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Carpathian Rural Tourism:

Digital and Marketing Ecotourism Workshop

How to manage an ecotourism business?

Digital Communication and Building Identity Marketing and Management Workshop

February 4th – 8th, 2019 Cserkút, Hungary

For local handicraft entrepreneurs and rural tourism actors 
In the field of tourism development within the Cooperation of V4+ rural tourism actors through social and digital innovation project

During the event Participants will have the possibility to improve their services through interactive, tailor-made exercises and with the help of the facilitators, experts during individual consultations. A business’ online communication consists of everything that said business does in the virtual world: from landing pages to advertisement management, it is a very demanding matter, and finding the right balance between the challenges of social media and review management can be a tough gig even for the seasoned entrepreneur. While most people do know how to handle at least one or two of these areas , as the competition gets fiercer, getting by is just not enough. The workshop will lend a helping hand in this maze of digital communication by answering common questions of the tourism service providers’ mind: How can a business stand out in an online environment? Why have a consistent online presence across all marketing channels? What tools can Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in tourism utilise to increase bookings and sales? How to maximise the potential of a website?

Planned Programme and Contents

1st day: Monday, February 4th 

10:00 – 12:30 Team building, ice breaker for the experts

12:00 – 14:00 Registration and  Lunch

14:00 – 16:00 The role of  digital tools in the rural development – Mátyás Szabó

  • Critical mass and how to overcome the disadvantages of it
  • Access to services (public and private)
  • Solutions for social and business challenges
  • The “e-”s

16:30 Study trip, walk around Cserkút

20:00 Dinner

2nd day: Tuesday, February 5th  

8:30 – 10:00  SashaSi – Branding is your story – Customers, reputation, look and feel.

a) Brand identity

b) Make your brand memorable (name, look – logo, communication language)

c) Get your brand noticed

d) Refinement, innovation, customer service

e) Branding checklist

10:00 – 10:30 Coffee break

10:30 – 12:00 Digital marketing and communication – Mira Lehocka:

  • Introduction to Digital marketing
  • Who is your potential client – creating your client/buyer persona
  • Search Engine Optimalization – basic rules
  • Facebook marketing
  • How to set up FB page properly (FB cover, Templates and Tabs)
  • Types of FB post, content tips
  • FB insights

12:00 – 13:30 Lunch

13:30 – 16:30 Walking tour on the Jakab Hill, visiting historical and archaeological places of the the Halstatt culture (rain programme: Visiting the Szuppi Forest school and accomodation

17:00 – 18:30 Brasov Tourism App – A digital strategy for tourism promotion  – Alina Szász

  • Keep your tourist and locals informed. GO DIGITAL! Adapt your communication channels to what tourists prefer.
  • Use a smart approach to promoting your destination while bringing together public institutions, tourist information centers, tourism promotion and development associations, NGOs, local businesses and representatives of hospitality industry, as well as citizens

19:00 Dinner

3rd day: Wednesday, February 6th 

8:30 – 10:00  Rural tourism business management – Ágnes Szabó-Diószeghy

  • Key issues affecting rural enterprise and tourism
  • Strategies for business growth within a rural setting, such as knowledge development, proper planning and innovation

10:00 – 10:30 Coffee break

10:30 – 12:00 Management – Mátyás Szabó

  • Think like a manager!
  • Planning and leading of SMEs
  • Real life e-tools of management for rural SMEs

12:00 – 13:30 Lunch

13:30 – 15:00 International partnerships for ecotourism – Alina Szasz

  • Carpathian Sustainable Tourism Platform – a platform for ecotourism
  • Thematic Trail Trigger – accessibility, mobility and visibility for a destination

15:00 – 15:30 Coffee break

15:30 – 17:00 marketing- Mira Lehocka and SashaSi:

  • FB Ads manager – set up your first campaign
  • Instagram marketing – set up your business Instagram account
  • Photos and visuals – advise and tools
  • Tips for free tools for managing social media
  • Prepare you publishing plan – work in group on publishing plan for one March before Easter time.

17:00 – 17:15 travel to Orfű

17:00 – 19:00 visiting the Mill Museum and the House of the Mecsek Hills

19:00 Going back to Cserkút

20:00 Dinner

4th day: Thursday, February 7th 

8:30 – 10:00 Presentation of the participants of their business in row, tailor made individual consultation – chair Vitezslav Vitkovic, feedback from all the experts

10:00 – 10:30 Coffee break

10:30 – 12:00 Presentation of the participants of their business in row, tailor made individual consultation – chair Vitezslav Vitkovic, feedback from all the experts

12:00 – 13:30 Lunch

13:30 – 15:00 Ecotourism business – A mix of case studies and theoretical content – Ágnes

  • How to be a host on one’s own rural property (farm)?
  • What are possible choices and schedules of daily activities for guests staying on a farm?
  • Harmonizing the profile of farm guests with the profile of the farm offer
    Rural tourism incentives
  • The value of tourism and incentives for tourism entrepreneurs

to be confirmed

15:00 – 16:00 Travel to Bőszénfa

16:15 – 18:00 Visiting the Game Management Landscape Center of Kaposvár University

17:30  Visiting the Trophy exhibition

18:00 Dinner

19:30 travel to the Zselic

20:00 Visiting the Zselic Park of Stars

21:30 Travel back to Cserkút

5th day: Friday, February 8th 

9:00 – 10:30 marketing- SashaSi and Mira Lehocka expert tailor made advices to the participants

11:00 – Follow up strategies with all the experts and participants

13:30 Lunch

14:00  Saying goodbye.

Visegrad Fund covers workshop costs for participants. 

The workshop is held by the following experts:

Aleksandra Sikoraiova (SashaSi) from Slovakia is an artist and jewellery designer based in Banska Stiavnica, Slovakia. She is one of the founders of the civil association Umenie a remesla Stiavnice (Arts and Crafts of Banska Stiavnica). She regularly shares her knowledge of beading techniques both ancient and modern with other people. Aleksandra  studied visual arts at Matej Bel University in Banská Bystrica, Slovakia. Aleksandra actively promotes local artisans and craftsmen both online and offline in a local arts and crafts shop where she works.

Mira Lehocka, Slovakia: Mira is a online marketing specialist for small and medium-sized businesses. She manages her portfolio of clients, creating the complete communication and content strategy on social media (Facebook and Instagram) and as an external consultant of Slovak Business Agency she helps small entrepreneurs to promote their business through social media as Facebook and Instagram, she guides them when creating their own online marketing strategy and supports them to achieve their goals.

Mátyás Szabó, Hungary: Ph.d. in rural development, working in this field on several level (Local Action Group, Regional, Central-National and EU) in the implementation and planning. Lecturer of the Corvinus University Budapest

Alina Szász, Romania: Alina Szász is member of the Work Group for Sustainable Tourism under the Carpathian Convention attending relevant joint meetings on tourism and cultural heritage. She is also coordinator of the development and promotion of tourism in Brasov County in close collaboration with stakeholders from various fields (NGO’s, public institutions, chamber of commerce, accommodation, food, leisure, university & research). She participates in the process of implementation and monitoring of the ongoing projects at the level of the Brasov County Council – 1 project under implementation relevant to the current application: ThreeT (Interreg Europe).

Ágnes Szabó-Diószeghy, Humtour LLC., Hungary : Experience in project management in national and international projects regarding ecotourism.She holds a M.Sc. Degree in “International Relations, Policies of the European Union”. International courses on social entrepreneurship and community development.Founder and CEO of the Humtour LLC. which aim is to introduce special local traditions and cultural heritage in the rural areas through community-based and sustainable touristic programs. Participating in international networks (UN Environment – Carpathian Convention, EURAC Research). Editor of the „How to Attract Tourists – Ecotourism handbook for rural handicraft entrepreneurs”

Vitezlav Vitkovic , Association of Rural Tourism and Agritourism, Czech Republic : Vitezlav is owner of a 10 rooms guesthouse, Apartmány Kocourek in the rural areas of the Czech Republic, Kocourovy Lhotky and he gained 15 years of experiences in the tourism sector working for his county council destination departments. He is qualified and experienced in the area of rural tourism as well as in the mass tourism.

Dr. Ibolya Németh from Hungary is the owner of the BioBia Porta which is an ecologic Bed&Breakfast in Cserkút with a holistic world view, and is part of the Ecologic Claster of the Dél-Dunántúl region and the Mecsek Greenway, which includes paths in the Mecsek Hills. Ms. Némethe is part of a group of green tourism enthusiasts, she have received the Prize for Sustainable Tourism in the region. Her gastronomical services are made in large part of local products and from natural resources from the woods. biobia@biobia.hu