EU Backs 'Via Dinarica' Trails
Albanian Daily News
Published May 26, 2018
The European Union said it will support a project for the extension of the Balkans' Via Dinarica long-distance trails to the cross-border mountain areas of Albania and Kosovo through a Euro 377,981 (Dollar 442,991) grant.
The implementation of the project will last for 24 months with an estimated total cost amounting to Euro 444,684, the EU delegation said in a press release on Thursday, following the launch of the project on the extension of ViP Dinarica in the CBC region Albania-Kosovo.
The implementation of the project will contribute to enhance cross-border (CB) economic activities through unique sustainable tourism models based on natural, traditional and cultural values, while bringing forth shared characteristics of the region. More specifically, the project will develop two new hiking and biking long-distance trails that would connect Kosovo, Bjeshkt e Nemuna, Municipalities of Gjakova, Deçan, Junik and Peja and Albania, Municipalities of Kuks Region, Lezha Region.
Development of these trails will contribute to enrich tourism offer that links mountain communities and tourism stakeholders in target region for valorization of unique natural wealth and cultural-historic heritage. Furthermore, the project would Increase attractiveness of the area for visitors through small-scale interventions and effective promotion and marketing of the destination. Apart from these, the project is a continuation of the previous concepts of Via Dinarica and Peaks of the Balkans that inter-connects Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo and Albania through over 1000 km of uninterrupted long-distance trails.
The project will have a number of activities which namely include: improvement and upgrade of small scale tourism infrastructure, development of touristic offers within ViP DinaricA; mapping and GPS tracking of the routes in the CB region, joint market access programme, building capacities of Albanian and Kosovar mountaineering clubs and promotion, awareness raising, and destination marketing. The implementation of the project will also raise awareness on economic, environmental & social benefits of long-distance trails, increase attractiveness and competitiveness of the tourist offer in project cross border area between Albania and Kosovo.
On Tuesday, the EU delegation said it inaugurated a road in the northern part of the country linking the village of Shishtavec with the border with Kosovo in Dragash village.
"The road will vastly improve the daily life of citizens in the region and the movement of tourists coming from neighbouring countries to visit this unique landscape," the EU delegation said in a Twitter post.
The construction of the road is part of an EU-funded CBC programme worth Euro 2.16 million evenly split between Albania and Kosovo, according to information posted on the EU delegation website.

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