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Cluster of Cultural Routes

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General Information
The date when the cluster organisation was established: 
Friday, 8 February, 2013
Number of staff in the management team of the cluster organisation : 
Region of Vojvodina
Membership to other networks/partnerships: 
Cluster Management Team: 
Cluster Manager
Languages spoken: 
Sectoral and Industrial Focus
Sectoral Industries: 
Hospitality and Tourism
Technology fields: 
Creative products
Creative services
S3 EU priority areas: 
Amusement & recreation activities
Support to link cultural & creative industries to traditional industries
Emerging industries: 
Creative Industries
Experience Industries
Areas of specialisation of the cluster not covered above: 
Cultural Routes
Composition of the cluster
Total number of members: 
Number of SME members: 
Number of larger company members: 
Number of research organisations/universities/technology centres: 
Number of other ecosystem actors : 
Entrepreneurship and scale-up support facilities in the cluster's ecosystem (see "Organisation type"): 
Name and link of major players: 
Nikola Tesla Museum
Research Organisation
Singidunum University
Center for Study in Cultural Development
Research Organisation
Department of Geography, Tourism and Hotel Management, University of Novi Sad
Panacomp Wonderland Travel
School of Electrical Engineering
University Library “Svetozar Markovic”
Research Organisation
Glob Metropoliten Tours
Adrenalin Escape Rooms
Gegula Ethno Center
Higher Vocational College for Hospitality and Tourism Bled
Hotel Tesla
Tesla Science Foundation
Maribor Tourist Board
Balkan Magnet Souvenirs
Hotel Industrial
LINK group
Larger Company
Cluster Strategy

The Cluster of Cultural Routes was founded as a new destination marketing and management organisation, with the aim of realizing goals and objectives in the sphere of the creation and development of cultural routes. These are, more specifically, conceived as a product of cultural tourism that thematically ties attractions and destinations to each other and set up with the specific aim of generating SMEs.

The goals of the organization are:

  • The production and realization of specific cultural-tourist products, the branding of certain spheres through the project “cultural routes,” and the positioning of cultural routes on the world’s tourism market;
  • Sustainable development and promotion of cultural heritage. To encourage an awareness of the necessity of its preservation and its placement on the tourist market in order to promote cultural and economic development of entire regions;
  • Interdepartmental and inter-sector connectivity, promoting cooperation and networking in the fields of culture, education, science, tourism, and economics;
  • The encouragement of intercultural dialogue and the preservation of cultural diversity; the development of creative industries, and the development of a chain of thematically-connected products and services;
  • The organization of activities aimed toward the rehabilitation of depressed regions, and public advocacy that targets habits and approaches regarding the use and preservation of cultural heritage and natural resources;
  • The promotion of science, the improvement of education through informal learning;
  • The improvement of environmental protection and exploitation of renewable energy sources.
Do you have a formalised strategy?: 
Do you have a specific strategy focus that addresses internationalisation ?: 
Support services provided: 
Direct advisory services
Facilitation of collaboration between members
Facilitation of cross-sectorial cooperation
Trend-scouting (Ideas for innovative projects)
Promotion of activities (marketing/ visibility)
Cooperation Activities
International Cooperation
The main countries addressed by the cluster organisation outside Europe: 
United States
Our cluster organisation undertook the following international activities to support our members: 
Participation at missions/events/study visits/fairs
European Cooperation
The main countries addressed by the cluster organisation in Europe: 
United Kingdom
Our cluster organisation undertook the following activities in Europe to support our members: 
Promotional Activities
Support Programmes
Participation in Funded Support Programmes: 
Project NameLinkName & Description (Regional/National)

1. Tesla Ways

Nikola Tesla, one of the greatest inventors and scientists of all times, was born as a son of a Serb Orthodox priest in the village of Smiljan in Austria-Hungary (present-day Croatia). The Nikola Tesla Museum in Belgrade is well known to many as a unique cultural and scientific institution, because it is the only one in the world that curates Tesla’s legacy, which is under UNESCO protection, and even Tesla’s urn and ashes.

Also, thanks to the Nikola Tesla and his friendship with other scientists form the Balkans, an incredible feat was achieved: Serbia and Croatia built their first hydroelectric plants only a few years after Tesla’s at Niagara Falls. For Balkans at the time, electric energy seemed to be a reflection of a distant, advanced world, and hydroelectric power plants were considered “fantastic miracles”. Today Croatia has one and Serbia even ten small, well-preserved, functioning hydroelectric power plants, almost completely untouched by the time that has passed since they were first built. They are small living museums.

These plants are situated in a pristine natural setting — frequently hidden from view — surrounded by rapids, waterfalls, rare plant and animal life, all of which seem almost unreal.

Through collaboration with other countries where Tesla lived and worked - Slovenia, Austria, Czech Republic, France, the route has a great potential to grow into a significant international cultural route.

The cultural route Tesla Ways could be a good example of a project which has been successful in bringing different domains together: culture, science, education, tourism and economics, but it should also work actively to integrate local communities in the further sustainable development and preservation of industrial landscapes. It also promotes the idea of respect for the environment.

2. Dragon Routes

Serbian, Bulgarian, Macedonian and maybe Albanian dragon isn’t a huge reptile or lizard that blows fire. 2.It has head of a rooster or a ram, and can resemble a snake or carp. Also, it can appear as a man with small hidden wings under its arms. In the Balkans folk tradition, dragons are mostly good creatures and help people. All of them have one unique characteristic and shortcoming, at the same time they are big lovers. When they are in love, they forget their basic duty – to protect fields from bad weather that could ruin crops. 3.And that is maybe the reason why today in the Balkans area there are a lot of folk tales about sons of dragons. Lots of medieval heroes from Kosovo epic cycle and lots of haiduks were presumed to be sons of dragons. 4.Therefore, some of them were the knights in the famous Order of Dragon founded by Hungarian king Singismund. Rumanian Count Dracula was son of dragon too. 5.There was a belief that a lot of important persons, Greece and Roman rulers, were sons of a dragon or a snake: Alexander the Great, for example. With Christianization, that picture was changed. The snake and the dragon became, as a symbol of paganism, negative figures that embody the enemy and evil. The seven heads of dragon turned into deadly sins.

The legends of dragons are one of the valuable regional cultural heritage topic which could be developed into attractive tourist adventures in the region. The Dragon Route links fortresses, as well as other cities with stories about dragons and sons of dragons, monasteries and other landmarks, that preserved such kind of legends. History, mythology, folk tales and epic poems, tangible and intangible heritage, can be included in the Dragon Route. A lot of towers and mountains are places for flying paragliders and tourists can also make the dream of flying like the dragons.

3. Mining Route. The Balkans: Cradle of Metallurgy

It was surprised when the result of laboratory tests at the institutes of arheometallurgy in UK showed the territory of the Balkans had been cradle of world metallurgy. The first metal melting began 7.000 years ago in the village Veliko Laole, in Eastern Serbia. The ore was dug out at a nearby mine Rudna glava, and it was believed that the Pločnik, the site of today’s Prokuplje, city in the South Serbia, was a kind of prehistoric large industrial center. With interesting old mining shafts, in which you can even get in, mining towns with mining museums and, quite unusual, underground Mining Cafes, we get an incredible journey through mining development from prehistoric times to the present day. And it is possible only in the Balkans region.

So far the sponsors of the project the Cluster of Cultural Routes have been the Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunication - Republic of Serbia, the Ministry of Culture - Republic of Serbia, Electric Power Industry of Serbia, Schneider Electric and Trizma, the Municipality of Golubac - Republic of Serbia, and the means for the Cluster have been provided by the members through financing various projects, providing services or by means of annual membership fees.

Success Story / Achievements: 

- Small, a century old hydroelectric power stations Saint Petka nearby Nis and Vucje nearby Leskovac (Serbia), as well as the premises of the School of Electrical Engineering, the University of Belgrade, were for the first time in their history open to visitors in 2014. The Cluster of Cultural Routes took part in the manifestation European Heritage Days in 2013 and 2015, organising free tours to the premises of the School of Electrical Engineering.

- For the first time in Serbia's history, a museum document has been brought to live in a hotel in Serbia - a Tesla menu, a menu that had been in the Museum of Nikola Tesla, made as a gesture of respect and honour to Nikola Tesla in 1899 in Chicago. Tourists have an opportunity to try the meals from the menu in the Square Nine Hotel in Belgrade.

- The entire Tesla Ways route was presented in 2014, 2015, 2016. as a unique scientific and tourist product of Serbia, on tourism fairs in Belgrade and Nis, London, Berlin and Moscow.

- The Tesla Ways had one regular shared event - Tesla Day that binds the work of the network together and gives a shape and an additional reason for the network. On Tesla's birthday, for the first time in 2014 we organised a manifestation Tesla day Serbia wide. The manifestation was organized by the members of the Cluster of Cultural Routes, joined by many other institutions and companies. On that very day various exhibitions, performances, workshops, experiments, lectures, roundtables and other events inspired by Tesla and his life, by Djordje Stanojevic, the time of electrification and industrialisation were organised in 10 cities in Serbia. The programmes were free of charge, but in cooperation with Red Cross we raised funds and means for flood-stricken areas. The manifestation Tesla Days held in 2015 lasted for a week, from 6 to 12 July, and Tesla's birthday, Science Day and International Year of Light - 2015 were commemorated throughout Serbia. Tesla Days 2015 encompassed a variety of mostly free-of-charge programmes and were organised simultaneously in 12 cities and places in Serbia, occupying around 30 locations. Special events in honour of Tesla were organised by numerous members of the Cluster. In 2016, when we marked 160 years since Tesla’s birth and an entire month – July – to that cause, was the month of Tesla Ways. The event attracted a significant amount of media coverage.

- Thanks to the cooperation between the members of the Cluster, travel agencies nowadays offer travel tours along Tesla Ways Routes (ranging from walking tours to eight days on Tesla Ways Route through Serbia), organised by the members of the Cluster – Glob Metropoliten and Panacomp.

- The appearance of first souvenirs from Tesla Ways Route marked 2015, thanks to Balkan Magnet Souvenirs, a firm from Nis, having joined the Cluster. Tesla Ways t-shirts can be purchased on the key tourist points, on Nikola Tesla Airport, in Tourism Organisation of Serbia as well as in tourist information centres of other organisations and institutions in Serbia.

- In addition, another project of the Cluster – Dragon Routes has assumed its visualidentity in 2015, and a great number of valuable traditions of Northeast Serbia has been collected and will be presented and available through a mobile phone application, on the websites and social network profiles of the Cluster of Cultural Routes, The City of Golubac Fortress, the National Library of Golubac, the Municipality of Golubac.

- As regards Mining Route, the directors of mines in Serbia, the representatives of the Balkan Cult and the Cluster of Cultural Routes spent some time in Idrija, Labin and Trbovlje as a part of research travel in June 2014. They got more familiar with the industrial heritage of Slovenia and Croatia, and they also became aware of the opportunities for using abandoned mines and putting them to cultural-tourist use, as well as for promoting science.

- Having been invited by the Municipality of Kreševo (Bosnia and Herzegovina), the Cluster represented its project of the development of the Mining Route in Kresevo, meeting potential partners in thisonce mining town that boasts great mining heritage. Through cross-border cooperation projects, Kreševo is directed towards Serbia and it is very important for the town to form a partner relationship with the Cluster. 

- The Cluster and its projects have caught the attention of the media that has been following the events eagerly, but the Cluster has drawn the attention of Europe. In 2013, being invited by CEI, we presented the projects of the development of the cultural routes and the Cluster concept in Sarajevo. In 2016, we presented the Tesla Ways, but also the Cluster of Cultural Routes as innovative model of cultural routes network governance in Paris, at the Sorbonnne University (https://gouvernance.sciencesconf.org/data/pages/Programme_Colloque_sur_la_gouvernance_touristique.pdf, https://www.univ-paris1.fr/fileadmin/IREST/Colloques/2016-colloque_Rivi%C3%A8res/Resumes-FINAL.pdf).

Why should partners choose you for cooperation?: 

On the one side, the members of the Cluster have the right to use the logo of the Cluster in all means of communication with business partners and the public, but also the logo and the visual identity of the route within which they offer special products or services, strictly complying with the Book of Standards. On the other side, the Cluster is obliged to present the logo of a member to the Cluster on the website, as well as to provide for appropriate presentation of its members, their products or services that are directly related to the thematic routes that the Cluster is developing, on the websites of those cultural routes and in all publications. Members could be provided with professional advice and basic free-of-charge consulting services of the Cluster Management with the aim of introducing innovations, setting or branding their products or services within a cultural route; they also have the right to be provided assistance in promoting those products or services.

Specific products or services designed to meet the needs of a corresponding cultural route may be offered to third parties by the members, but not without previous agreement with the Board of Directors of the Cluster. The members have the right to privileged prices of all the products and services formed within a cultural route. Also, 5% of the sale of a thematic product or service returns to the Cluster for further investments into the project, irrespective of whether the products or the services are provided and sold by the members of the Cluster or third parties, except in case when the Board of Directors of the Cluster has found a buyer or has arranged the services – in such cases, 10% returns to the Cluster for the further development of the project. It is very important issue because can provide self-sustainability of the Cluster in the future.