Mag. Mojca Metličar, Project Manager "Naša Drava": "The Naša Drava project is partly co-financed by the EU through the EAFRD within the framework of the CLLD, and it has proven to be a project with many interconnected contents. It is a project that has been carefully planned and successfully implemented by our partners, despite the very turbulent preceding years. Through the activities we have undertaken, we have managed to awaken the area's wonderful sleeping potential. Our prime objective, which was to present the Drava River as a consistent source of experiences in accordance with all nature conservation standards, has been met. We have updated the area with new content and outfitted it so that visitors will want to return. Wonderful connections were made during the partnership that call for further collaboration and connection, so we are already weaving new content and new experiences. We are entering a new era that will provide numerous opportunities to upgrade and develop content in the partnership area. We haven't said our final words yet, because the Drava River connects and unites.”
The Drava River and its surroundings provide numerous opportunities for developing an interesting tourist offer that includes the presentation of natural and cultural heritage as well as sports activities. A rest stop for cyclists was set up at the Recreation Center Gramoznica in Zgornji Duplek, and urban equipment was purchased.
Rowing regattas are especially important in the municipality of Duplek, which is maintained by the Tourist Association of Raftsmen and Rowers Duplek. Gold washing is also important, so we returned for a brief moment to the history of our towns with a short film and revived the long-forgotten gold washing activities, as well as granted the neighbouring municipality the right to gold washing. We can offer a 5-star tourist product that is appealing to a variety of target groups if all stakeholders work together.
Through the NAŠA DRAVA project, we have learned about the unprecedented wealth that the river provides to residents and visitors from near and far. The cooperation project ensured greater integration and promotion of the entire area along the Drava River.
As LAS UE Ormož, we are delighted to be a part of the inter-LAG Naša Drava project.
Within two years of the project's founding, we improved the opportunities for engagement on and along the Drava River. Partners from the municipalities of Ormož, Sveti Tomaž, and Središče ob Dravi have acquired new cyclist rest stops, e-bike rest stops, cycling equipment, canoes with equipment, and a canoe trailer. A conceptual design for the establishment of entry and exit points on the Drava River in our area has been prepared. Partner Dopps has been monitoring birds on Lake Ptuj and Lake Ormož for an entire year. In addition, Dopps has been active in many other areas, such as leading an ornithological excursion, organising the Open Doors of the Ormož Lagoons, creating a Nature Conservation e-guide, and developing a model for sustainable visiting of protected areas along the Drava River. As one of the project's highlights, the partner Public Institution TKŠ Ormož organised the Descent on the Drava River, where we could feel the potential of the Naša Drava project's fruits for tourism itself. The project was coordinated by the partner Jara/RRC Ormož.
Only a collaboration of various actors along the entire Drava riverbed can produce high-quality results in the development of new products and integrated sustainable tourism development. It is necessary to treat the Drava River as a whole, not just in parts, as was done in previous projects. The collaboration of partners from various fields can result in solutions that are acceptable from the standpoints of nature protection, sports activities, tourism, and development. Because it is an international collaboration, the project and its solutions gain additional weight and advantage. We are too small in the LAG Haloze to develop regional tourism products. We can ensure that our microlocations and microproducts are included in tourist experiences for visitors to our area by connecting them to larger stories. The benefits of such projects and ways of connecting are primarily in the joint promotion, and we anticipate that the project, in particular, will increase the visibility of places in the LAG Haloze area.
Because LAG Lastovica is one of the smaller LAGs, collaboration in various areas and with various stakeholders is even more important for our region. RRA Podravje - Maribor is preparing a mobile application for the entire area along the Drava Cycling Route, the municipality of Miklavž na Dravskem polju prepared a short film about the Roman mound in Miklavž with the cooperation of the Miklavž Tourist Association; moreover, we must not overlook the equipment of the 6 cyclist rest stops along the Drava River - 2 of which are in Miklavž na Dravskem polju, and the remaining rest stops are in Loka, Rošnja, Starše, and Zlatoličje. As part of the project, the Municipality of Starše collaborates with the Municipality of Duplek to obtain project documentation for a wire basket across the Drava River. Gold washing is part of the cultural heritage, but it was nearly extinct and is now being revived. As a result, the Starše Tourist Association has improved the gold washing product along the Drava River. A joint historical event on the topic of right granting and gold washing with LAG Ovtar was also held. All partners took part in the execution of joint project activities such as documentation for entry-exit points along the Drava River, a professional excursion to Croatia, participation in various sports and other events organised by partner LAGs, etc. Certainly, this type of collaboration is very welcome, and we hope to be able to participate in similar projects in the future.
Riverbanks have historically served as an important strategic point, a meeting place for people, and an economic and tourist meeting place. The Drava River has historically played an important role in the development of towns and areas along the entire embankment. We added new contents to the area and revitalised old ones with the cooperation project, which was successfully implemented in a large partnership of LAGs along the Drava River. The Municipality of Maribor has revived a part of the rich history and tradition of rafting with the reconstruction of the Hlodovec raft, and the Maribor rafters from the Maribor Tourist Association have also made a smaller traditional raft that floats down the river. The Drava Centre sports and recreation park has expanded its offerings with a multi-purpose playground, mini basketball court, climbing wall, and sports equipment.
To increase visibility, the offer along the Drava River should be actively promoted, as provided by RRA Podravje - Maribor by upgrading the website "Drava Festival" with all current events and activities within the project, promotional articles and campaigns, study tours, and other promotional campaigns.
We are laying the groundwork for future development and creation of interesting tourist products by reviving the rich tradition along and on the Drava River through sports and promotional content.
With meticulous planning and cooperation, the partners of the Naša Drava project were able to meet their objectives while also strengthening ties and connecting interests for future common challenges.
Mario Moharić, president of LAG Mura Drava,
Even the name of our LAG implies that we are linked by two rivers. As a result, it was entirely natural and expected that we would respond to the invitation and participate in the project as partners. We are delighted to be a part of a shared story. Our circumstances and implementation conditions did not allow us to invest as heavily as our Slovenian peers, but the benefits are immeasurable and substantial. Active participation in the operation's soft content preparation provided us with a broader perspective on the development of nature-sustainable tourist contents along and on the Drava river. The collaboration encouraged people to see the Drava River, the jewel of our common area that connects us, as an opportunity and tourism potential. We are already looking forward to future collaboration as a result of the successful completion of this project.