The following partner meeting was held in Osijek. Rediscover partnership made progress implementing the activities. And beside all of our thematic work the project's first year review was also delivered by the JS. Our controller was satisfied with the project progress so far.
The Joint Product Development workshop in Osijek was organised on September 24-25, 2019. at Hotel Osijek. The representatives of all project partners’ teams, except Kotor, were present at the workshop as well as at the next days’ partner meeting. Additionally, some local cultural, tourism and civil society stakeholders participated in the event.
The workshop started with the short press conference of Žana Gamoš, the deputy mayor of Osijek, who also opened the conference on Jewish Cultural Heritage in the Danube region. A short overview of the Jewish Cultural Heritage in Osijek and all partner cities with a focus on joint elements and potentials for synergies was presented by Grgur Marko Ivanković, an art historian and a senior curator, Museum of Slavonia. Tangible cultural heritage was marked as very attractive, with plenty of tourism potential, especially existing synagogues (Szeged, Subotica, Timisoara, Galati, Regensburg) and Jewish cemeteries, which are often protected cultural sites, as sources of numerous interesting stories. Cemeteries’ history, tombstones and monuments precisely reflect the culture, past, present and destiny of local Jews. There is rather large potential in museums and exhibitions, esp. specialised ones which are now rare (Regensburg. Houses and palaces also offer interesting personal and family stories, industrial and commercial buildings have great economic legacy in all cities and can offer interesting stories as well. There are memorials and Stolpersteine in every city as interesting points of guided tours. Schools and social buildings are not many left, mostly only within Jewish communities’ premises. Mikvah, Beth Hamidras are very rarely found (only in Timisoara). Intangible cultural heritage also has high tourism potential, especially for guided tours, ambient performances of living history and other various cultural events, since in music, arts, literature, dance, crafts, sciences there was very fertile production in all cities.
Gastronomy, traditions and rituals have been maintained more or less in all cities, mostly through Jewish communities’ activities and can be presented through cultural festivals and various cultural / touristic events. There is a strong potential in integrating tangible and intangible heritage, both locally and transnationally, which then offers added values and replication potential for other cities all over Europe. All the items of tangible heritage can be very attractive combined with famous persons and prominent family stories, local Jewish community history, culture, tradition, customs, rituals etc.
The 2nd part of the conference was carried out by Jesenka Ricl, from the Ricl crafts and the president of Croatian Association of Cultural Tourism - CroCulTour with the title Jewish Cultural Heritage: Tourism products services and attractions. It dealt with the general principles of tourism product development – categorization and inventarization of heritage (main - tangible, structural-intangible, associated – events and manifestations, service content) preceeds the SWOT analysis which points to necessary infrastructure and capacity development so that a well-organised tourism destination could be achieved. Then we proceeded to market segmentation and finally discussed product implementation in niche markets with an example of potential cultural-tourism packages aimed at different tourist groups.
As a next step, every partner presented its portfolio of potential tourism products, each encompassing both tangible and intangible heritage. Following the respective tourism portfolio presentations, the roundtable discussion followed, which included identification of synergies between partner portfolios and suggestions for joint products on partnership level.
There is a lot of potential in developing new cultural tourism products internationally in both touristic and educational aspects. Some ideas were presented which could be further developed (partners proposed exchange of cultural festivals or only cultural events, exchange of exhibitions and some kind of joint online / digital tool or application). The participants acquired new knowledge and skills related to tourism product development and business planning.