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One of the most efficient ways to increase the number of visitors interested in exploring the underground beauties of the mountains is to simplify the access procedures in the caves. From sightseeing infrastructure that should ensure their safety, to guides and audio or visual information systems and proper promotional campaigns, the caves from the targeted area need a common management strategy and an important amount of funds to be invested, far over the possibilities of their administration, in order to become usable touristic attractions. This activity is a chance for a partnership building – to put together all the public or private entities entitled to manage this touristic resource from the region targeted by the Project, with the purpose of establishing a cross-border, Romanian-Serbian cooperation structure. The purpose of the structure is to develop in a strategic, jointly manner, an activity plan for growing and making this resource serviceable for the tourism sector, preserving in the same time its value and environment.

Starting from the field research conducted within the database, the partners will identify the Romanian and Serbian stakeholders who could be interested of the development of this type of tourism and who would be interested to participate at the project’s activities. The team members will meet with the stakeholders to discuss and interest them into the settlement of the Cross-border Speleology association and the participation at the conference for the settlement of the structure.

To achieve the goals listed above in regards the development of this type of tourism, LB will organize a conference which will be the starting point of the stakeholders’ cooperation towards the settlement of the Cross-border Speleology association. At the conference will attend up to 50 participants: representatives of the stakeholders from the Mehedinti-Borski region (public administration, natural parks administration, NGO’s and other involved actors). The conference will be organized in Eselnita, near Ponicova Cave, for 3 days.

To offer one of the best know-how in the field, 2 experienced speakers will be invited from the administrations of important caves in Europe to hold the conference, to share from their experience in managing and promoting this type of natural attraction and to instruct the stakeholders on how to interest tourists in this type of tourism.

Besides the know-how experience, the participants will receive training and permanent logistic support for the establishment of the Cross-border Speleology association, a structure having as purposes the promotion of this type of tourism, pursuing financing opportunities, as well as preserving and protecting the environment in the same time. The team members will permanently keep in touch with the founders of the Speleology association to assist them with any information and support needed. Once founded, the team members will oversee the association’s promoting actions in both countries.

During the conference LB will organize a visit for the participants at Ponicova Cave (20 participants from Mehedinti, 15 participants from Majdanpek, 15 participants from Negotin).