Involving tourists in rose-picking
Offering dedicated holiday weekly tourist packages focused on a common and traditional agricultural activity: rose picking. Thanks to these packages tourists of other localities come to Strelcha in order to experience the local culture through rose picking (in the end of each spring) and participate in the traditional for the municipality Rose Festival.(http://www.sabori.bg/i.php/ob-pazardzhik/view.html?oid=21038). Tourist packages offer visitors to go to the rose fields and pick rose blossoms along with local farmers. In addition, during the days of the rose festival they can join the ritual of rose picking together with other guests and afterwards, they can visit events of their choice (folk dancing and singing, concerts and art exhibitions) dedicated to the Rose festival and even participate themselves along with the performers. They also have the opportunity to visit a rose-oil producing distillery and get familiar with the process and buy some fresh made products. Additionally, visitors can watch the Queen of Roses beauty contest organised during the Rose Festival where local girls perform and compete for the prize.
Having dedicated holiday packages focused on the involvement of tourists, folk performers, singers, dancers and musicians in the rose picking activity in order to have more tourists in Strelcha during this period.
The benefits for the Municipality of Strelcha clearly come from the higher number of visitors during the season of rose-picking that grants improved economic sustainability and holds a potential for the development of tourism.
Owners of land cultivated with oil-bear¬ing rose benefit from the holiday packages since this is a great opportunity to increase the level of trust tourist have for their oil. It is a unique opportunity to gain publicity and make their brand of rose oil very well known.
National community center “Prosveshtenie1871" benefits from the better organization and preparation of the folk music and dance performances during the Rose Festival thereby, contributing to the tourists to enjoy the local culture and to provide additional revenues for the community center.
Local travel agencies (tourism operators) benefit directly from the sale of the holiday packages.
The benefits for restaurant owners are the increased number of clients but also the opportunity to diversify their business with catering services.
The sponsors benefit from advertising their production and activities.
Tourists benefit from the opportunity to have at their disposal a new opportunity to know, learn & experience something new that create contacts with local culture and traditional activity.
The local population also indirectly benefited from the higher number of visitors leading to higher incomes for retailers and tourism operators.
The holiday packages are tailored for both young people and adults.
WHY is the best practice considered as good
The rose picking, visited and seen by tourists, generates positive results in terms of increasing the number of visitors in the area and hence, promoting the local culture. Therefore, this is a factor for generating additional income for tourism entrepreneurs, retailers, craftsmen, as well as for additional employment of local people. Local entrepreneurs and businesses also benefit from the possibility to promote their business and products to a wider public.
WHAT are the measurable results
• Number of tourist visits registered during the season of rose-picking by the involved tourism enterprises;
• Number of performers participating in the Rose Festival.
New opportunities created on the local level
To promote holiday packages focused on the rose picking activities a regular cost of about 9000 EUR is annually shared amongst the municipality and involved tourism enterprises of Strelcha in order to make them known nationally & internationally.
Possibility of tansferring the best practice
The creation of holiday packages focused on the promotion of a local and economically meaningful activity can be easily transferred to other territories. Once identified, the local cultural value to valorise (for example a tradition of rose picking), the most important local stakeholders must be involved (with meetings and clearly provided information) by showing in detail all the benefits coming from these kinds of actions for them and the whole territory; a plan (steps that must be taken) needs to be drafted and shared with all involved actors. For this kind of best practice no economic investment commitment is necessary.