Tourism is the strongest and the fastest growing sector in the world (UNWTO 2013) and the role of Europe in the world’s tourism sector is outstanding which can be proved by high share of the international tourist arrivals varying between 64.0% and 56.4% in 1980 and 2010 accordingly (UNWTO 2013).
The rich and diversified cultural heritage of Europe is the main factor attracting tourists (Rátz 2004). Although the exceptional role of Europe as a tourist destination is unquestionable, there are rather significant differences between the regions Europe, and very often historical and cultural tourism is not available. The tourism of the countries of the V4 Group, but also west Ukraine, have the same touristic features as the East Central European region they belong to. They have a similar historical past and some points of their culture are alike or even common. Thus they share cultural and intellectual values and have common historical roots in diverse religious traditions (a cultural mosaic).
According to the forecasts, although the number of international tourist arrivals in Europe will be constantly growing in the forthcoming fifteen years, its share will be diminishing to 41.1% in 2030 (UNWTO 2013). The growth of international arrivals will be less significant in Western, Southern and Northern Europe. Their shares of the world’s tourist arrivals will lessen from 24.7% to 12.3%, 22.4% to 14.6% and 7.4% to 5.3% accordingly. It is the countries of East Central Europe where there are still high potentials for increasing the number of international tourist arrivals. Now, despite these possibilities the countries of the region suffer from an unfavorable tourist/visitor ratio. Historical and cultural tourism is the most popular and promising of all types of tourism of the XXI century, as, using the achievements of past years, it helps to establish mutual understanding between people, fosters respect for cultural diversity, and increases the intellectual and spiritual level.
The aim of the project is to research and promotion of historical and cultural heritage a destinations from V4 countries and Ukraine to include it to tourist offer of the regions.
The implementation of the project will contribute to drawing public attention to the problems of historical and cultural heritage preservation, but also will allow for a systemic nature of work in the cultural, humanitarian, and tourist spheres, to improve their content; will deepen constructive and mutually beneficial cooperation in the field of tourism, culture, education, science, etc.; will help increase the authority and establish a positive image of the region.
The project is co-financed by the Governments of Czechia, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia through Visegrad Grants from International Visegrad Fund