Coca-Cola Company and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) have announced a joint project to enhance the attractiveness of Lake Vlasina region to tourists. The project is called ‘Vlasina – pure love’ and it involves building 47 kilometers of hiking trails in Serbia.
The municipal administration of Surdulica and the local tourism committee are also taking part in the project. It is aimed at facilitating the economic and social development of Lake Vlasina area while preserving the environment.
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Coca-Cola representatives comment on the joint project
“Lake Vlasina area is a second home in Serbia for us, our rose water spring location, and our pure love. A year ago, we provided training for local entrepreneurs and now we are investing in infrastructure development together with the UNDP. We would like to spread our pure love for the wonderful mountains that tower over Lake Vlasina,” said Natasha Naidanovic, Coca-Cola HBC Serbia Director of Distribution.
She added that one of Coca-Cola’s top priorities is preservation of the Vlasina ecosystem and improvement of the economic conditions in the area as well as in the entire Serbia.
“I firmly believe that the new hiking trails that are going to become available for use next spring will attract a great number of nature lovers visiting Serbia,” said Naidanonic.
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Hiking trails around Lake Vlasina
Mountain trails in the Vlasina area will be built in cooperation with the Serbian Mountain Climbers’ Association. A new 7-kilometer trail will start at the Mountain House information center and go up to the Čemernik peaks. The trail will be designed for families with kids.
There are existing hiking trails in the area leading to Čemernik and Vrtop peaks 40 kilometers long in total. These trails are going to be improved.
The preparatory work has already begun and the construction process is expected to be completed by the spring of 2023. All the 47 kilometers of trails will be plotted on digital maps, which will allow the prospective visitors to access the information about them via the ‘Trails of Serbia’ online platform that has been designed with the UNDP support.
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UNDP representatives comment on the joint project
“The UNDP in cooperation with Coca-Cola and the local authorities supports economic growth and tourism development in the area around Lake Vlasina making Serbia more attractive to foreign tourists. We adhere to the principles of sustainable development and do our best to preserve the environment while improving the business conditions in the region. We hope that the joint project will let many people see the natural beauties of Serbia,” said Yakup Beris, UNDP Resident Representative in Serbia.
“Coca-Cola launched the ‘Vlasina – pure love’ project last year, and we have been in cooperation with the company from the very beginning. Our common goal is to popularize Lake Vlasina and the area around it because this is a true pearl not only of Serbia but also of the entire Balkan Peninsula. Vlasina is a place to visit in the region and we are thankful to all the parties taking part in the joint project”, said Alexandra Popovic, head of Surdulica administration.
She added that investments in the tourist infrastructure in the region would facilitate business and economic development of the Lake Vlasina area. Alexandra hopes that the local hiking trails will be clearly indicated on the maps of Serbia.
‘Vlasina – pure love’ project
Coca-Cola started the project last year to increase the tourist potential of the region. This is where the company has a mineral water factory putting out ‘Rosa Voda’ (Rose Water) bottles.
A year ago, 11 restaurant keepers underwent training courses that allowed them to improve the services that they provide to tourists. The project has been awarded a special prize by Diplomacy & Commerce magazine for its contribution to the development of local business and self-governance.
This year, Coca-Cola continues its cooperation with the UNDP to further contribute to the development of the local communities.
More information about the ‘Vlasina – pure love’ project is available on Facebook and Instagram.
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