Measure 1.1: Improving the productivity and competitiveness of the area’s economic, rural, cultural and environmental resources

Project title: Through culture and tourism for better partnership

Project budget:

  Project value EU contribution
Republic of Serbia € 218,516.89 € 177,479.42
Montenegro € 249,588.60 € 209,653.60
TOTAL € 468,104.89 € 387,133.02

Beneficiary of funds in the Republic of Serbia: Tourist Organization of Zlatibor

Beneficiary of funds in Montenegro: Budimljansko-Nikšićka Eparchy
Partner: Tourist Organization of Plužine

Area of implementation:
• Montenegro: Municipalities of Plužine and Bijelo Polje
• Serbia: Municipality of Čajetina

Project duration: 17/10/2012 – 16/10/2014

Project objectives: The overall objective of the project is increased economic development in the border region through the promotion of tourism and the establishment of efficient and effective cooperation between cross-border partners. Specific goal of the project is improved tourism offer in the cross border area by recognizing and revitalization of cultural and historical monuments and improving the institutional and human capacity.

Activities and results of the project:

The project titled “Through Culture and Tourism for Better Partnership” started by establishing permanent cooperation among tourist workers from Zlatibor and Plužina. The first project activities were aimed at capacity building of the Tourist Organisation Plužine, which was achieved through the organisation of a series of workshops and trainings on the topics relevant to the future work of this organisation, as well as a study visit to the Tourist Organisation Zlatibor and presentation of examples of years of good practices in the development and management of tourism potential of Zlatibor.

The results of the work on improving the knowledge and acquired experience were integrated in the strategic plan for tourism development in the municipality by tourism workers from Plužine. The work of local actors, with the assistance of the project’s participating experts, resulted in the Tourism Development Strategy in Plužine, adopted by the Municipal Assembly of Plužine.

During the course of its work on the project, Tourist Organisation Zlatibor perfected its own technical and human capacities, and this process resulted in the development of the modern information system for efficient management of this famous tourist destination.

Funds for the project “Through Culture and Tourism for Better Partnership” were mainly allocated for the revitalization of important and so far insufficiently promoted tourist sites in the cross-border region. Namely, in the area of Bidimlje-Nikšić diocese, the church of St. Peter in Bijelo Polje was reconstructed. The church, which was built in 12th century by Duke Miroslav, where Miroslav gospel was written for its liturgical use, is a part of the world cultural heritage under the protection of UNESCO. The viewpoint from monastery complex Zagrađe in Plužine, dating back to 15th century during the reign of Herceg Stjepan, was also reconstructed.
Auxiliary facilities and the building of the church complex Jablanica were reconstructed on Zlatibor. The wooden church with the old cemetery and refectories in Jablanica was built in 1838 and dedicated to Virgin Mary. Small log cabins, known as “sobrašice”, intended to provide shelter to believers during their visits and religious ceremonies are now in use again and, in addition to their initial purpose, they are now available for tourist accommodation. The revitalization of these facilities, of great cultural and historical importance, will allow further transfer of spiritual values of the area in the cross-border region to younger generations and provide authentic information about the culture and history of the people of this region to visitors.

In addition to what was mentioned, the project also provided funds for the organisation of a series of presentations related to cultural and historical heritage in all local and regional media in the cross-border region. Also, prepared monographs and quality printed material significantly contributed to continuous and quality promotion of tourist potentials of the northern part of Montenegro and Zlatibor District.


His Grace, the Bishop of Budimlje – Nikšić diocese, Mr. Joanakije

“With satisfaction and restaurateur’s eagerness we used this extraordinary opportunity to, with good mutual cooperation and trust, complete restoration of mentioned sanctuaries, in order to fulfil their spiritual function and in the best manner represent cultural values which people from this area cherished throughout centuries. We are particularly pleased that the European Union recognized the values we treasure, and that, granting us the mentioned funds, contributed to the preservation and presentation of our cultural heritage. To our mutual satisfaction, the completion of our programme resulted in increased tourist offer, both in Bijelo Polje and Plužine, and their respective visitors will have the opportunity to learn more about our sanctuaries.“

His Excellency, Mr. Mitja Drobnič, Head of EU delegation in Montenegro

“This project is in particular focused on improvement of economic development in Montenegro and Serbia through the promotion of culture and tourist offer with providing possibilities for valorisation of regional cultural heritage, and with the biggest wealth, people of open heart and soul.“