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Start date: May 1, 2015, End date: Sep 30, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

28 young participants from 4 partnering countries (Italy, Portugal, Turkey and Slovenia) will join a multilateral youth exchange 'OFF THE BEATEN PATH' taking place from July 13th to 21th 2015 in Kostanjevica na Krki, Slovenia. Young participants will focus on sustainable tourism and enterpreneurship while adding value to a local heritage trail which aims to educate, connect and promote. We will situate most of our activities in the context of the Uskok’s heritage trail, borderland walking trail which will introduce us to fascinating local landscape and history, to the stories of local people and culinary delights that are typical for the region. Acknowledging these values, we will use various non-formal learning methods and mobilise our potential to engage in local sustainable tourism practices as young local guides, fully competent to transmit local ideas, practice and heritage to various target groups. It does not take much to become a local guide - you do not necessarily need expensive equipment or payed adds - apart from personal engagement, curiousity, learning passion, ability to hear the stories of the locals, pleasure of storytelling and lots of creativity. In the exchange, we will strongly work on mobilising these with some help of our more experienced peers (i.e. hikers, young local city guides, food promotors and those who have some knowledge on the public relations). Together we will set hands-on workshops and panel discussions which aim to empower our enterpreneurship potential and at the same time add value to the local. Main topics will be: sustainable and responsible tourism practices; adventure creation; young local guides as agents of ‘green’ enterpreneurship; the power of storytelling. We will entangle the questions of how cultural heritage shall be presented in order to avoid certain stereotypes, but rather connect a guest to the locals. We will develop sensitivity to intercultural dialogue. Theory will be pertpetually linked to practical learning, our discussions will turn into actions through open culinary workshops (bread baking), storytelling evening and some other activities which will make our exchange visible and echoing on the regional level and wider. At the end we will also organise a press conference. As one of our immidiate results, a web page will be constructed based on our learning experience. The exchange will provide an exploration of opportunities for promotion and marketing of sustainable rural/ urban tours, facilitating the access to the labour market for unemployed young people and providing a supportive environment for job-creation.

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