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RURALTOURISM – instrument for sustainable rural development of Malesh Region
Start date: 01 Jul 2016, End date: 30 Jun 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Rural areas in Macedonia are facing major challenges today which arise mainly from globalisation, demographic change and the rural migration of young, well-trained people. Policies for rural areas aim to contribute to recognising and making use of strengths and opportunities.Rural Tourism is one of the instruments which can provide a solution to these problems. Besides, there are other factors which are shifting the trend towards rural tourism like increasing levels of awareness, growing interest in heritage and culture and improved accessibility, and environmental consciousness. In the developed countries, this has resulted in a new style of tourism of visiting village settings to experience and live a relaxed and healthy lifestyle. This concept has taken the shape of a formal kind of Rural Tourism.Malesh region has huge potential for development and promotion of Rural Tourism. However enormous opportunities offered by the Malesh region are very little used. In order to strength rural tourism in the Males region more attention should be paid on the education of students from Secondary tourism school.The Municipal Secondary School ¨Aco Ruskovski¨ educates students in both comprehensive and vocational classes. The vocational classes include tourism and hospitality classes. The educational profile of the tourism and hospitality technician offers a possibility for the students to study contents that refer to the tourism and hospitality mainly about hotel management. Students have no opportunity to study rural tourism. Rural tourism is multidisciplinary subject which comprises social, cultural, economical and environmental aspects connected with sustainable rural development. Therefore students who want to have competences in rural tourism should be familiar with agriculture, cultural heritage, handcrafts, horse industry etc. Unfortunately students in tourism school study only subject - Cultural and Historic Heritage of Macedonia in III rd year with a two classes weekly, i.e. 72 hours per year. Therefore students need more comprehensive knowledge about rural tourism. The main objective of project is to increase skills and employability of students in rural areas through access to integrated training programs in non-agricultural professions requested on the labor market.Students will get information about all business connected with sustainable rural tourism which they can use for their own business, consultancy, for work in local tourism entities etc.The students from the School who will attend the 2 weeks practical vocational training in Italy comprises of 32 students of the tourism vocational education will be divided into two groups each with the 16 students and 2 accompanied persons. Students will will be staying in a rural tourism farm and there are bed places limits. It is also an optimal number for local transportation organization and a good number for workshops and above all for the study visits. In addition one group will realize mobility in autumn and another in spring because it is a good opportunity for the students to see how the tourism works at different seasons. When choosing a partner for the realization of the project, the following criteria were taken into consideration:- the partner to be reputable institution that offers conditions that are necessary for the realization of the project objectives, - to have experience in similar trainings. Italian partner is reputable organization which implemented more then 90 mobility projects in the last 20 years. After the training in Italy, the students will share the gained knowledge and experience to the other students from the school.The cooperation with the Center for practical education and training will enable accomplishment of long-term objectives because efforts will be put into integrating practical lessons in the educational programs of certain school subjects. This shared experience will enable the interested parties to start thinking about offering various tourist services, selling of various products, mainly local food, then renting of horses, bikes, one-day theme trips and also other services corresponding to the requests of the tourists. Thus, the students, the school personnel and the local population will develop a sense of belonging and usefulness in the community. And finally, all of them could get some financial benefit from all of this.
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