The Dalmatian Hinterland Development project could turn tradition into business, says Croatia’s Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Vesna Pusić…
“People are leaving because they don’t have a job and this project is one of the possible answers to that – it is clean and takes advantage of the local know-how, from cuisine, oils and herbal medicine to gastronomic offer, hiking and sports, which can be turned into business and offered to others,” said Pusić after attending a workshop on rural tourism in the Dalmatian hinterland as part of the Dalmatian Hinterland Development project.
The workshop was held at the Kalpić family farm in Radonići, the Šibenik-Knin County, and was also attended by Tourism Minister Darko Lorencin. Pusić said that our people, notably the young, are growing more and more interested in obtaining the EU non-returnable funds for this type of projects, but that a hinterland tourism development project was not feasible if people themselves did not recognize the opportunity.
It is possible to get money, Pusić said, to reconstruct houses, develop infrastructure linking different towns, for extreme sports, to improve tourist capacities or build pools, for instance. Incentives and non-returnable payments can be obtained via the EU funds, the Croatian bank for Reconstruction and Development as well as through cooperation with other countries, Pusić said, recalling that the workshop had also been attended by Norway’s Ambassador Henrik Ofstad.
Pusić thanked the Hrvatska Elektroprivreda for assisting with a wind and solar generator located near Drniš, which can be used to power street lights as well as charging mobile phones and electric bikes, as cycling trails are nearby. The development of the Dalmatian hinterland encompasses 165 projects worth EUR 240 million, spans four counties and involves cooperation with Bosnia and Herzegovina.
“This is a beautiful place and this way of life, with a little help in developing entrepreneurship, is extremely beneficial and interesting,” Pusić concluded.