• +389 (0)2 32 14 505
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

SUB-Project objectives

Sub-Project Relevance

Rural tourism in North Macedonia is poorly developed, despite the abundance of natural and cultural resources, and the existing (rudimentary) infrastructure. There is an evident lack of services, particularly in the sphere of online marketing and communication. Namely, rural tourism destinations and facilities from North Macedonia are barely present on the online tourist maps and at present, it is very difficult for foreign tourists to discover rural tourism assets and services across the country. This is primarily due to the fact that they are not marketed online. This leads to a vicious cycle of service underdevelopment: lack of advanced online marketing stifles demand, which in turn suppresses the supply; less service supply further depresses marketing and advertisement, which in turn further decreases demand.

The problem can be addressed through a relevant investment in advanced online marketing of rural tourism services. This would contribute to the spiralling of a virtuous cycle: marketing would increase demand, which would in turn increase the amount of services which would emerge to respond to the demand, and to the quality of the service.

  • A range of rural tourism services which are destination non-specific would strongly benefit from online marketing. This includes:
  • Basic hospitality services (in many cases they exist but cannot be identified online),
  • Cultural and recreational services,
  • Services which actively engage the tourists.

Certain services which have large potential and which centre around specific categories of tourists need particular attention. This specifically includes services related to long-term rental or sales of rural houses to retirement-age (or other) tourists. Whereas these services exist on the market, they are completely invisible online, which is the basic prerequisite for its development.

The sub-project addresses the destination gap no. 4 - Limited online marketing and communication i.e. poor online marketing and communication of services in rural tourism.

The sub-project action works on strengthening the capacities regarding contemporary (digital) marketing with focus on rural tourism service providers.

North Macedonia possesses great potential for the development of rural tourism. Some basic hospitality, cultural, and recreational services exist to a degree, and/or they can be boosted in response to demand. However, demand at present is lacking, to a large extent because these services have very poor visibility. Stronger visibility will enhance these services and improve their quality. To this end, significant effect can be achieved in specific services tailored and promoted to specific categories of tourists, such as retirement-age tourists from industrialized countries. These categories of tourists travel often, and are interested in prolonged stays abroad, especially in cheaper countries. North Macedonia’s location, with short-distance and low-priced flights to many European capitals, combined with the low cost of living, presents an excellent opportunity for this type of tourism. The property market is open for the citizens of EU and most other industrialized countries. This type of tourism is a strong booster of a wide range of related industries in rural areas. Whereas the service at present exists in North Macedonia, it is close to invisible, which results with insufficient demand. The proposed action aims to address these issues.

The overall goal of the sub-project is to strengthen rural tourism in North Macedonia through online marketing and communication.

Rural tourism fits perfectly into contemporary trends among European travelers, who seek authentic, unique experiences and local lifestyles. European travelers want to experience rural, natural, unspoiled landscapes and authentic accommodation. Rural communities in North Macedonia often have great resources to offer such experiences. Hence, the identification of tourism potentials is closely related to the achievement of destination competitiveness on the tourism market and future actions should be related to promotion of tourist products within the region, respect of principles for sustainable development, protection of natural environment, urgency of defined policy, priorities and activities.

The SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES of the sub-project are:

S O 1. To explore, identify, describe and market online the rural tourism service in North Macedonia.

The reliance on the Internet has become widespread in all business sectors and Internet has become an extremely important tool for the promotion of business sales. Moreover, Internet-based marketing has become prevalent among tourism operators. The use of ICT adds value to tourism services and products, and supports the development of industry networks and clusters. ICT has the ability to impact the whole tourism value chain and affect process management and service delivery in the local and global tourism sector. As information is the lifeblood of the travel industry, effective use of IT is crucial for marketing and promotion-related activities. So, the sub-project focuses on the development of an online platform (www.visitrural.mk) for promotion of rural tourism and marketing of rural tourism products covering all ten destinations in North Macedonia.

SO 2. To train and provide technical assistance to the providers of rural tourism services in online marketing and communication.

This specific sub-project objective is to outline and answer questions commonly posed by those who intend to develop the existing business within rural tourism, with regards to increasing business opportunities. Building the capacities and knowledge of tourism business providers, on how to use and design online marketing and communication, can boost their business and can be a bridge between the providers and wide number of interested tourists in terms of quick marketing of their services, advertisement of natural, historical, cultural values and many more tourist attractions in their surroundings.

Therefore, a training action is planned as well as provision of technical assistance for rural tourism providers and other relevant sector stakeholders in order for them to gain the necessary knowledge and skills in online marketing and communication. This contributes to improved online presence of rural tourism attractions, facilities and services, and facilitate the overall development of rural tourism in North Macedonia.

The sub-project will aim to achieve the following RESULTS:

R 1.1 At least 250-300 rural tourism facilities and services identified, and marketed online.

R 1.2 Online platform for rural tourism developed and promoted.

R 1.3 International online marketing campaign of rural tourism in North Macedonia conducted.

R 2.1 Six (6) regional training delivered; at least 120 providers of rural tourism services and other relevant stakeholders trained in online marketing and communication.

R 2.2 Support point established; at least 2,500 hours of technical assistance provided to at least 60-80 providers of rural tourism services.

The sub-project will target all 10 destinations covered by the LRCP - Local Regional Competitiveness Project.

Contact ALKA

Center for Sustainable Development ALKA
Bul. Partizanski Odredi No. 62 1/16,
1000 Skopje, North Macedonia
Email: alka@alka.org.mk
Phone: +389 (0)2 3214 505
Sub-Project Facebook  
ALKA Facebook

Contact DeSo

Development Solutions (DeSo)
St. Sava Kovacevikj 27a,
1000 Skopje, North Macedonia
Email: office@deso.mk
WEB:  www.deso.mk
Phone/fax: +389 (0)2 32 32 290
Phone: +389 (0)2 32 31 345
FB: DeSo Facebook

Local and Regional Competitiveness Project: This project is funded by the European Union.

This website was created and maintained with the financial support of the European Union. Its contents are the sole responsibility of the Center for Sustainable Development ALKA and DeSo, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.

Please publish modules in offcanvas position.