Promotion of cross-border tourism by the Middle and Lower Danube

Project description

Title: Regional programme to promote cross-border tourism by the Middle and Lower Danube through the Danube Competence Center (DCC)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Bulgaria, Croatia, Moldova, Romania, Serbia, Ukraine
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications of the Republic of Serbia
Overall term: 2015 to 2017

The region covered by the Middle and Lower Danube brings together new EU member states, such as Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania, the candidate country Serbia and countries that so far have had few links with Europe, namely Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova. The consequences of the war in the former Yugoslavia and the difficult processes of democratisation involving many political changes continue to undermine the region’s economic stability to this day. Tourism policy operates mainly at a national as opposed to a regional level. This situation prompted the setting up of a platform for cooperation in the tourism sector, the Danube Competence Center (DCC), The DCC works towards creating a ‘Danube’ brand, generating new jobs in the tourism sector and implementing the EU Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR), which is designed to help the Danube countries grow together to form a macroregion.

Conditions for the development of cross-border tourism in the Middle and Lower Danube region have improved.

Within the framework of the EUSDR, the programme supports cooperation between the riparian states of the Middle and Lower Danube. The DCC was created as a regional association to promote business and tourism for public and private stakeholders in the tourism industry. The Center offers cross-border tourism services and supports companies working in the sector, in particular small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the Middle and Lower Danube region.

On behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), GIZ is supporting the efforts of the DCC as a regional cooperation and marketing platform to promote tourism and biodiversity with a view to fostering sustainable tourism.

The aim of the Center is to act as a partner for the Danube riparian states, as well as for the EU and other relevant institutions in the region. Its tasks include developing and promoting regional tourism products, and making these available in the different countries. New quality standards for tourism services in the Danube region are also to be devised and introduced, which will contribute to the development of sustainable tourism and to a new single ‘Danube’ brand.

The DCC is the only tourism association operating at regional level. It forms a network of public and private sector partners as well as non-governmental organisations from all 10 countries through which the Danube flows.

The DCC has more than 70 member organisations in the Danube countries. Members receive advice and training which enables them to expand their area of operations at a regional level. New cross-border tourism measures have been devised with members and used within the context of the EUSDR to develop a ‘Danube’ tourism brand.

A wide range of activities have been carried out to promote the Middle and Lower Danube region as a tourist destination. These include offering information through the web portal, joint participation by the riparian states at trade fairs, production of advertising materials and attendance at conferences.

Since 2011, the Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications and other interest groups have been working together with the DCC to develop two cultural routes in the region, namely the Roman Emperors route and the Danube Wine Route.

As the leading partner in several consortia with ministries and other relevant stakeholders, the DCC takes part in competitions for EU-funded projects and services in the Danube region. The Center is also involved in an advisory capacity in two EUSDR working groups, where its task is to generate interest in Danube tourism at institutional level.


Käthe Brakhan