At the beginning of 2022 the Global Libraries – Bulgarian Foundation, as a leading partner, together with Alexandru and Aristia Amman regional Library in Doji, Romania and Luben Karavelov reginal library in Ruse, Bulgaria completed the project ‘The Written Treasures of Lower Danube’ – TWTLD.
The main goal of the project is to promote the joint preservation, protection, promotion and development of the written cultural heritage of the cross-border region of Bulgaria-Romania. This can be achieved by diversifying tourism services and in particular by developing literary tourism. This is an important new initiative. The project leads, in the long-term, to a reassessment of the unused potential of written spiritual cultural heritage in the area. This will have a positive effect on development of tourism in the cross-border area.
The Project had a number of results:
- Two pilot schemes based on modern digital technologies in libraries in Ruse and Craiova have been developed as literary tourist attractions.
- The site “Lower Danube: Literary World on Two Coasts” has been developed and is accessible in five languages, and presents the five literary travel packages.
- it has a database of over 400 000 digitized pages of written literary heritage documents of institutions from all over the cross-border region – libraries, museums, archives, monasteries. Partner libraries contributed to this database, which is available on the literary site for potential tourists and other stakeholders.
It is commendable that the two libraries have tried to take a new approach to the cultural function of libraries by creating a product that can be successfully enjoyed by different stakeholders. The main theme of the tourist product “The Written Treasures of the Cross-Border Destination along the Lower Danube for Literary Tourism” is the written literary heritage of the cross-border region of Bulgaria-Romania.
Literary tourism is a relatively unknown area. This is a new opportunity to provide tourists a new experience. On the one hand, literary tourism can be seen as a newly opened tourist market offering new experiences, which will help preserve literary wealth. On the other, literary tourism gives a different view of literature, and it would be particularly valuable to students and adolescents.
A marketing study was conducted to explore the potential for development and practice of different types of literary tourism. It found that literary festivals and events are of greatest interest, followed by visits to the homes of writers and personalities involved in literature; followed by tourism related to real-life places described in artistic works. Of less interest was visits to the graves, monuments and memorials of writers; and finally, visits to bookstores in the region.As a result of the work, the project experts developed several travel packages, which are detailed in the attractive literary site https://litdanube.eu/.