Posts Tagged rural development,

Partners meeting in Cluj Napoca, Romania

I am delighted to inform you all that we had a sucessful preparatory meeting in the Babes-Bolyai University (BBU), Cluj-Napoca last week and are now busy preparing our Leonardo Partnership Application which needs to be submitted by the 20th February.

 The meeting was productive and positive, with some very good proposals coming forward.  Essentially we have kept the project simple and that we would use this opportunity to work closer together to develop more ambitious plans in the future.  I have outlined the core outcomes and actions which were agreed at the meeting below:

  1. we will submit a Leonardo Partnership Application by 20th February
  2. Project name: ‘Programme for Accreditation of Rural Tourism ‘Train the Trainer’ (Acronym: PART – RTI)
  3. Main Aim of Partnership Project: ‘Accreditation of RTITN Train the Trainer programme in each of the partner countries to meet national standards and to achieve international recognition’
  4. Cavan Monaghan Rural Development (CMRD – Ireland) will be coordinating partner and that the European Centre for Ecological and Agricultural Tourism (ECEAT – Netherlands) will act as supporting partner
  5. the Working language of the partnership is English
  6. We currently have two partners from Ireland and Romania, one from Bulgaria, Germany and the Netherlands

We were treated to wonderful hospitality by all that we met in Romania and also had an opportunity to visit some excellent rural development projects in Transylvania.

I would like to extend my particular thanks to Dr. Silvia Irimiea, Mr. Zoltan Pal from BBU and Ms. Teodora Borghoff for their hospitality and professionalism in organising our meeting.


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‘Train the Trainers’

RTITN is dedicated to developing training materials and programmes which are appropriate for trainers to deliver modules to rural communities, farm families and rural tourism entrepreneurs.  We strive to develop and deliver training which will enable the rural participants to develop and operate successful tourism enterprises.

As Chairperson of RTITN, I have been directly involved in two of the three ‘Train the Trainers’ programmes which we have delivered; firstly as a trainee  in Austria in May 2007 and as a trainer with Michèle Zufferey in Hungary in April 2008.  Both of these training programmes were delivered over five full days and included farm visits to tourism entrepreneurs in the region.  Emphasis is placed on the need to ensure that the trainer has an ability to relate to the needs of the rural participants and to keep them actively engaged in the training.  It is a challenge working with adults as trainees and it is also rewarding to receive comments back from participants whom have put the learning in to practise after returning home.

Trainers visit tourism farm in Kozard, Hungary

Trainers visit tourism farm in Kozard, Hungary

Personally, I enjoy working with the trainers, rural development activists, tourism enterprises, rural communities and all stakeholders in this sector.  Rural Tourism presents an opportunity for communities in rural areas to maintain their farm family and generate an income.  Our approach in delivering the train the trainer programmes is about putting the participants first and ensuring that they gain the knowledge/skills neccessary to acheive success.

As a result of the RTI-TN ‘train the trainers’ programmes we have quailified trainers accross Europe and internationally, whom have been active in delivering this training in their home countries.  This provides RTI-TN with an invaluable human resource, which will form the basis for the further development of our network and to benefit more rural communities everywhere.

RTITN Trainees at Eva Schiffer rural tourism farm in St. Nikolai, Austria

RTITN Trainees at Eva Schiffer rural tourism farm in St. Nikolai, Austria

In 2009, we are working toward gaining accreditation by national bodies and possibilly EU bodies for our training.  Coupled with this we hope to deliver further ‘train the trainers’ programmes.  If you were a participant on one of our ‘Train the Trainer’ programmes, we would like to hear from you.  This may be your opportunity to become active in the Network and we would like to know what you are doing now?

In 2008, we also delivered a training programme in Georgia and I hope to add a post about this course in the coming week.

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Chairpersons Introduction

Ireland since 2003.  

New Chairperson John Toland accepting the tenure from Eva  Scheifer

New Chairperson John Toland accepting the tenure from Eva Scheifer

My name is John Toland and I have been Chairperson of Rural Tourism International Training Network (RTI-TN) since September 2007.  I am employed by Cavan Monaghan Rural Development (CMRD) as a Tourism Development Officer and we have been active members of RTI in


RTI-TN is an association for individual trainers, organisations and institutes dealing with rural tourism training. This permanent European network of trainers has been established for the joint development of training material and the exchange of experience. We have also developed material which is being successfully delivered by a number of organisations throughout the EU.


Within my organisation in Ireland, I utilised the training material and skills acquired from participating in RTI-TN ‘train the trainer’ programmes by adapting the training material to meet the needs of the rural community in my area (Border counties of Ireland and Northern Ireland).  We particularly focused on the training theme; ‘Rural Tourism Marketing & Promotion’ at three different levels including orientation, basic and advanced.  These courses were funded through ‘Border Action’ and I was supported in organising these courses with assistance from my colleague Grainne Curran.


As a result of using established rural tourism entrepreneurs whom were accredited ‘trainers’, the course participants (farm families & communities) gained a better insight in to the realities of developing and managing a rural tourism business.  During each course, we always invited other rural tourism businesses to come in to speak to the participants during the courses which helped to bring a greater sense of realism to the participants. 


I am looking forward to the challenges that 2009 brings in the current economic climate and I am also excited about the opportunities that are ahead for RTITN through various projects that we are now working on.  We are always interested in attracting new members with the aim of improving the delivery of Rural Tourism Trainer for the benefit of rural communities / farms who wish to develop through tourism.


If you want to know more about my work in Ireland please visit my blog dedicated to my work in Ireland  

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