More about the project

Project name: “Authentic Gourmet Taste for Sustainable Socio-economic Development of Cross-border region”

Acronym: Pannonia Gourmet

Program axis: PA3 / Contributing to the development of tourism and preserving cultural and natural heritage

Program priority specific objective: To strenghten, diversify and integrate the cross border tourism offer and better manage cultural and natural heritage assets

Applicant: Educons University


    1. City of Vinkovci
    2. Agency for development and investments of City of Vinkovci Via Ltd.,
    3. Municipality of Irig Tourist Board 

Project duration: 24 months

from December 15th 2019. – December 15th 2021.

Project total value: 1.489.479,43 €

Co-financing: IPA II. fund – 968.161,63 € (65%)

Short overview

Gourmet tourism is an experiential trip to a gastronomic region, for recreational or entertainment purposes, which includes visits to food producers, gastronomic festival, farmers markets, cooking shows, and demonstrations, tastings of quality food products or any tourism activity related to food. In recent years, it has grown considerably and has become one of the most dynamic and creative segments of tourism. Over a third of tourist spending is devoted to food. Furthermore, gourmet tourists have higher than average expenditure. They are demanding and appreciative, and they eschew uniformity. Therefore, gastronomy cannot become a bland and anonymous product; it must have personality, Otherwise it will become vulnerable, de-localized and subject to adulteration. Cross border destinations are not fully aware of the importance of gastronomy, in order to diversify tourism and stimulate local, regional and national economic development. Therefore, the overall project objective is to create a common brand – Eat Pannonia (EP), for the promotion of new developed tourism products. The cuisine of the cross border destinations will be an aspect of utmost importance in the quality of the holiday experience. The project will gather authentic food and recipes, preserve them and disseminate them through two gourmet centers (in Vrdnik and Vinkovci). They will be further promoted with ICT tools. The experience of gastronomic tourism will be the main reason or motivation for visitors to travel to cross border destinations or at least one significant reason. Eat Pannonia will include products that discourse ethical and sustainable values based on the territory, the landscape local culture, local products and authenticity. Tourism, particularly food tourism, will allow rural communities to generate income and employment opportunities locally. Providing jobs for vineyard tour guides or local chefs, while fueling other sectors of the local economy such as agriculture.

Common territorial challenges 

Common gourmet offer leads to overall increase of the attractiveness of CB region, which is why tourism development goes hand in hand with socio-economic enhancement of the certain area. All partners have realized the need to enhance connection between urban area (where tourism flows are concentrated) and the rural areas. As they could positively affect their development, overcome the lack of employability at local level and improve the performance of tourism enterprises, thanks to the higher quality of professional skills. Rural areas are the source of the top quality gourmet products that are not market ready on a global scale. Therefore a Gourmet Center in a well known rural tourism area is recognized as a need of CB region.    

Need for cross border cooperation

Mapping of local resources, identification of authentic food, recipes, events and other assets relevant for development of innovative gourmet offer, a new sustainable niche tourism product will be developed. Despite many territorial challenges, all partners are aware of the fact that tourism, as the most promising economy category, would contribute to the total development of the region. According to that, economic development will be fostered in partners areas, through the intensive promotion of innovative tourism offer, based on protected and mapped authentic resources with common branding solution Eat Pannonia. In that way, valorization and sustainable use of local CB resources is joint solution, for gaining competitiveness of the tourism industry, on local as well as on regional level.