Working meeting between Mr. Bajrami – Project Coordinator of Smart Tourism Enhancement Project (STEP) and the Deputy Prime Minister in Charge of Economic Affairs – Mr. Bytyqi

A working meeting was held today between Mr Florent Bajrami – Project Coordinator of the STEP project and Mr Fatmir Bytyqi – Deputy Prime Minister in charge of Economic Affairs, Coordination of Economic Departments and Investments. At the meeting, Mr Bytyqi personally received the recommendations (Recommendations from STEP project) of the STEP project regarding the overcoming of the challenges faced by the tourist workers in both regions, in order to improve the cross-border tourist cooperation. The achieved results of the STEP project were also presented at this meeting.

Deputy Prime Minister in charge of Economic Affairs, Mr Bytyqi, noted that he was previously acquainted with the work of the STEP project and praised the results so far. He also mentioned that in the future he will strive to take into account some of the recommendations regarding the development of the Polog region and the cross-border cooperation.

 

Final presentation of the results of the STEP project as well as a panel discussion related to the recommendations from the project held

The final presentation of the STEP project was held on 30 September, at which the results of the project were presented, followed by a panel discussion on the topic “Recommendations of the STEP project to overcome the challenges of improving tourism cross-border cooperation between Polog and Elbasan”. The event was held online and was attended by 88 participants. In addition to the members of the STEP network from both regions, officials from the municipalities, the Agency for Promotion and Support of Tourism of RNM, representatives of the tourist chambers of the two countries and other state institutions related to tourism and tourism workers were also present.

At the beginning of the conference, Bardhyl Jashari – Executive Director of the Metamorphosis Foundation, Freek Janmat, Head of the Sector for Economic Affairs, Institution Building, Cross-Border Cooperation, EU Delegation Skopje, Fatmir Saitar – Development Director of the Polog Planning Region, Bukoros Stafa – Director of the Elbasan District Council and Hasan Drazi – Member of the Advisory Board of STEP.

The welcoming speeches were followed by the presentation of Florent Bajrami – Project Coordinator of STEP, who presented the achieved results of the project.

After the end of the official part, a panel discussion was held which referred to the recommendations of the STEP project and a special review of the topic was given by the speakers Biljana Pejoska Risteska – Executive Director of the Economic Chamber of Tourism of Macedonia, Darko Buldioski – consultant for digital communications, founder and director of NewMediaMK, Fatmir Saiti – Director of the Center for Development of the Polog Planning Region, Matilda Naco – Andoni – Executive Director of the Tourist Association of Albania and Albert Kaleci – Administrator of the local unit Steblevo. Q&A session followed.

The STEP project lasted 2 years and 9 months and is a grant agreement for IPA 2, Cross-border cooperation: the Republic of North Macedonia – Republic of Albania, allocations 2014-2015. Project partners are Metamorphosis – Foundation for Internet and Society, Center for Development of the Polog Planning Region and the Elbasan County Council.

You can watch part of the event at the following link: https://www.facebook.com/SSTEPMP/videos/336164567693225/

 

Final presentation of the results of the STEP project

Metamorphosis Foundation together with the project partners Center for Development of the Polog Planning Region and the Council of Elbasan District, on September 30 starting at 11.00 am organizing a final presentation of the results of the STEP Project and an open debate on “Project Recommendations” “STEP to overcome the challenges of improving tourism cross-border cooperation between the regions of Polog and Elbasan.” The event will be online through the ZOOM platform.

All interested participants can join the following link:

https://techsoupglobal.zoom.us/j/97869254114?pwd=UkJvRFhJdmFLVDJlNjQyb2tPVklWUT09

The STEP Innovative Tourism Strengthening Project is funded by the European Union.

Agenda Final presentation STEP – 30.09.2020

Recommendations from STEP project

Final presentation and awarding of certificates to the members of the STEP network in Polog

The final presentation of the STEP project was held in the open air on September 4 at the restaurant Garden Elektra in Brvenica, Tetovo and the certificates of the STEP network members were awarded. At the beginning of the event, the project coordinator Florent Bajrami made a brief overview of all activities that were part of the STEP project. Then he introduced the members to the final results of the project which lasts about two and a half years.

Based on the pre-set criteria by the STEP team, the members who met the set criteria received Certificates of Conformity. As part of the criteria for obtaining a certificate are: the tourist capacity to be legal, to meet certain sanitary conditions, the staff to have basic knowledge of English, to promote the capacity to use digital marketing, etc. The event was conducted in accordance with the protocols prescribed by the Republic of North Macedonia.

Final presentation and awarding of certificates to the members of the STEP network in Elbasan

The final presentation of the STEP project was held in the open air on September 3 at the Scampi Hotel in Elbasan and the certificates of the STEP network members were awarded. At the beginning of the event, the project coordinator Florent Bajrami made a brief overview of all activities that were part of the STEP project. Then he introduced the members to the final results of the project which lasts about two and a half years.

Based on the pre-set criteria by the STEP team, the members who met the set criteria received Certificates of Conformity. As part of the criteria for obtaining a certificate are: the tourist capacity to be legal, to meet certain sanitary conditions, the staff to have basic knowledge of English, to promote the capacity to use digital marketing, etc. The event was conducted in accordance with the protocols prescribed by the Republic of Albania.

 

Online presentation of the platform itop.mk/itop.al to the members of the STEP network

On August 27, an online presentation of the platform itop.mk/itop.al was held in front of the members of the STEP network from the regions of Polog and Elbasan. In front of the large number of participants, the platform was presented by the project coordinator of the STEP project – Florent Bajrami and the Social Media Specialist – Violeta Joncevska. In addition to the possibilities of the platform, special emphasis was placed on the benefits that the members of the network would have if they use the platform even more actively as a place for promotion and sale of their tourist facilities. In addition to the numerous questions related to the work of the platform, the members had a great opportunity to share their experiences immediately after the presentation.

 

Mleczak, tourist influencer from Poland visiting Polog

From 12 to 14 August, Justyna Mleczak tourist influencer from Poland visited the Polog region. The purpose of the visit was to get acquainted with the tourist potential of the region as well as business meetings with some of the owners of tourist facilities that are part of the STEP network. As part of the two-day agenda were: Colorful Mosque, Arabati Baba Teke, village Jance and hotel Tuto, Vrutok, Tivko Katce in Gostivar as well as the clock tower and baklava tasting, visit to an old mill in Bogovinje, tasting of burek under sach in Kamene , Leshochki Monastery, Hostel Kitka in Vratnica and many other locations. At the end of the meeting, the STEP team organized a working dinner at Hotel Skardus – Popova Sapka, which was attended by STEP members who want to establish further cooperation with Justyna Mleczak.

 

Promotion of itop.mk on TV21

What is STEP? What are the features of the IPA II CBC Programm – Republic of North Macedonia & Republic of Albania? What activities were implemented as part of the project? What is the purpose of the itop.mk platform? The answer to these questions and answers to many others related to the STEP project is given by Florent Bajrami – a project coordinator of STEP who was a guest on the afternoon show on TV 21.

Online presentation of itop.mk in front of tour operators from Albania and Germany

The STEP project team held an online presentation on the itop.mk platform in front of tour operators from Albania and Germany. Participants were introduced to the features and how to use the platform, as well as the opportunities and benefits of using it.

The platform aroused great interest among the participants. Despite the planned 40 minutes for presentation as well as possible questions and answers, the on-line meeting lasted 2 hours and during that time a constructive discussion developed that leads to possible cooperation in the near future. Participants welcomed our initiative, and believe that in the future it will use tourism workers as a tool to promote its capacity. Also, the team of the STEP project had the opportunity to hear from tourism professionals from outside possible points of improvement of the platform.

 

Online meeting with famous tourist influencer from Poland – Justyna Mleczak

Members of the STEP team held an online meeting with famous tourist influencer from Poland – Justyna Mleczak. During the meeting, the representatives of the STEP project presented the possibilities and characteristics of the itop.mk platform and the tourist influencer Justyna Mleczak informed them about the expectations of Polish tourists and what type of offers they are interested in. Both sides agreed on further cooperation, which includes visits by Polish tourists to the facilities offered on itop.mk , which cover the Polog and Elbasan regions.

Justyna Mleczak is the founder of one of the most influential tourist blogs in Poland https://domacedonii.pl, which generally offers tours in the Republic of North Macedonia and the Republic of Albania.