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It gives us great pleasure to announce the EPA Governing Board unanimously decided to award to “Iron Age Danube Route” the certification “Cultural Route of the Council of Europe” for a term of three years. The decision was confirmed on 19 May 2021. Following the decision of the Governing Board, the EPA Secretariat shall organize an award ceremony at the occasion of the Annual Advisory Forum in Kutaisi, Georgia on 29 September – 1 October 2021 for the transmission of the diploma.The certification “Cultural Route of the Council of Europe” is a quality label, recognized across Europe by visitors, tourism operators and public authorities alike. The certification and rigorous evaluation process lead to greater recognition and opportunities to develop membership, secure project funding and increase visitor numbers throughout network member countries. To obtain certification, Iron Age Danube Route was required to establish a scientific committee active in academic research on the Iron Age topic, thus giving scientific validity to its network membership and to its activities programme.
Being a certified Cultural Route of the Council of Europe brings more visibility, both nationally and internationally, through the website of the Cultural Routes programme and thanks to a networking effect, which makes it easier for visitors to find relevant information on the routes and their European sites. Certification gives access to a wide pool of international partners and experts in heritage management, research, cultural tourism development and promotion.
Furthermore, the programme provides a unique opportunity for our members, operators of heritage sites, researchers, creative entrepreneurs, tourist operators and public authorities to network with partners across the continent, share good practices, learn from global trends and developments and access world-class knowledge on cultural heritage and tourism management tools and methods.
Cultural Routes diversify the tourism offer by proposing new destinations with wider geographical reach; they implement new tourist products and services, create additional visibility for cultural heritage sites away from the most visited tourist centres and prolong the tourist season.
Cultural Routes network operators enjoy greater access to European regional and local policy makers and thus are able to better convey to institutional stakeholders the need for sustainable protection and promotion of our shared European, as well as Iron Age heritage.
By becoming a certified “Cultural Route of the Council of Europe”, many new and exciting opportunities are being opened up to the Iron Age Danube Route, its members and partners. On the other hand, the certification also holds a great responsibility to utilize to the best of our abilities the numerous benefits this status entitles us to and to further develop our network in order to better promote, protect and research our common Iron Age heritage.

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