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ERDF 205: Regenerating Balzan Square and Implementing a Tourist Heritage Trail

Project Cost: €387,269
Beneficiary: Hal Balzan Local Council
Line Ministry: Ministry for Justice, Culture and Local Government
Start Date: 2011
End Date: 2014

Non Technical Short Summary Of Project

The project aimed to attract tourists to the core of Hal Balzan with a view to enhance the village characteristics as well as the creation of a heritage trail within the village core .

Operational Programme: OPI Investing in Competitiveness for a Better Quality of Life ERDF
Fund: European Regional Development Fund
Operational Objective: To support the upgrading of the tourism product;
Priority Axis: PA2 Promoting Sustainable Tourism
Focus Area Of Intervention: OPIPA2 Product Development
Focus Area of Intervention: OPIPA2 Niche Market Development and Branding

Project Objectives

The Local Council of Balzan is aiming at reviving the authenticity and traditional characteristics of this village which have been lost in some areas especially in the village core. The Local Council is aiming at achieving such final targets through the following objectives: 1. Increase in the number of tourists visiting the locality of al Balzan, through the establishment of a tourist heritage trail as well as the regeneration of Balzan Village Square which will permit more cultural activities to be organised; 2. Increase in pedestrian walkways for tourists to enjoy the local cultural ambience;3. Better promotion of local cultural monuments and attractions through the use of a heritage map and appropriate informative signage across the locality;4. Increase in knowledge and appreciation of the Maltese culture and traditions;5. Encouraging more social interaction between tourists and locals through the implementation of cultural activities;6. To promote the best possible environment to ensure an increase in commercial activity as well as employment in the locality;7. Ensuring the preservation and conservation of cultural sites and places of interest in Hal Balzan.

Project Results

* Increasing the number of tourists visiting the San Anton Gardens (a cultural attraction that will be included in the tourist heritage trail) by 10% per annum.The Hal Balzan Local Council has conducted a tourist survey in May 2011 over a 3-day period at San Anton Gardens on a sample of 316 tourists. The current tourist levels in San Anton amount to an average of 100 tourists per day. The Hal Balzan Local Council envisages that per annum, upon project completion, there will be an annual increase of 3,650 tourists at San Anton Gardens. (The Council will seek to measure such developments through the use of annual surveys carried out by the Hal Balzan Local Council employees, i.e. in the same manner in which results were collected prior to the submission of this application for funding). * Increase in tourist satisfaction visiting the Balzan village core. (The Council will seek to measure such developments through the use of surveys to examine the current tourist satisfaction level and post-project completion). Taking into consideration the levels of tourist satisfaction level (0 Very Poor, 1 Fair, 2 Good, 3 Very Good, 4 Excellent.). The Hal Balzan has conducted a tourist survey in May 2011 over a 2-day period on a sample of 29 tourists (14 males and 15 females), The current tourist satisfaction levels which have been measured are at Level 2 (Good). It is being envisaged that, post-project completion the Local Council will continue to make use of this survey so as to determine the tourist satisfaction levels. The Local Council is aiming at increasing the level of tourist satisfaction level to Level 3 (Very Good), post project completion. * The number of cultural activities in the Balzan village core shall be increased by 1 cultural event per annum after the first year of the project completion.