The first meeting of partners in the Erasmus + KA203 project – Strategic Partnerships for higher education Towards smart rural tourism development in Europe (acronym SMARTRURAL) took place at Eskisehir Osmangazi Universitesi in Turkey from 7th to 10th of November. The meeting was attended by representatives of 7 Universities, including: Eskisehir Osmangazi University (Turkey), Vytautas Magnus University (Lithunia), Unipegaso (Italy), University of Ljubljana (Slovenia), University of Economics in Prague (Czech Republic), University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn (Poland) and Alicante University (Spain).
The project, which has a 24-month implementation period, aims to create the training content required for developing smart applications and creating smart business models in rural tourism destinations. It is important to build an open training platform that will support the development of rural areas.
On the first day, all partners presented the profile of their universities and scope of activity in the project during a meeting with the authorities, employees and students of the host university. The meeting was attended by the Rector Prof. Dr. Kamil Çolak, Vice Rector Professor Dr. Rifat Edizkan and Dean of the Faculty of Tourism, Professor Dr. Yasar Sari, who is also the responsible person for the project from the Turkish side. After the official presentation, representants of consortium worked on a plan for future project activities. On the second day, the partners visited the Municipality of Inönü, where they met with Mayor Kadir Bozkurt and had a short visit to the touristic destinations. After meeting with officials they started discussing individual activities and setting priorities for the next reporting period in the project. During the meeting, it was also agreed that the next meeting would take place at the end of March 2020 at the University of Ljubljana (Slovenia).