Culture Tourism and Social Innovation: The Collective Organisation of the Cultural Experience of our Homeland


>>> press release (text and images provided by The High Mountains SCE).

On Saturday, May 21, 2022, the first discussion of the Cultural Associations of Konitsa’s area with our Social Cooperative Enterprise (SCE), “The High Mountains”, took place in the event hall of the town hall of Konitsa, in the framework of the project “INCULTUM”.

The meeting, entitled Culture Tourism and Social Innovation: The Collective Organisation of the Cultural Experience of our Homeland, aimed to return to the Cultural Associations and Brotherhoods, analysed and visualised, the knowledge they contributed, by participating in a quality research, carried out in the area by “The High Mountains” team, but also to trigger a discussion about the problems, the possibilities and the role of the Cultural Associations based in the municipality of Konitsa, in developing the cultural product of their homeland.

The discussion started with the presentation of the project “Visiting the Margins. INnovative CULtural ToUrisM in European peripheries “, ” INCULTUM “, by Mr. Sotiris Tsoukarelis, President of “The High Mountains” SCE.

Then, the chief researcher of “The High Mountains” Dr. Vaios Kotsios presented the findings of the secondary research we have carried out so far, using the methodology of Worthliving Integrated Development, and demonstrated their connection with the feedback we received by the Cultural Associations and Brotherhoods of the municipality of Konitsa. Through the analysis and synthesis of primary and secondary research data, but also with the use of Business Intelligence tools, an attempt is made to increase the Collective Intelligence of the local community, so that the latter, based on substantiated analyses of the reality of the region, co-forms in collaboration with the multidisciplinary team of the “High Mountains” the necessary actions for the development of Cultural Tourism.

Τwo presentations followed, conducted by Mr. Nikos Stakias, Advisor for Development and Promotion of Destinations and Mr. Dimitris Milis, Advisor for Strategy – Visual Communication Designer, who highlighted the importance that shall be given to the creation of the image of the destination, so that the residents themselves can picture and create the narrative and story that they want their homeland to communicate to themselves and to all visitors of the area.

A discussion including all participants started right after all presentations ended. In the course of this discussion, mr. Zois Pantazis, President of the Federation of Cultural Associations of the Prefecture of Ioannina spoke about the financial tools that cultural associations can access, and George Papaioannou, Vice President of the Agritourism Association of Epirus, focused on the lack of exposure and its consequences, focusing in actions already implemented by the Cultural Institutions of the region of Konitsa.

As a conclusion of the discussion, Mr. Tsoukarelis made clear that “The High Mountains” team will work closely with all Associations that have expressed or will express their will in organising and utilising their cultural heritage and traditions and promoting their village. Emphasis will be given on exploring all the possibilities, perspectives, limitations and problems faced by the Associations, in their effort to promote and develop the culture of the area, but also on the tools that can be used to overcome any obstacles and enhance the development of Cultural Tourism.

After the event, participants tasted traditional local products, such as local pies, mountain tea and other herbal infusions, as well as the famous asker burek. The successful coordination of the whole event was undertaken by Vassilis Nakkas and Thaleia Pantoula, members of the Social Cooperative Enterprise “The High Mountains”.


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