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Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

As a result of the EU and its Member States in the field of tourism policy, agro-tourism is growing fast both in our country and in other European countries as well as the continuously growing number of people who because of the difficult living conditions of large urban centers prefer to spend their holidays in the countryside. The policy for development of agro-tourism is a central guiding EU policy, in response to issues such as regional development, the multi-functionality of agriculture, strengthening rural income, environmental protection, and the application of modern man for quality of life. In our country, while developing business in the tourism sector is still very attractive, the phenomenon that entrepreneurship is not attractive career option for young graduates and executives in the early days of their careers. There are prejudices that prevent young people from business and risks due to improper selection or entrapment in borderline traditional activities without specific sustainability prospects. EPAL Velestinou submits for funding the project "Agro-tourism and youth entrepreneurship" in the frames of satisfaction recorded needs of trainers and the students. The need for training of trainers and students of EPAL Velestinou is directly related and relevant to labor market needs, focusing primarily on: • Basic knowledge of the main forms of agro-tourism, • Efforts to find unique and original components and resources in their area that can benefit from and exploit, • Strengthening the agricultural income by exploiting accommodation and catering of visitors with products of local agricultural production and the local folklore, • Ways in which enhanced and promoted youth entrepreneurship and the creation of sustainable enterprises in agro-tourism. Through the project, the beneficiaries (teachers and students) are going to gain valuable experience and important supplies, which are expected to help develop the ability to significantly enhance their professional profile or claim and conquer merit a place in the labor market after graduation. Expected outcomes for participants, are to: • promote and strengthen youth entrepreneurship • promote agro-tourism contributing to environmental protection policies and to preserve and enhance the traditions of their homeland, • show through business operations and actions the local culture, history and everyday life, • highlight and exploit the cultural, religious, folklore, architectural, gastronomic elements of the region, • conduct business in the tourism sector, • improve the living and working conditions by supplementing their income, • make revival professions are disappearing. The project is planned to be implemented in two streams. In the first flow duration 7 days includes 8 trainers and the second two weeks duration flow involving 12 students and two accompanying trainers. The beneficiaries of the project will visit the regions Vienna (1st flow Austria) and Umbria ( 2nd flow Perugia-Italy) , where there is significant activity in rural tourism that links the production of local products to gastronomy and tourism and youth entrepreneurship is enhanced and promoted in context of creating a sustainable system of development of local regions. Per flow, participants (trainers and students) will follow a coherent theoretical training of qualified scientists in organizations and workplaces, thematic and technical visits and practical courses in business, activities for transportation and utilization of knowhow, professional and personal development, linguistic and cultural preparation. Host organizations selected have extensive experience and expertise in mobility projects implementation for trainers and students. The planned thematic / technical visits to organizations and businesses deemed valuable and will contribute significantly to the understanding of the project’s issues.

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