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Project “Exploring Historical Towns of Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia”

The significance of the Czech Republic as a destination of tourism rests on the multitude of historic, cultural and technical monuments and sites. The main problem of tourism in the Czech Republic is that some 57 % of non-residents visit only Prague although prerequisites for the development of cultural tourism exist throughout the country. But residents must also be acquainted with the possibilities of visiting cultural monuments in the Czech Republic. This must not have the form of a general offer, but a specific national product to attract them to spend their holidays in the Czech Republic more often. The project is to introduce to the market a new product, which we have entitled “Exploring Historical Towns of Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia”. The offer can be made to both incoming and domestic tourists. The Association of Historical Settlements in Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia (SHS ČMS) is an organisation with ideal possibilities to offer the product.
The purpose of our project is the introduction of towns which have done most work within the Regeneration Programme of Urban Monument Reserves (UMR) and Urban Monument Zones (UMZ) and did well in the competition initiated in 1994 by the SHS ČMS and co-organised by the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry for Regional Development. The towns which have scored success in the competition and want to participate in the project are: Svitavy, Kadaň, Třeboň, Kroměříž, Klášterec n. O., Kutná Hora, Litomyšl, Nový Jičín, Prachatice, Spálené Poříčí, Česká Kamenice, Polná, Jindřichův Hradec, and Šternberk.
The project is based on the offer of regional activities incorporated into a single national product of cultural tourism. The offer gives the choice of 1, 2, 3 or 7-day stays and is designed for visitors who want to travel by car, hike or cycle and use their own vehicles or public transport. The backbone of the offer is cultural tourism which is focused on tours of historical towns, castles and chateaux, museums and galleries and offers sports and cultural activities during the stay. The latter include a variety of festivals and town festivities. The objective of the project is to co-ordinate the offered events so that they do not coincide, but complement each other.
The first step towards the realisation of the project will be taken from May to October 2011. The different towns which hold the title Historical Town of the Year will be the venues of week-long events. They will prepare programmes which will include visits to historical towns nearby. The offer of these events will be published on newly opened websites and in printed materials that are being prepared by the Association.
Publicity to the national product will be commenced in 2010 during EHD in September and the MADI Travel Market fair in November, and continue in 2011 at Regiontour in Brno in January, Holiday World in February, and the ceremony on the occasion of the International Monuments and Sites Day in April. SHS ČMS is contacting Czech Centres abroad about the possibility of presentation. Most visitors interested in cultural tourism in the different regions are expected to come from the neighbouring countries, and so they will be the main targets of publicity.

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