In the hostels in the area of Gostivar, a phenomenon is happening: the guests are staying longer than planned. it seemed impossible so we decided to check for ourselves. The day of our visit was Friday, for some the start of the weekend and for others the start of the busiest period of the week. We are visiting the “Tivko Katche” restaurant which tradition dates for more than half a century. After we crossed the river Vardar, on the left side of the street, on the western bank, we saw the insignia ‘Tivko katche”… several meters down the road and we came across a traditional house that is typical for the area.

Even though the upper floors are renovated, the first floor is a restaurant decorated with various traditional items that are unique for the Gostivar area. There’s the traditional clothing that was worn by Biljana’s grandmother, who runs the business she inherited from her father. She learned the cooking skills that are characteristic for this area from him. The traditional dishes that are served at “Tivko katche” leave food lovers breathless and everyone wants to try everything.

Biljana wasn’t alone. Several of her friends have arrived and all of them work in the restaurant and tourism sector.

Goce and Zaklina Mateski are professional beekeepers from the village of Zubavce and they plan to take part in the promotion of tourism through the package for a practical and active promoting of the process of beekeeping for all interested in. They are ready to adapt rooms for visitors.

In the end, we are joined by SKi Hut owners, Dimitar and Kosima, who has left Germany for the beauties in the Mavrovo area. They are using IT technology to attract tourists. Still, one of the main problems is how to entertain the tourists in order for their stay to be prolonged.

That is why they are intrigued and are interested in the idea of creating joint products with the members of the network as part of the Project for strengthening innovative tourism – STEP that is financed by the European Union, and is implemented by the Foundation for internet and society Metamorphosis, along with the Centar for the regional development of Polog and the Council from the Elbasan area from Albania.

The project’s goal is to promote an energetic tourism sector that will be efficiently adapted to the needs of the domestic and international markets and will contribute to speeding up the growth and the stimulation of opening new jobs in the cross-border tourist zone between Macedonia and Albania in the areas of Gostivar and Elbasan.

The municipality of Gostivar will provide information, expertise, and experience, and it will instigate all small and medium-sized enterprises and all interested parties to actively contribute to the realization of the project’s goals.

The project is financed by the European Union’s Program for a cross-border collaboration (IPA 2).