Opening conference in Novi Sad 14th December 2021

The IPA project ELECTRA (Enhancing Long Evolution of Cosmos-inspired Tourist Regional Attraction) was officially opened in the premises of the Department of Physics, Faculty of Sciences, University of Novi Sad. Project leader for Serbian side, prof. dr Dušan Mrđa presented to the attendees the goal of the project, main project activities, as well as the potential for the development of regional tourist attractions inspired by cosmos.

After this introduction, dr Anastazija Stojšić-Milosavljevic, in front of the Provincial Secretariat for Higher Education and Scientific Research suggested several ideas on how to bring the project even closer to citizens of Vojvodina.

Unfortunately, due to complications caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, partners from the Astronomical Observatory in Baja, as well as Andrea Szeti-Furka (Programme Manager, Joint Secretariat) were not able to attend the event.

Led by the Foundation of the Astronomical Observatory from Baja, the project brings together scientific associates and professors from the Faculty of Sciences in Novi Sad, as well as members of the astronomical associations from Novi Sad and Bačka Palanka, in order to use the potential of the region Vojvodina/Bač-Kiskun in terms of the quality of the night sky, natural reserves and cultural heritage and their development into new tourist attractions of this region.

Establishment of a long-term development of tourist offer by incorporating astronomical observations and education in the field of astronomy presents an innovative approach to the development of tourist products in the region. This project will allow visits to cultural and natural heritage sites, as well as preservation of cultural heritage through strengthening the identity of local communities by studying and promoting the history of science and astronomy and cooperation with museums in the border area of Hungary and Serbia. Engagement of citizens in planned activities within the project ensures the participation of different groups of the population and provides equal opportunities for participating in events organized in the program area such as: preparation and launching of meteorological balloons, examining the quality of the night sky and the level of light pollution, studying and promoting the history of science (astronomy and physics) in the areas of Hungary and Serbia, as well as astrophotography exhibitions at different locations in the program area. Also, joint educational programs for tour guides will allow the sustainable development of this special tourist offer.

Project activities include cooperation with tourist organizations, as well as participation in festivals and other events that have touristic significance in this region. Workshops that will aim to point out to the problem of light pollution, as well as astronomical camps on Fruska gora mountain will be also organized in the scope of the project ELECTRA.