• In the framework of the European Territorial Cooperation Program Greece-Bulgaria 2007-2013, I.E.E. is a partner in the Project: “LOFT – Local Products Festivals and Tourism Development in Cross-border Cooperation Greece-Bulgaria”.

    Brief Description:

    Local fairs/ trade shows associated with local products are significant cultural ‘assets’ of the cross-border region of Greece-Bulgaria.

    They can contribute substantially in the preservation & promotion of traditional products, related production methods & infrastructure/equipment. Consequently, they consist part of the local cultural identity, an essential element of the branding & originality of each region, and function as poles of tourist attraction.

    However, currently, such events are rather poorely publicised, while the cross-border region lacks coordination initiatives that can jointly promote, reinforce and further develop such local trade shows.

    In this context, today there is an opportunity for both enhancing cooperation between local products’ trade shows in the region, and further developing tourism through these events. LOFT addresses this opportunity by proposing the development and coordination of local trade shows in the cross-border region.


    • School of Economics Science-Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece (Lead Partner)
    • Business & Exhibition Research and Development Insitute (IEE), Thessaloniki, Greece  (Partner)
    • Municipality of N. Zihni, Nea Zihni, Greece (Partner)
    • South-West University “Neofit Rilski”, Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria (Partner)
    • Association of Eco Nevrokop, Gotse Delcev, Bulgaria (Partner)
    • Decentralised Administration Macedonia – Thrace (Partner)


    • Total Budget: 515.220 €

    The project serves a dual purpose:

    • To promote and reinforce local trade shows, directly linked to local production, by building on synergies between existing local trade shows and implementing a set of actions to form & sustain a network of trade shows organisers.
    • To further promote local/ traditional products. In this respect, the project examines ways to protect and promote traditional products and production through a road show travelling in the local trade shows of the region and through joint activities including a contest on local trade shows and products (as a joint pilot).

    To achieve the above purpose the project sets the following specific objectives:

    • To map and assess the impact of existing cultural events (directly linked to local products)
    • To identify other traditional/ local products & resources comprising part of the cultural identity of the region and suggest alternatives on how these can be promoted under existing or new local fairs/ trade shows.
    • To bring together organisers of existing local trade shows, and invite other interested parties (e.g. local authorities, chambers, etc.); especially those involved in projects in the fields of tourism & culture.
    • To identify & assess synergies and collaboration potential between the above actors/ parties.
    • To design & operate a multilingual web-portal for local trade shows incorporating an advanced web-GIS tool to allow easy interaction with the user
    • To set and organise a (travelling) road show (promotion stands), promoting the network of local trade shows and the related traditional and/ or local products and production processes

    To organise a cross-border network of local fairs’ organisers and conduct a master plan providing for sustainability & reinforcement of local events