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Balkans & Black Sea Forum 2017
Stability | Growth | Cooperation
May 25-26, 2017 | Serres, Greece

BBSF2017 Declaration: “Cultural Tourism, a key to Sustainable Development”

Master Plan “Cultural Tourism vehicle for interconnectivity in the Balkans and Black Sea region

The 1st edition of the Balkans & Black Sea Cooperation Forum, was successfully concluded in the city of Serres, Greece, from 25 to 26 May 2017.

The inaugurated Forum kick-started with the headline “Cultural Tourism | a key to Sustainable Development” aligned with United Nations resolution (A/C.2/70/L.5/Rev.1 dd.4/12/2015) at which 2017 has been adopted as International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.

Forum participants expressed strong willingness to actively promote cultural tourism, as a key to sustainable development for the benefit of all peoples in the Balkans and Black Sea region. Considered this region is rich in diverse cultural heritage, possessing vibrant creative forces and capacity to build on a wide and positive experience, in stimulating growth through the protection of its distinctive natural and human-made landmarks.

In this framework, the participants expressed their readiness to contribute to the formulation of a Master Plan for the promotion of Cultural Tourism, aiming to create a practical platform for the interconnectivity of destinations in the Balkans and Black Sea region and provide to the cultural and creative industries an environment to allowing further continue expanding, creating growth and increasing employment.

In particular the Forum’s strategic partners, the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank, the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions and the European Banking Federation, have welcomed the Master Plan as a tangible conference proceeding.

Partners expressed their willingness and readiness to contribute to the Master Plan with their expertise, including how public and private sector funding can support the development of partnerships. To this extent, public-private partnerships on Joint Technologies Initiatives and co-funded initiatives can be addressed. Furthermore, the Master Plan shall consider the potential of rural development funding for innovation as a way to turn Cultural Tourism into an engine for sustainable, social and economic development.

The adoption of such a Master Plan and its implementation process will further facilitate the enhancement of interaction between Governmental officials, regions, entrepreneurs, academia, NGO’s and, last but not least, young people, providing fresh incentives for exchanging common projects and initiatives.

The Master Plan in question will be presented at the forthcoming Thessaloniki International Trade Fair*, on September 15th 2017, during a special Balkans & Black Sea Cooperation Forum event.

For queries, please contact:

Giannis Balakakis
Chair Organizing Committee
Balkans & Black Sea Cooperation Forum

*T.I.F. is an annual commercial exhibition event of great importance in Greece and Southeastern Europe, taking place at 180,000m². It is customary for a Greek prime minister to set out his government’s policies for each coming year. As so TIF has political significance in addition to its commercial importance. 2017 honorary country is China; this signals a more institutional approach by China to Greece and S.E. Europe.