Istrian Destinations in European Cultural Tourism Destination Final

Lauren Simmonds

As Glas Istre/Gordana Calic Sverko writes on the 7th of October, 2019, the Batana Eco-museum is one of the finalists in the category of intangible heritage, while another Istrian destination, Motovun, is a finalist in the wine tourism category along with the other two renowned European wine destinations, namely the French wine destinations – Pays d´Armagnac and the Loire Valley. 

In a competition of 55 destinations from 19 European countries, Motovun, Krk and the Batana Ecomuseum from Rovinj, are among the finalists of the selection of the European Network of Cultural Tourism and partners for the best European destinations of sustainable cultural tourism.

The winners (by category) will be announced on October the 24th in Granada, Spain, but the very entry of these destinations into the finals is a huge feat in itself, at least according to the county’s tourism department.

”Being in the finals is great recognition and a great promotion for the finalists, but also for Istrian destinations themselves, which have been developing wine tourism for the last 25 years. I’m even more pleased that these are the awards for the best European destinations of sustainable cultural tourism that we’re strongly committed to, and I consider it to be the only correct path – to encourage and develop local values, customs and traditions and build on them with new trends,” said county tourism chief Nada Prodan Mraković.

The Motovun Municipal Tourist Board pointed out that this positioning increases the visibility of European cultural tourism destinations, creates a platform for sharing experience and knowledge, and promotes the networking of destinations. The competition was opened to tourist destinations across Europe to present their results in sustainable cultural tourism across seven different categories. Motovun has registered in the category of culinary heritage, wine, food and gastronomic tourism, and the exact name of the application is “Motovun – cultural, historical and gastro-enological centre of the interior of Istria”.

”Motovun can boast of some top winemakers – Benvenuti, Bertoša, Fakin, Facchin, Novak, Roxanich, Tomaz, Valenta – who make the best use of Motovun’s natural benefits to produce quality grapes and therefore top quality wines, in the form of an optimal combination of white soil which gives minerality, fantastic exposures, significant temperature differences and sufficient amounts of wind.

Motovun’s winemakers also recognise the potential of wine tourism and are continuously investing in expanding production capacities and equipping wineries, especially tasting rooms and accommodation. In addition, they realised that only together could they create Motovun’s wine story, and this is one of the primary reasons why Motovun as a wine destination is in a good swing.

The fact that Motovun has opened the specialised Wine & Heritage Hotel Roxanich this year certainly helped the further establishment of Motovun as a top wine destination.

The application was formally submitted by the Tourist Board, but several other partners joined in, making an important contribution to a successful Istrian application. Extensive application documentation, in addition to a thorough application form in English, consisted of quality photo and video material, which best showcase the combination of cultural and wine tourism in the Istrian destination of Motovun.

The applications were evaluated by a jury of experts from several European countries.

”We’re proud, of course, that the Batana Eco-museum is among the finalists for a sustainable destination in the category of intangible cultural heritage, given that we’re also on UNESCO’s register of best practices for the preservation of the intangible cultural heritage of the world.

Entering the finals is another testament to what UNESCO has confirmed, that we have been able to somehow activate the community in terms of heritage conservation in an active way that contributes to sustainable development,” said Tamara Nikolić Đerić.

The Batana Eco-museum, unique in the Adriatic and Mediterranean, is dedicated to the traditional Batana wooden craft and the community that has chosen it as its symbol. Batana, as the most widespread traditional vessel in Rovinj, another gorgeous Istrian town, reflects the continuity of local maritime heritage, as well as the everyday life of the local population.

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