Developed in the framework of the project “Traveling on music notes – the popularize of natural heritage and resources and cultural heritage of the Cross-border region”, funded by the EU through the ERDF under the INTERREG VA Romania – Bulgaria 2014-2020 Cross-border Cooperation Program, with the project code ROBG 578


This strategy has been developed within the framework of a project “Travelling on music notes – the popularize of natural heritage and resources and cultural heritage of the cross-border region”, with code ROBG – 578, funded by the EU through the ERDF under the Cross-border Cooperation Program “INTERREG V-A Romania – Bulgaria 2014 – 2020”. The project is implemented by Symphony – Vidin in partnership with Philharmonic – Oltenia and its duration is one year (13.11.2018 – 12.11.2019). The total budget of the project is EUR 211,000.50, of which EUR 179,350.42 is provided by the ERDF.

The main objective of the project is to increase the tourist attractiveness of the cross-border region of Vidin-Dolj and to promote local natural and cultural values by creating an innovative cultural event and utilizing contemporary creative industries.

The following activities are carried out within the project:

  • Formation of a joint philharmonic orchestra. A unique formation of Bulgarian and Romanian musicians will be created to develop a joint concert program.
  • Preparation, promotion and holding of the Music Festival – it is planned to organize a festival, as part of the program will be presented in the town of Vidin and the other part- in the town of Craiova. The festival will be held in Craiova on September 18 and 19, and in Vidin on September 20 and 21, 2019.
  • Creation and distribution of a promotional movie “A Musical Guide” – the film will be a musical journey showing and promoting the natural beauty and cultural heritage of the Vidin-Dolj region.
  • Developing and promoting a “Strategy for the Promotion of Musical Culture and the Development of Musical Tourism”.

As a result of the implementation of these activities, the project contributes to the sustainable development of tourism in the cross-border region by uniting the potential of two of the largest cultural institutes in Vidin and Dolj district and forming a joint tourism product.

The present Strategy has been developed as part of the main activities of the Project, and it is expected to be a useful policy tool for promoting the existing cultural and in particular music tourism opportunities in the region.The aim of the strategy is to contribute to the development of cultural tourism in the cross-border region of Vidin – Dolj, through the preservation of cultural and historical heritage and the development of modern culture and creating opportunities for them to be successfully interpreted into an attractive and sustainable tourism product.

The strategy has the character of an open document that can be developed, refined and updated in the light of dynamically changing conditions. It could be part of strategic plans for development at local, regional, national and cross-border levels. This requires constant activity of all interested participants and presupposes the establishment of good organization and coordination for its implementation.


Undoubtedly, in the last few decades, tourism has been one of the fastest growing sectors in the world economy. According to the long-term assessment of the future tourism trends of the World Tourism Organization “Tourism Towards 2030”, the number of international tourists in the world in the period 2010 – 2030 is expected to increase by an average of 3.3% annually. This means approximately 43 million more tourists each year, with the figure expected to reach 1.8 billion by 2030. Another clear trend is the steady increase in the percentage of tourists interested specifically in cultural tourism.

Cultural tourism and its nature are defined by the concept of culture and its spatial and temporal boundaries, its manifestation as a process and as a result. In an anthropological aspect, culture is an expression of human behavior, way of life, knowledge, habits, traditions, language, ideas, creativity, values of people. The history of cultural tourism is an integral part of the general history of travel and tourism. Cultural tourism is invariably present with varying intensities and forms throughout all historical eras, and especially clearly in modern tourism, dating back to early industrialized countries such as France, England, Switzerland in the 19th century, followed by mass tourism known since the 1930s. years of the 20th century. With the complication of socio-economic and political relations, the development of scientific and technological progress, tourism infrastructure and services, population growth and a dramatic increase in wealth, education and purchasing power globally over the past 60 years, cultural tourism has taken many forms of development and is constantly growing globally. According to the World Tourism Organization, cultural and historical heritage and culture are a component in almost 40 percent of all international travel undertaken. The upward trend is present in different regions of the world. For example, cultural tourism in Europe is seen to be one of the major changes in European tourist demand, with visits to cultural sites increasing by 100% between 1970 and 1991, and in some countries reaching as high as 200%.

There are many definitions of the term “cultural tourism”. According to the World Tourism Organization, this concept includes: “movement of people with strong cultural motivation – fine arts, travel to festivals and other cultural events, sightseeing and monuments.”

Interesting is the extension of the concept of “cultural tourism”, which according to another author means: “all trips for the purpose of visiting cultural and historical sites and gaining knowledge about the cultural heritage of a destination, which heritage includes architecture, performing arts and visual arts, literature, festivals , local lifestyles, local traditions and beliefs. ” Third authors define cultural tourism as “… moving of people to cultural sites, away from their usual place of residence, with the intention of gathering new information and experiences to meet their cultural needs.”

According to this definition, cultural tourism is not limited to “heritage related tourism” but also includes “art tourism” (related to contemporary cultural production).

Despite the many definitions of cultural tourism, they all agree that there are four main subspecies:

  • Visiting cultural monuments of historic importance (movable and immovable cultural property, as well as visits to architectural monuments and buildings);
  • Visits to places and events related to the intangible culture, including contemporary culture;
  • Attendance and participation in events of contemporary culture – concerts, festivals, etc .;
  • And creative tourism, which is an active type of tourism, where in addition to enjoying the culture, tourists create culture.

Cultural tourism pursues a variety of goals. According to the World Tourism Organization, the most significant among them are:

  • Visitor satisfaction: ensure a safe and satisfactory stay for visitors. Ensure the accessibility of all tourist services without discrimination on the grounds of sex, race, disability or any other attribute.
  • Social well-being: maintain and enhance the quality of life of local communities, including access to resources, avoiding forms of social humiliation and exploitation of the local community.
  • Cultural wealth: To protect the historical heritage, authentic culture and traditions of host societies, to monitor their preservation and development.
  • Local control: Provide opportunities for local communities to participate in the planning and decision-making processes in the management and future development of tourism in the area. A wider range of local communities should be involved in these processes and decisions should be made after consensus is reached between all stakeholders.

The fact is that, by the middle of the first decade of the 21st century, about 40% of tourists in the world practiced cultural tourism, today, nearly 60% of them say that culture or cultural heritage are very important when choosing a destination. It should be emphasized that, apart from those who choose culture as their primary motive, more than 80% of all tourists in the world visit cultural monuments, museums, cultural events, etc. while traveling, although this is not their primary motive for traveling.

A characteristic feature of cultural tourism is its versatility, which in practice implies opportunities for combining it with almost all other types of tourism. This versatility, combined with the increasing level of cultural competence of tourists, can provide a good justification for the trend of increasing demand for cultural tourism. Unfortunately, very often to this day, cultural tourism is mainly considered in its first form, as cultural-historical tourism and does not take into account the opportunities that cultural events, the intangible cultural heritage, the products that modern cultural industries offer.

The above trend of increase of cultural tourism practitioners, combined with the potential of the cross-border region Vidin – Dolj, provides significant opportunities and determines the need for active work for the development of cultural tourism in all its forms.

The region is extremely rich in cultural tourism resources (“A cultural tourism resource is any real and moving authentic tangible and intangible certificate of human presence and activity of scientific and cultural value and of public importance”), such as its development and sustainable use of these resources will lead to an increase in the well-being of the population, a reduction in poverty and inequality. In this regard, the development of cultural tourism is one of the priorities that should be actively pursued and networked.

Based on the conducted socio-economic analysis and accumulated up-to-date information, the following strengths and weaknesses of cultural tourism in the cross-border region of Vidin – Dolj (internal factors and conditions of development) can be identified, and the existing favorable opportunities and potential threats can be outlined caused by the effects of the external environment.


  • Good natural resources, protected areas and cultural and historical sites;
  • Highly motivated local communities to work together and enrich tourism services in the cross-border region;
  • Potential for development of new types of tourism;
  • Broad cultural and historical heritage with sites of national and local importance;
  • Sustainable relationships between cultural institutes in the cross-border region, a number of joint initiatives implemented;
  • Existence of a network of cultural institutes that create conditions for access to culture, stimulate culture and human capital, socialize the cultural heritage of the region;
  • Serious potential in the field of creative economy – production and presentation of creative products in different fields of high artistic value;
  • Existence of financing under different European programs and funds;
  • Priority in strategic documents at regional, national and European level for the development of cultural tourism.
  • Positive attitude towards cultural tourism as a motor for regional development.


  • Unbalanced economic and tourist development in the territories of the target region, incl. a worsening demographic picture of the target area;
  • Insufficient prioritization of cultural tourism by national, regional and local authorities;
  • Lack of funds to finance the restoration of heavily damaged major cultural sites in the region;
  • The need to improve both the general and the specialized tourist infrastructure, the low quality of the common technical infrastructure of secondary sites, mainly in the Bulgarian part of the region;
  • Lack of development of archaeological sites in terms of additional excavations, conservation and exposure;
  • Poor coordination between cultural tourism management entities in the region;
  • Lack of working communication between entities in tourism – entrepreneurs, public structures and state bodies: lack of coherence and synergy;
  • Lack of recognizable image and adequate marketing strategy of the Vidin-Dolj cross-border region as a destination for cultural tourism;
  • Low level of tourism marketing with regard to cultural value


  • Sustainable development of cultural and historical sites and upgrading of integrated and diversified tourism product on the basis of effective use and management of cultural and historical potential;
  • Development (excavation, conservation and exposition) of damaged and / or undeveloped cultural and historical landmarks;
  • Exchange of good practices, interregional and international partnerships in the fields of business, culture, education and social policy;
  • Potential for tourism development: preservation and restoration of local crafts, promotion of the territory’s features – natural, cultural, historical;
  • Creation of a working public council for cultural tourism with the participation of municipalities, cultural institutes, non-governmental sector, cultural figures, experts, etc .;
  • Creating an adequate marketing strategy and promotion of cultural tourism opportunities in the Vidin-Dolj region;
  • Increasing cross-border cooperation for future joint actions aimed at economic and social development and efficient use of cultural resources;
  • Preparation and implementation of projects under EU programs for investing in improving, promoting and developing a cultural tourism product.


  • Destruction of valuable cultural and historical resources due to a variety of causes (natural disasters; delay in restoration and conservation works; institutional obstacles; restitution and property claims and processes, etc.);
  • Instability in tourist demand;
  • Lack of financial support for the realization of strategic goals in the field of cultural tourism development;
  • Deepening the constraints on harnessing the potential for cross-border cooperation and reducing the ability to achieve common goals;
  • Delay in improving the quality and diversity of the cultural tourism product;
  • Insufficient understanding of the interest in the development of cultural tourism;
  • New recessionary environment can lead to abstaining from rest and travel.

Based on this analysis, action lines can be formulated to maximize the use of strengths to realize existing opportunities and potential, as well as to exploit opportunities to overcome weaknesses and eliminate or reduce threats posed by the development of cultural tourism in the cross-border region of Vidin-Dolj. Concerning the cultural institutes that are partners in the project on the basis of which this document is being developed, it can be concluded that they have the capacity to initiate the creation of attractive and high-quality cultural products, but in order to obtain the latter good implementation, support is needed on regional, national and European level. At this stage, in the cross-border region, referring to cultural tourism refers mainly to cultural and historical tourism, and although existing cultural institutes create quality production, it is not viewed through the lens of tourist interest.

It is a fact that over the last decade, the development and promotion of the arts, cultural and creative industries has become one of the priorities of the European Union, becoming an integral part of the European Strategy Papers – “The Lisbon Strategy”, “The Green Paper on unlocking the potential of the cultural and the creative industries “,” Europe 2020 “. The cultural and creative industries are increasingly recognized not only as an independent economic sector with great potential for development, but also as an important factor for economic growth, which undoubtedly influences the future development of cultural tourism.

The interest in creative cultural tourism is growing – more and more tourists will be interested not only in the static elements of cultural heritage, but also in the opportunity to participate in the creation and experience of the local culture in the tourist destination. The tendency is to increase the demand for boutique and original cultural trips, which in turn “obliges” in the development of cultural tourism to focus on the use of “creative” and intangible resources as the core of the tourist products offered.


There are different definitions of music tourism, in general, it is tourism where the main motive of the trip is related to music. There are a number of options, such as attending concerts; music festivals; places related to cult personalities in the  music world or participation in various music educational events and more initiatives that enable the active involvement of tourists. Although music tourism has been talked about in the last 10 years, it should be taken into account when developing a comprehensive strategy for the development of cultural tourism.

According to a survey by UK Music (an organization that protects the interests of professionals in the UK music industry), the UK won £ 864 million in 2009 from tourists traveling for music events. In 2014, this amount increased to around 3.1 billion pounds. The study is back at UK Music, which is reported to have traveled around the UK to 9.5 million foreign tourists to launch a music event. The statistics also show that the average amount that each tourist spent was 751 pounds, which contributed to the preservation of the work of approximately 40,000 employees in the industry.

What are the opportunities for the development of music tourism in the cross-border region of Vidin-Dolj and how are they related to the development of music culture? It is imperative to analyze the specific resources that the region has in this direction. Several major groups of resources could be considered:

  • Cultural institutes and / or artists in the region of Vidin – Dolj, who create quality music products;
  • Music as part of the unique intangible cultural heritage of the cross-border region;
  • Music events, festivals or other initiatives already organized in the region that have the potential or potential to be the subject of music tourism.


  • Symphony – Vidin

The Vidin Symphony is the largest cultural institute in the Vidin region.

The first steps for its creation date back to 1910, and since 1949 the orchestra has existed as a state institution. The activity of the Vidin Symphony covers the following areas:

–  Various musical performances in the city and the region;

– Educational concerts and lectures for children;

-International activities – tours in the Netherlands, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Greece, Hungary, Romania, Serbia and Macedonia;

– Participation in International music festivals and competitions, such as the summer festivals in Spoleto, Como and Crotone / Italy /, Danube festival in Ulm / Germany /, Sofia Music Weeks, Austrian Music Weeks, Chamber Stage Sofia, Nimus – Nis / Serbia /, Competition for pianists Izidor Baic – Novi Sad – Serbia, International “Music and Earth” Competition, Sofia;

– Participation in International Conducting Master Classes.

The Vidin Symphony has performed in some of the most famous European concert halls, such as “Concertgebouw” – Amsterdam, “Victoria Hall” – Geneva, “House of Music” – Vienna, “Beethoven Hall” – Stuttgart, “The Hall of Congresses” – Saragosa and many others. A number of famous Bulgarian and foreign conductors and soloists, whose names are well known in the music world, have worked and still work with the Cultural Institute.

  • Oltenia Philharmonic

Oltenia Philharmonic in Craiova is a well-known institution in the Romanian music life, as well as on the international stage. The Cultural Institute was founded in 1904 and rebuilt in 1947 by a royal decree, and its current activities include a symphony orchestra, chamber orchestra, academic choir and other ensembles.

About 80 professional musicians form the Philharmonic Orchestra – Oltenia. The repertoire includes masterpieces of symphonic music, operas, oratorios, requiems, jazz pieces, etc., which guarantee a great variety of genre and cover a great historical period. The authority of the orchestra is great and it has a number of successes, both in front of its native audience and abroad. He has participated in International Courses for Young Conductors in Manfredonia, Alessandria (Italy), as well as in “International Competitions for Young Soloists” in Corsica (France). The orchestra also participates in the “Les Nuits Pianistiques” International Festival, as well as a number of opera festivals in Germany and Italy (Spoleto).

In 1957, the chamber orchestra of the Oltenia Philharmonic was founded, specialized, initially, in performing pre-classical and classical music. Today, the repertoire is vastly diverse, incorporating for the most part contemporary music. The Chamber Orchestra has participated in a number of international art tours in Italy, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Bulgaria.

The Philharmonic Academic Choir was established in 1953 and is one of the most valuable artistic ensembles of its kind in the country.

  • Romanian opera in Craiova

Despite the information about earliest dates, the official year of the establishment of the cultural institute is considered to be 1850. Since then, it has developed a rich and diverse activity, with some of Romania’s greatest artists and singers appearing on its scene.

Following a number of transformations in November 2013, with  Resolution of the Craiova Municipal Council the current name and structure corresponding to it was adopted, which is fully justified in view of the share of opera performances in the repertoire of the Cultural Institute. It is one of the largest cultural institutes in the region. He has many years of cooperation with the Sofia Opera and Ballet, which includes exchange visits, joint productions, exchange of personnel. This year, the Craiova Opera has collaborated with the Opera-Varna, preparing a co-production of the musical “West Side Story” by Lennard Bernstein.

  • Maria Tanase Folklore Ensemble

Established in 1992 as the successor to the “Nicolae Balcescu” Ensemble, it has the primary task of working to preserve and promote Oltenian folklore, as well as to represent the diversity of all Romanian folklore areas. The efforts of the ensemble to preserve the authentic folk song make it one of the most valuable in Romania. The ensemble has been featured in many national and international forums, It also has participated in international festivals in Greece, Egypt, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Bulgaria, Serbia, Turkey and Iran.

  • EnsembleDanube For Folk Songs and Dances

The Ensemble “Danube” For Folk Songs and Dances in Vidin was established in 1971 in order to seek out, preserve and promote Bulgarian folklore, especially from the Vidin region and the Northern Folklore region. An important artistic principle in the work of the Ensemble is the preservation of the characteristic features of the musical, song and dance folklore of Northwestern Bulgaria. In its rich and varied program, the Cultural Institute includes music, songs and dances from other folklore areas of Bulgaria, which contributes to the greater diversity and attractiveness of its performances. Gencho Genchev, a prominent composer, conductor and connoisseur of local folklore, has been the leader of the ensemble for many years. Temperamental dances, characteristic songs, instrumental performances, all combined with beautiful costumes, make the concerts a unique experience for the audience.

The “Danube Ensemble” is the winner of: Grand Prix of “The Golden Ax” at the International Folklore Festival in Zakopane (Poland), Grand Prix of the festival in Turnu Severin (Romania), laureates of festivals in Ohrid (Northern Macedonia) and Novi Sad (Serbia). With great success the band has visited Austria, Germany, Turkey, Egypt, Italy, Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Czech Republic, Hungary, Ukraine, Spain, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Netherlands.

  • City Brass Orchestra– Vidin

City Brass Orchestra- Vidin actively participates in the cultural billboard of the area with its participation in all official events and holidays. It was founded in 1962 and was originally part of the “Recreation and Culture” department of the Vidin City Council.

Former military musicians and orchestras from the State Symphony Orchestra have been attracted to the orchestra. The conductor is Boris Georgiev (Chinyaka). The instruments were sourced from the former 3rd Bdin Regiment. The band consisted of 25 people giving concerts in the City Garden on holidays related to solemn and secular occasions. In 1966 the Vidin Brass Band appeared at the first Overview of the Brass Orchestras in Sofia, where it was awarded a diploma for very good performance. Since 1975 the conductor is Ivan Nikolov. It continues the tradition, but with an already renewed cast of young music education professionals. Since April 11, 2012 the conductor of the City Brass Band – Vidin is Dilyana Tsankova.


The preservation of cultural heritage is an element of the overall policy for ensuring sustainable development, implemented as part of the national cultural policies of Bulgaria and Romania in the context of European integration, while preserving the respective national identity. It should be borne in mind that while material cultural heritage is created in order to survive long after its creator, the fate of the intangible heritage is closely related to its primary creator. It is therefore of the utmost importance to guarantee the preservation and transmission of the intangible cultural heritage, and only then to work on its opportunities for use as a sustainable resource for the development of cultural tourism.

The authentic folklore of the Vidin region is characterized by a rich folk song with predominantly lyrical character. One- voice singing is typical. There are singing groups within the Chitalishta in the district, which preserve and promote, according to their capabilities, this unique intangible cultural heritage. In the village of Gorni Lom, the municipality of Chuprene is also the only male singing group that performs authentic Turlashki songs with the characteristic specific sound for the ethnographic group.

In recent years the tradition of brass music has been observed in Vidin District. Most of the musicians who participate in them are “listeners” – non-professionals, and have mastered the skill in the traditional way, which contributes to preserving the cultural identity of the local community.

The success of Brass Music Band “Danube Rhythms” at “ Razvitie – 1926” Chitalishte, Antimovo, Vidin Municipality, which in 2012 were included in the National Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage “Living Human Treasures – Bulgaria”, the sphere of the NKN – “Traditional singing and playing”, contributes to this trend.

The territory of Dolj County also contains a wealth of authentic musical folklore. There are singing groups and orchestras in many Houses of Culture that store and transmit authentically Romanian song and music on an amateur basis. The name of one of the most beloved Romanian singers Maria Tanase, or as she is called Enchantress, is emblematic of the region. They also call her Romanian Edith Piaf. The folk singer gained fame and recognition in the 1930s and became a living legend, thanks to her dramatic songs and beautiful voice.

Throughout the year, many small festivals, fairs, chants, and more are organized within the cross-border region, during which local amateur groups presenting authentic folklore have the opportunity to express themselves. Often amateur performances are accompanied by culinary exhibitions and demonstrations of crafts and customs. The significance of these events extends mainly to local communities.


  • Maria Tanase Folklore Festival

Every two years, in May, a folklore festival is held in Craiova, named after the famous folk singer Maria Tanase. Both young and well-established folklore singers from across Romania are singing in the Festival. The program concludes every night with gala concerts of the best singers and musicians. The festival is accompanied by exhibitions, creative workshops, conferences and exhibitions of folk crafts. In 2019, its 25th edition was held.

  • Opera on Peaks – Belogradchik Rocks

In 2019, for the fourth consecutive time the town of Belogradchik, the Vidin district became the center of opera and ballet art. The festival “Opera on Peaks – Belogradchik Rocks” comes from the idea of ​​the director Plamen Kartalov, whose unusual stage decisions and design of the author’s directorial interpretation are related to the magical beauty of the Belogradchik Rocks. They give the audience a different sense of their favorite works. Many guests come to enjoy the opera and ballet art under the open sky. The performances take place in the first courtyard of the fortress. Both in 2018 and 2019, the spectators of the Festival were over 5,000.

  • Summer Evenings of the Opera and BalletBaba Vida

After the first successful year of the Belogradchik Festival, it is decided to organize an opera festival in Vidin as well. In 2016 it is called the “Fortress of the Ages -” Baba Vida “and in 2018 and 2019 –  “Summer evenings of the opera and ballet” Baba Vida “.

In the first year the Festival is based on the participation of the Sofia Opera and Ballet, and for the next two years the participation of the Symphony-Vidin, the State Opera – Stara Zagora and the State Opera – Rousse.

The interest for the Vidin festival for many reasons is considerably less than the one for the festival in Belogradchik, a fact that should be taken into consideration when analyzing networking opportunities and creating common cultural and / or tourist products for the region.

  • International Festival Musical Craiova

The festival is organized by the Philharmonic – Oltenia with the support of the Municipality of Craiova. In 2019, its 46 edition will be held. The festival is traditionally held in the months of November – December and lasts from two to three weeks. The program is diverse and includes symphonic and chamber concerts, music recitals, various workshops, symposia, discussions. This is one of the iconic festivals for Craiova, featuring artists from all over the world.

  • Elena Theodorini International Festival

The festival is organized by the Romanian Opera in Craiova and bears the name of the prominent Romanian opera singer Elena Theodorini (1857-1926). Theaters from all over Europe take part in it, and since 2013 an International Singing Competition has been held within the festival. The festival is biennial in nature and attracts numerous audiences every year with a diverse and attractive program. In October 2019, its XVI edition will be held and a joint creative project will be presented between the Varna State Opera and the Craiova Opera – the production of “West Side Story”. A final concert with Lara Fabian, soloists, choir and orchestra at the Craiova Opera is scheduled for the finale of the Festival.

  • Tabara Folk – Calafat

The festival is organized by the non-governmental organization “Aplomb” and the Calafat House of Culture every year in the beginning of August. “Tabara Folk” or “Guitar Poets”, as it is commonly known, is a festival of sung poetry. In 2019, its 20th anniversary edition took place. The music event is attended by an elite of acoustic music – some of the most prominent Romanian bards, as well as performers from other countries. The participation of Bulgarian musicians and poets is traditional.

  • Traveling music festival

The festival is being organized for the first time in 2019 as part of a project to develop this document: Traveling on music notes – the popularize of natural heritage and resources and cultural heritage of the Cross-border regionfunded by the EU through the ERDF Program cross-border cooperation INTERREG VA Romania. The festival took place from September 18 to 21, 2019 and included four concert nights with a different program performed by a specially created Bulgarian-Romanian Symphony Orchestra. The first two concerts were held at the Nicolae Romanescu Park, Craiova, while the second two were presented on the stage of the Baba Vida Fortress and the Vidin Art Gallery. The locations selected are emblematic of the two cities and represent the rich cultural and historical heritage and natural wealth that the cities are proud of. The idea of ​​the Symphony – Vidin and the Philharmonic Orchestra – Oltenia, who are partnering in organizing this festival, is to make it a sustainable cultural product that is attractive to both locals and tourists.

  • International master class for conductors and soloists

For four consecutive years the Vidin Symphony has organized International Master Classes for conductors and soloists. They are held in memory of maestro Robert Guter and are organized with the assistance of the International Conductor Institute, together with the musicians from the Vidin Symphony.

The 2019 master class featured students in conducting, violin and piano from the US, Colombia, Italy, South Korea and Bulgaria. At the end of their training, the participants presented two final concerts on the stage of the Symphony – Vidin.

It is evident that the cross-border region of Vidin-Dolj has significant cultural resources that can and should be the basis for the development of music tourism in the region. To be more effective, these resources need to be pooled and work to create a strong regional brand.


The increasing importance of tourism for humanity and its spread, and in every corner of our planet, poses a number of challenges to modern society. The most important of these is the achievement of sustainable development of tourism at local, regional, national and international levels. The aim is to provide a tourism practice that satisfies the interests and enhances the well-being of the local population, while preserving the natural and socio-cultural resources of the local environment for future generations. The analysis shows that in terms of competitiveness, quality and diversity of services, as well as established destinations on the international market, cultural tourism in the Vidin-Dolj cross-border region is below the average compared to developed tourist countries.

This strategic document is based on the following basic principles:

  • Partnership principle – the activity of the participants in the initiative supports the cultural policies in the region. They should be the result of close cooperation and constant consultation, thereby influencing planning at regional and local level;
  • Coordination principle – participants undertake joint initiatives for common projects, taking advantage of existing opportunities;
  • Complementarity principle – it is necessary to seek funding for the fulfillment of the objectives and measures from different sources at European, national, regional level;
  • Dialogue and transparency principle – sharing of successful practices and widely shared awareness;
  • Principle of efficiency and effectiveness – creating a common system for monitoring and evaluating the quality of activities.

The following basic principles for the development of tourism at destination level have also been taken into account, namely:

  • Sustainability – tourism development must combine long-term economic efficiency, long-term environmental sustainability and social compatibility;
  • Democracy – the public approach should be used in the management of the destination, ensuring a high degree of involvement of the local population in the destination management process;
  • Local identity – tourism development planning must be in line with the basic values ​​of the public in the destination, as well as the specificities of tourism development in the respective territory.

In the preparation of the vision and mission proposals within the framework of this document, a detailed review of the visions identified in current strategic documents at European, national, cross-border and regional levels has been carried out. The vision developed is a realistic guideline for the future development of the region and illustrates how it should look after the implementation of the Strategy is completed.

Vision 2030:

The Vidin-Dolj cross-border region is an attractive, year-round destination for cultural tourism, offering impressive cultural heritage and high quality and diverse contemporary culture, one of the leading destinations for cultural tourism in Central and Eastern Europe.

Mission 2030 of Symphony- Vidin and Philharmonic – Oltenia:

In partnership with all stakeholders, to work to enhance the musical culture and to improve and innovate the tourism products offered in the cross-border region of Vidin – Dolj, based on the musical cultural heritage and the activities of the cultural institutes in the field of music and performing arts.

Strategic goals:

  • Development and implementation of systems for shared innovative management and development of the Vidin – Dolj cross-border region as an attractive cultural tourism destination.
  • Creating a cultural infrastructure that meets contemporary standards and enables the presentation of quality European and world content.
  • Development of unique cross-border tourism products based on the rich tangible and intangible cultural heritage and the achievements in the field of contemporary culture and art.
  • Positioning of the cross-border region of Vidin-Dolj on the European tourist market, as an attractive and quality destination for cultural tourism.

These objectives, under one formulation or another, have been repeatedly focused. Prioritizing, defining activities, etc. specific instruments is  a matter of consensus and subsequent active action.

Taking into account the opportunities and specificities that the Symphony – Vidin and the Philharmonic – Oltenia have, based on the formulated strategic goals and the defined mission, the following specific goals and tasks can be deduced for the two cultural institutes to work in order to contribute to the development of the cultural , in particular music tourism in the region:

  • Creating a working cross-border network between cultural operators in the region.
  • Implement a democratic cultural policy by involving the main countries involved in the creation, consumption and spread of culture in the region
  •  Establishment of a regional cultural platform in the cross-border region of Vidin – Dolj ;
  • Creating a single information base for cultural operators and their activities and setting a clear framework for the exchange of information in the sector at regional level;
  • Forming partnerships and sharing commitments and responsibilities between different institutions and non-governmental organizations in the field of culture and tourism;
  • Building cross-sector partnerships;
  • Exchange of experience and good practices for developing the capacity of cultural organizations.


  • Development of music culture in the region and development of educational cultural / music tourism
  • Organizing and conducting master classes for conductors and musicians.
  • Creating an innovative concept and holding educational concerts-lectures aimed at children and young people – attracting activity and encouraging to co-author.
  • Segmenting young audiences by age group and creating specialized products, such as musicals for the little ones; concerts with popular versions of classic teens; or concerts in mixed pop and rock classics for the biggest.
  • Organizing music lessons for adults.
  • Support the process of preserving, transmitting and promoting the musical heritage of the region.
  • Validation of existing and development of unique and innovative cultural products with tourist potential based on the cultural heritage and natural resources of the region.
  • Creating a unified calendar of music events with tourist potential in the region and synchronizing messages.
  • Development of concepts for new events, corresponding to the established vision, experience of participants and market demand.
  • Ensuring sustainability and development of the “Travelling on notes”
  • Creating mechanisms for financial sustainability of the festival.
  • Inclusion of new participants in the festival program.
  • Inclusion of new locations for the festival.
  • Promoting opportunities for the development of music tourism in the region.
  • Creating themed and branded tourism products, which is one way of guaranteeing their competitiveness and innovation.
  • Optimal use of existing traditional marketing tools, as well as the use of non-standard mixes, which are increasingly being offered in digital advertising.
  • Creation of a single tourist portal for cultural / music tourism in the cross-border region – as such, the website developed within the project could be developed.

The financial resources needed to implement the measures described can be ensured through the implementation of joint projects with national and European dimensions, through the development of public and public – private partnerships and through the implementation of successful entrepreneurial initiatives by cultural operators.

Implementation and monitoring

The implementation organization must involve all stakeholders and follow a set of steps, the implementation of which guarantees a properly timed and well organized and coordinated implementation process. It should be based on the following principles:

  • Coordinated approaches in the planning, programming, resourcing, monitoring and evaluation of activities;
  • Publicity, partnership, transparency of actions at all levels and all stages of preparation;
  • Concentration of resources;
  • Coherence with European, national and regional programs, structural policies and concepts for regional development.

In order to successfully achieve the goals of the management, it is necessary to carry out constant monitoring. Monitoring can be defined as a process of systematic and continuous collection and analysis of information on the progress of the implementation of the Strategy and the achievement of the set goals and results. The main task of monitoring is to monitor and measure the achievement of the set goals and their effectiveness in the course of their realization. As a result of the monitoring carried out, timely adjustments and updates can be made in the manner of implementation. Current monitoring plays a particularly important role in long-term planning, which is implemented in several phases. The implementation of each subsequent phase should be preceded by the monitoring and evaluation of the activities and results of the previous stages.

The purpose of monitoring is to ensure timely and quality implementation of the Strategy implementation activities. The variety of activities requires that each of them be subject to special monitoring. For this purpose it is necessary to conclude the execution of each activity in the corresponding tasks. They should allow assessment and control of the progress of the implementation of the Strategy, in accordance with the specifics of the individual parameters. The subject of monitoring is determined by the range of institutions responsible for implementation.

Concerning the activities that can be carried out by the Symphony – Vidin and the Philharmonic – Oltenia, the following indicators may be used to monitor progress:

  • Lasting networks and partnerships aimed at developing cultural / music tourism in the cross-border region;
  • Number of joint initiatives aimed at enhancing the music culture – attracting new audiences;
  • Number of cultural operators playing a role in the development of cultural / music tourism in the cross-border region;
  • Number of cultural products created with tourist potential with the participation of cultural operators from the cross-border region;
  • Number of issues / number of viewers / number of locations for the “Travelling on notes” Festival.

In order for tourism development to generate structure-determining results, it is necessary to invest in the strategic link between a number of components and sectors. In the absence of such a link, there are concerns that opportunities to develop a sector that has the necessary potential to be a leader will be missed.

The Vidin – Dolj cross-border region has a high cultural and tourist potential, which has not yet been deployed. For this reason, obstacles to the development of the sector and the full utilization of existing resources must be identified and removed. It is indisputable that the natural assets, the tangible and intangible cultural heritage, the achievements of contemporary culture and the arts that characterize the region can be an engine of economic growth. At present, however, a major part of the resources available in the field of cultural and historical tourism is used. There are tourism products that are based on the region’s intangible cultural heritage, but they have not yet become sustainable. There are good examples of the combination of innovative projects of high artistic quality with the natural resources of the region, as well as of creative tourism. This indicates that “mission is possible”. It is necessary to unite the efforts of all interested parts and to develop and promote a common product that will impose a new tourist image on the region of the map of Europe. In this product, keywords can also successfully be river and culture.




  • Marinov, M. (2008), Managing the Sustainable Development of the Tourist Destination, Phil Ltd., Varna.
  •  Alexieva, S., Ir. Bokova, I. Tourism and Cultural Heritage. NVU Sofia, 2015.
  •  Strategy for Sustainable Tourism Development in Bulgaria 2014-2030
  • Strategic Plan for the Development of Cultural Tourism in Bulgaria
  • Mihaylov, M. (2012) Strategic Approaches for the Development of Cultural Tourism. NACID, Sofia.
  • Lulanski, Tolina and Lulanski, Veselin, The Stability of the Link between

Cultural Heritage and Tourism, Scientific Papers, ECU Annual, 8: 152-161, 2010.

  • Richards, G. (1996) – Cultural Tourism in Europe. CABI, Wallingford.
  • Assoc. Prof. Milena Shushulova-Pavlova, Good Cases in New Music-Educational Realities as a Challenge for Music Communicators Sofia, 2015.


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