GSTC Destination Assessment
The objective of any assessment is to see the destinations’ present status and to create a strategic plan for improvement in order for the destination to become more sustainable. The assessment is based on the GSTC Destination Criteria, focusing on these four pillars: destination policy and planning, community involvement and benefits, management of cultural assets, and management of environmental and natural resources.
Swisscontact Connection to Ohrid, North Macedonia
Swisscontact (Swiss Foundation for Technical Cooperation) is a non-profit- organization which implements development projects around the world. They contribute towards sustainable practices and widespread prosperity of emerging economies. Swisscontact has supported several of GSTC’s Sustainable Tourism Training Program throughout the years. Therefore, they invited GSTC to Ohrid City to conduct a Destination Assessment, as one of their projects.
Ohrid, North Macedonia
Ohrid is located just southwest of North Macedonia’s capital, Skopje, and is the most famous tourist destination in the Republic of North Macedonia, due to its natural, cultural, spiritual and historic features. Recognized for these features, Ohrid and Lake Ohrid have been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list as both a Cultural and Natural Site.
Destination Assessment Details
Respectively, from March 5th through 10th, 2018, Dr. Mihee Kang, the GSTC Destination Assessor and Program Director for Asia-Pacific carried out the assessment in Ohrid and Skopje. The assessment included interviewing several stakeholders and visiting various sites. Various stakeholders from both the private and public sectors are enthusiastic to make Ohrid a sustainable tourism destination and showed support. They actively attended the opening workshop and shared their opinions on the present issues and possible solutions for Ohrid.
Commitments to continue the work
The Ohrid Mayor, Dr. Jovan Stojanoski (Јован Стојаноски) expressed his commitment towards a more sustainable tourism industry. Additionally, several Macedonian media channels have showed their interest in the GSTC Destination Assessment. The Ohrid Municipality is planning to revise the current tourism strategies based on the assessment results.
Finally, the North Macedonia Ministry of Economy is in the process of joining GSTC as a national member. They have supported the destination assessment by attending the meetings and providing relevant documents with GSTC. The GSTC will continue to support them to apply the GSTC framework to its destinations.
Media coverage in Macedonian: