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Enriching the Touristic Offer in Ohrid as the Ultimate Adventure Tourism Destination

The Lake Ohrid region is facing underdeveloped products in the field of active/ adventure tourism. Although this region is the country’s leading tourist destination for seasonal recreational and cultural tourism, adventure tourism products are lacking or are being underdeveloped to be competitively integrated into the overall offer. Increasing the attractiveness of such products is necessary for attracting more off-season tourists.

The Swiss Increasing Market Employability Programme – IME has identified the market needs and through connecting local service providers with an internationally recognized tour operator, is working on diversifying the active tourism offer in this destination. With an integrative role, the tour operator “Fibula: has identified six companies that need product improvement.

The alliance is working together to develop new, environmentally friendly products for sustainable active tourism, using innovative digital promotional tools to reach large populations, both in the country and abroad. This combined approach enables the development of the offer in gastronomy, rural and mountain tourism, water sports, as well as in increasing the levels of product safety.

The IME partners from the sectors involved in the initiative are: Balaklija, eco garden in a great location with local products, where the visitors themselves enjoy the food preparation process in an authentic rural setting. Ortet (Organization for Rural Tourism, Ecology and Tradition) – Kuratica, offers opportunities for hiking, classes for cooking traditional food, wine tasting, and the investment goes in the direction of supplementing the offer with traditional open kitchen, small organic farm, equipment for camping and classes for development of traditional crafts as new attractions in the village of Kuratica.

The development of a water sports center will include Su Hotel, which enriches the visitor experience with water sports services by introducing sup-boards and kayaks. Furthermore, Mountain Madness offers walking tours to Galicica National Park, camping on the shores of Lake Ohrid in the small village of Pestani, with the additional possibility of renting kayaks and sup-boards. Additionally, Sup Club – a women-owned company, which enriches the offer in Ohrid by introducing three other products – canoeing, board sailing and a unique space for yoga and exercise.

Product safety is the core focus of Diving Center – Amphora, which provides tourists with a unique diving experiences in Lake Ohrid. Additionally, Amphora has a diving school for all enthusiasts. Due to the high demand, Amphora will provide safety suits in order to serve as many tourists of different ages.

As part of the promotion activities, Fibula together with all stakeholders created an innovative interactive video in order to better target potential tourists and tour operators from Western European countries.

All companies are focused on developing sustainable tourism activities. These initiatives for introducing new attractive products and services to enrich the experience of tourists, will encourage them to stay longer and spend more in the destination, thus having a positive impact on improving local economic growth on the long run.

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