The Project

Project history

& Brief description of the Project

MileSTONES II: “Encouraging tourism development through the preservation and promotion of the cross border cultural and natural resources” was approved under the 2nd Call of the IPA Cross-Border (CB) Programme “Greece-Albania 2014-2020” and is a follow-up of the successful project “MileSTONES” which was implemented during 2016-2018.

The initial objective was to protect and preserve the two ancient theatres by tackling any potential threats and risks. Despite the total success of the original project, the CB region faces additional challenges.

In the demanding economic environment of the recent years the CB area, particularly Finiq and Dodoni, face difficulties to link their cultural assets with tourism development, in the benefit of local and regional sustainable economic growth. The majority of the visitors view the CB cultural monuments as “day visitor attractions” spending only a few hours on these sites. However, the two archaeological sites of Finiq and Dodoni are in the world’s top leading cultural monuments, setting a great impact on the ancient history and theatre. In fact, The Acropolis Museum hosted for a semester in 2016 a temporary exhibition about the archaeological site of Dodoni, proving that there is a great but also rare opportunity for Dodoni to attract a global-wide audience and promote CB cultural tourism.

MileSTONES II appears as an essence; a connection between the additional protection & preservation of the cultural CB assets and their promotion through sustainable tourism, utilizing existing assets, infrastructures & networks and applying innovative tools and techniques beyond current practices. The Project emphasises on Finiq and Dodoni with small scale interventions such as the preservation of two Byzantine Churches and the establishment of two Innovation Cultural Promotion Spaces applying innovative tools and platforms within a result-oriented strategy to successfully promote the CB area, leveraging tourism development and driving sustainable economic growth. MileSTONES II fully corresponds to the Programme area Strengths and opportunities being the important cultural heritage & the common cultural characteristics, and provides solutions to the current weaknesses concerning the inadequate planning for mild types of tourism and the lack of a common action plan for tourist development.

Recognizing as key-actors all the local and international stakeholders involved in the sectors of culture and tourism such as public/private organisations, archaeologists, entrepreneurs, tour operators, tour guides, as well as native population, students, youth etc., the project’s main approach is to capitalise on the outputs of the initial project as inputs for the designed MileSTONES II activities, maximising the investment value. Thus, the project will create area-wide effects in the benefit of the cultural heritage and the CB population, setting a great example and unlocking the potential of other areas to enhance and promote their cultural assets.

Municipality of Dodoni was awarded on the annual event BRAVO 2018 with the Bravo Sustainability Award for the project “MILESTONES”, which was implemented under the IPA CBC Programme
“Greece – Albania 2007 – 2013”.

This page has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union. The content of the webpage are the sole responsibility of the Municipality of Dodoni and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union, the participating countries and the Managing Authority.