EUR 646 616.35, out of which European Union funding: EUR 581 954.68
  • Co-financing sources: ENI CBC, Hungary - Slovakia - Romania - Ukraine ENI Cross-Border-Cooperation Programme 2014 – 2020 (https://huskroua-cbc.eu/)

Three universities and three business organizations have paired to propose an innovative approach in promoting the heritage and touristic potential of crafts and gastronomy in Hungary-Romania-Ukraine cross-border region.

At a time of globalization and cultural uniformity, heritage and creativity of crafts and gastronomy are co-creators of regional identity. As such, they are perceived as strategic “spices”, seasoning tourism development. Positioned at the intersection of Balkans, Central and Eastern Europe, this area has recognizable cultural areas but, as in other parts of the world, immaterial heritage suffers from dying out of traditional crafts and gastronomy, and from lack of visibility. Offering local producers access to markets through tourism’ growth is a possible answer to these problems. As a vehicle for linking local producers with markets, we proposed in this project mapping a touristic cross-border cultural route on crafts and gastronomy, ViaGastrocarpathia.

Innovative here is not the idea of a route, but that of backing it on an anthropological analysis and then, targeting the special category of “cultural tourists”. This way, we managed to highlight the common cultural heritage, helping perceive the region more as a common cultural area, than as a sum of local cultures. Afterwards, we promoted the region not as a list of destinations, but as a common tourist destination. The project assumption was that the increase of regional market’ volume of traditional products will provide employment and funds for heritage’ preservation, strengthening regional cooperation, bringing closer communities and thinning the dividing lines between the three countries.

Overall objective

To develop the cross-border cooperation in the project region, by promoting the crafts and the gastronomic culture of the region as relevant components of the cultural heritage of the Carpathian Euroregion and as common regional tourist destinations, this way bringing closer the local communities and thinning the dividing lines between the EU members Hungary and Romania, and its neighbor, Ukraine.