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EUROPE AND EURASIA | Regional Competitiveness Initiative (RCI)

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Regional Tourism Promotion: National Geographic Supplement

RCI has developed a plan for a special supplement to be circulated with the National Geographic Traveler Magazine (NGT).  This supplement would showcase the unique features and characteristics of the Western Balkans countries. 

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Regional Tourism Workshops

RCI organizes regional meetings to discuss issues, present solutions for the challenges and share best practices in tourism.

Regional Tourism Information Sharing

To assist and add value to the regional tourism projects and their activities, RCI constantly tries to increase the information sharing and enhances the regional dialogue.

Relevant articles and documents sent biweekly to targeted stakeholders. A list of documents sent so far can be found in this document.

Regional Tourism Products and Routes

RCI has undertaken a regional assessed of sustainable and appealing regional tourist products and routes. The next step will be to develop and promote these with regional partners.

Regional Tourism Portal

The creation of the portal serves to support regional information sharing, partnerships, and cross border products and services such as Trails, and related promotional activities.

The NGT supplement will include sites and items from the following themes:

  1. Historical / world heritage sites & ruins

  2. Unique villages / towns

  3. Churches, cathedrals, monasteries & mosques

  4. Art & museums

  5. Festivals & celebrations

  6. Native music / musical instruments

  7. Outdoor markets / specialty stores / boutiques

  8. Distinctive foods or dishes, cafes & restaurants

  9. Unique crafts wood, glass, fabric, etc.

  10. Beaches, lakes, parks & gardens

  11. Resorts & spas, b&b’s, agri-tourism

  12. Outdoor activities (hiking, biking, skiing) outfitters & guides

  13. Wildlife birds, fish, animals, etc.


This is a co-funding collaboration between RCI and the countries of the region (USAID Missions/Projects, National Tourism Agencies, etc.) The supplement is scheduled for distribution in the Spring of 2010

Authentic Quality Mark

RCI is introducing a Quality Mark within SE Europe, to encourage and guide authentic accommodations such as small hotels and guest houses within each country in the region. The program focuses on improving product quality, business practices, market readiness and profile, and has a major emphasis on responsible tourism. This will support sustainable competitive tourism sectors in each country. The first Quality Mark programs are in Albania and Macedonia. There will be country-specific Authentic Quality Marks all reflecting the same disciplines and standards across the region, providing recognizable and credible endorsements for travelers.

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RCI programs support the development of sustainable tourism and competitive tourism. Interventions include identifying market opportunities and designing and developing regional tourism products to match them; building market awareness and activating channels to markets; and encouraging and building connections and support for tourism activities within both the private and public sectors. RCI is committed to various signature regional initiatives, as described below.

Western Balkans Geotourism MapGuide Portal

Western Balkans Mapguide website is a regional portal designed by and co-branded with National Geographic. The MapGuide is the first joint effort in the region to promote the Western Balkans as a single destination by highlighting the rich natural and cultural wealth of the region. The project was supported by USAID through RCI project and was implemented by the National Geographic Maps Division and the Western Balkans Geotourism Stewardship Council (WBGSC).

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