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Organisation Details

A.B.A.T Balkania Skopje-Balkan Association for Alternative Tourism


BALKANIA is an association for Balkan Alternative Tourism and its activities include realization of projects in the field of alternative tourism which enable the promotion of Macedonia and the entire Balkan region as an attractive tourist destination with exceptional natural, historical, cultural and anthropological heritage. In addition to that it focuses on projects and activities that help develop human capacity in the field of tourism.

The association is channelling its energy to all forms that are the alternative to mass tourism, and which are focused towards the development of Sustainable Tourism on macro sectors identified as: Natural tourism, Rural tourism, Cultural tourism, Sport Tourism .

BALKANIA initiates and supports many tourism activities on local level. Among the members we include many municipalities from the Republic of Macedonia that have the potential for developing rural and sustainable tourism.

BALKANIA has an intensive collaboration with relevant tourism stakeholders such as the National Agency for Promotion and Support of Tourism in Macedonia, the Ministry of Economy, entrepreneurs in the tourism sector and NGOs.


The purpose of the association is to identify, support and promote the cultural, rural and natural tourism of the member states (North Macedonia, Kosovo, Albania, Bulgaria, Montenegro, Serbia, Greece and Bosnia and Herzegovina) through unitary action and with coordinated partnerships, to create a positive image of the Balkan area in the world.

Areas of Intervention

The Association addresses its energies to all forms of tourism which are alternatives to mass

tourism and some macro sectors can be identified for development:

1. Cultural tourism

 Tourism associated with history, religion and the traditional aspects architecture, folklore, gastronomy and wine, and the landscape.

Our goals in this field are towards:

-cultural development of tourist resources including that through the creation of thematic channels and partnerships;

-support for the implementation of tourist products integrated with other alternative forms of tourism such as rural and natural tourism;

-support for initiatives for conservation of places of cultural interest

2. Rural tourism; food and wine

This sector represents the great challenge for European tourism. This is shown by the latest trends in tourist demand, specific research, and the attention that the European Community is showing by putting in place support, development and integration programmes in rural areas.

The guidelines to be followed in this sector may be:

Traditions, popular festivals, crafts, enogastronomy

a) Census of events and the traditional activities suited to drawing the interest of tourists and the cataloguing by place, period and theme.

b) Enhancement of the social and natural context in which a given event or a particular traditional activity takes place.

c) Search for affinities between the traditions of the various countries and the creation of tourist circuits.

Tourist destinations in rural areas

a) Cataloguing of the existing structures

b) Development of projects designed to give tourist attraction to rural places through the creation of activities and services dealers

c) Creation of national routes and combined routes based on these structures

3. Natural tourism

Areas of natural interest

a) Cataloguing of existing areas

b) Support for the creation and implementation of projects in the sector

c) Integration of the natural elements with other forms of tourism.


Balkania has organized and took part in many local projects, activities and events working towards developing the goals of the organization and supporting many initiatives such as:

- Balkan Forum for Alternative tourism in Skopje and Berovo

Development and integration of alternative tourism in the Balkans through mutual project Implementation. Discussion of the potential of alternative tourism for employment of young people.

-Eco – Etno village Babino -Project for developing an eco-etno village

-The Balkan – A Unique Tourist destination

Development of cultural tourism - Conference in Veliko Trnovo - Bulgaria

-Publishing of the photo book-Discover the Balkan with us

Photo Guide presenting Balkan countries' cultural heritage sites protected by UNESCO.

-Strengthening the Capacities of Balkania to Promote Agritourism

Lifelong Learning Program-Leonardo Da Vinci

13 members of Balkania have been certified as trainers for Agritourism by finishing an educative program in AFS- American Farm School in Greece

-BALKAN VISION SUMMIT – for Sustainable Development                                                                      

-Macedonian Slow Food network:Youth food network & National Slow food network .

Balkania played an important role in the creation of several convivia of Slow Food and in creating the national network of Slow Food, especially the Youth Movement which includes several young members from Balkania.


-BALKAN FLAVORS - Sofia, Bulgaria 2015

Balkania has organised the event BALKAN FLAVORS for presentation of the tourism offer of the Balkans through gastronomy.

- National  Award for BALKANIA  for success in tourism

The World of Success  „GOLDEN MASK” – 2010 Award for success in tourism (on national level )


-ALBERGO DIFUSSO - Learning about new forms of sustainable tourism 


Current projects: 

1. TRADI FLAVOURS -  Erasmus + KA2  No: 2018-1-MK01-KA204-047143                                               

Offering new opportunities for adults by creating interactive training for gaining high quality skills and competences according to adult learners needs (especially adults with fewer opportunities, low-skilled or low qualified adults), but also relevant to labor market's requirements and contemporary living by utilizing traditional food and gastronomy.                                                                                                 

Lead partner: BALKANIA

Other partners are from  Italy, Cyprus and Bulgaria


2. AGRO -TOUR –MK 2.0  Erasmus+ KA 104   No:2019-1-MK104-5

The consortium created by Balkania will attend a training course for strengthening the capacities of the involved organizations regarding Agritourism and new initiatives and sustainability in agritourism in Cantabria, Spain.


3.ECVET ENS 2.0–Erasmus+ KA2 No: 2016 -1-MK01-KA202-021665

Recognition and validation of learning outcomes and qualifications in nature-based and rural tourism sector in the framework of the European Credit  System for Vocational Education and Training (ECVET) Credit System and  Education for professional figures of rural tourism sector:

- Nature- and Rural Tourism Guide,

- Rural and Agro-Tourism Accommodation Manager.

Lead partner: BALKANIA

Other partners are from Italy, Austria and Greece.


4. INNOVIMENTOR - INTEREG - IPA Cross Border programme  Balkan Mediteranean   

 No: 2619/5/5/2016

Generating SME product and process innovation with a new tourism mobility model, stakeholder alliances and skills alliances to facilitate the market uptake of local enterprises in remote and sparsely populated areas. 


5. Backing Regional Tourism Potential   IPA/2017/156446-3/9                                                              

  IPA Cross Border Cooperation Macedonia – Kosovo

Overall project objective is to enhance tourism potentials and promote regional values of CB regions, and more specifically to work on (1) Introduction of new tourism opportunities and quality improvement of the products and services and (2) Development of competitive tourism products - promotion/marketing actions to attract more domestic and foreign tourists.


Participation in EU projects in the past years


EU Programme




Project title and Number


Project Number



Lifelong learning programme  Leonardo da Vinci – Mobility

Award from NA: Best Practice in 2014



Strengthening the Capacities of BALKANIA to Promote Agritorism



Coordinator :A.B.A.T. BALKANIA – Skopje

Partner:                                       American Farm School Greece

Erasmus+ KA1


YOUthCREAtive Tourism Environment -YOU CREATE


Coordinator:Сдружение "Клъстертуризъм"- Bulgaria

Erasmus+ KA1

Award from NA: Best Practice in 2016


AlbergoDiffuso  -Learning about culture, tradition and languages through new forms of sustainable tourism


Coordinator :A.B.A.T. BALKANIA

Partner: AMFI - Italy

Erasmus+ KA1


Mobility for success



Coordinator: Фондация "Месембри"                             Bulgaria     

Erasmus+ KA1






Coordinator: GórniczyKlubSportowy GÓRNIK -Poland                   


ERASMUS SPORT KA3   -Collaborative Partnerships

2016 – 2017

18 month 


2015-3581/OOl- OO1


Erasmus+ KA2 Strategic Partnerships for vocational education and training

Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices




2016 – 2019




ECVET ENS 2.0 Recognition and validation of learning outcomes and qualifications in nature-  based and rural tourism sector in the framework of the European Credit  System for Vocational Education and Training (ECVET)



Coordinator :



6 Partners : Macedonia, Italy, Austria, Greece


INTEREG - IPA Cross Border  programme  Balkan Mediteranean



Generating SME product and process innovation with a new tourism mobility model, stakeholder alliances and skills alliances to facilitate the market uptake of local enterprises in remote and sparsely populated areas.





Coordinator: Eagean University of  Athens

Partners: Greece, Bulgaria , Macedonia, Cyprus, Albania

IPA Cross Border Cooperation Macedonia - Kosovo



Backing Regional Tourism Potential

Promote regional values of CB regions, and more specifically will work on Introduction of new tourism opportunities and quality improvement of the products and services



Coordinator: ALKA

Prizren region –from Kosovo and Polog Region – from Macedonia

Erasmus+ KA1

2017 - 2018





Coordinator: Foundation  CORDOBA Club du Football          


Erasmus+ KA1

2017 - 2018



Coordinator: Foundation  CORDOBA Club du Football


Erasmus+ KA2 Strategic Partnerships for cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices



TRADI FLAVOURS – for better education and job opportunities





Coordinator: BALKANIA as  Lead Partner 

Partners from : Macedonia,Italy , Cyprus, and Bulgaria

-GAL Maiella Verde

-Balkanska Agenciya za Ustoychivo Razvitie

-Cyprus Food and Nutrition Museum


Erasmus+ KA1





Lead  partner : Szczecińska Szkoła Wyższa Collegium Balticum,


Erasmus+ KA104


2019 - 2020





Coordinator: Balkania Consortium: FACE,  CESOR,CDI

Host: Permaculture





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