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Foreign experts to improve Macedonian tourism offer

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The Ministry of Economy will engage renowned foreign experts, who will deliver training for Macedonian staff in the tourism sector, towards improving the country’s offer in the field.

The training will be provided through two-year project “Stimulating Sustainable Links and Development of Clusters in Macedonian Tourism Industry”, implemented through the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).

“The entire project is worth EUR 220,000 donated by the Slovenian government, managed by UNIDO”, Economy Minister Valjon Sarachini told reporters at the project presentation on Monday.

He said the Ministry has prepared a strategy for tourism development and promotion, including a specific action plan for local and central authorities.

“In general, we are satisfied from achievements in the tourism sector. We expect continual improvement of the tourism offer, which will contribute to the increase in the number of tourists. We aim at reaching one million tourists annually in the next 3-4 years, as well as tourism revenues up to five percent of the GDP in the next 10 years” – stressed Sarachini.

He added the Government has implemented new measures towards supporting tourism, such as subsidizing of low-cost airlines and increase of subsidies for foreign tourists.

“Subsidies for organized foreign tourism turnover amounted to MKD 75 million (EUR 1,2 million) in 2013, whereas this year’s funds stand at MKD 155 million (EUR 2,5 million)” – said Minister Sarachini.

UNIDO project manager Adnan Serich said the project would focus on development of cluster tourism in the Ohrid and Tikvesh regions.

“The goal of the training will be development of techniques and skills of tourism stakeholders at a regional and central level, in order to enhance ties among clusters and improve access to tourism markets in the region and beyond” – Serich said.

He added UNIDO would work with relevant institutions in strengthening their capacities and improving their practice and know-how.