Starting from April 2012 the implementation of the cross-border project “Carpathian Culinary Heritage Network” that is co-financed by the European Union within the framework of the Hungary-Slovakia-Romania-Ukraine ENPI Cross-border Cooperation Programme 2007-2013 has started. The Action covers the territory of Ivano-Frankivsk region in Ukraine, Maramures and Satu Mare Counties in Romania, Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg County in Hungary and Kosice Region in Slovakia. The project implementation will last till February 2014. Public organization Tourist Association of Ivano-Frankivsk Region (Ukraine) is the project executor.

On May 5, 2012 the extended meeting of the project Steering Committee was organized in Ivano-Frankivsk. The representatives of the project implementing partners from Ivano-Frankivsk Regional State Administration, Ivano-Frankivsk City Council Executive Committee from Ukraine, Association “EcoLogic”, Technical University Cluj Napoca - North University Center Baia Mare, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Satu Mare County from Romania, Kosice branch of Chamber of Commerce and Industry from Slovakia and Szamos-bazár Association from Hungary as well as experts in the field of tourism, restaurant business and food production, representatives of educational institutions of the target cross-border regions of the project took part in the event. It was attended by Consul General of the Consulate General of Romania in Chernivtsi and First Secretary of Honorary Consulate of the Slovak Republic in Uzhhorod.

During the event project goals and objectives were presented aimed to conserve and popularize the role and range of the different traditional Carpathian food products and cuisines as a catalyst for sustainable regional development and preservation of local cultural heritage. Carpathian Culinary Heritage Network established under the project will bring together dozens of producers of traditional food and business tourism industry representatives from the four countries. The project also anticipates creating the database of businesses that produce traditional food and provide tourist services in targeted regions / countries, introducing quality certification program for network members, publishing the collection of Carpathian recipes that will be available on the network’s web-portal.

The project plans to hold a number of competitions and festivals of regional and international levels (competition for the development of the Carpathian Culinary Heritage Network logo, competition among the students of culinary schools, teachers and educational programs, festivals of culinary heritage). The project team will prepare four integrated tour packages that will be combined into the joint Carpathian Culinary Heritage Trail.

Participation in international tourist shows, creation of promotional publications in different languages and the video film, support to authentic local attractions (culinary and craftsman master classes, etc.) are designed to provide the high start for the Carpathian culinary tourism and sustainability of the project results.

Chairman of the Tourist Association of Ivano-Frankivsk Region, author of the project "Carpathian Culinary Heritage Network," Mrs. Oksana Fedorovych noted that culinary tourism can become a strong impetus for economic development of the project target areas. Every tourist who hunts for gastronomic experiences spends about 1 200 U.S. dollars per trip. It is expected that the conditions for the development of culinary tourism, created by the project, will provide local communities future revenues growth from tourism associated with the culinary traditions.

According to Zsuzsanna Mehesz, senior consultant of the "Szamos-Bazár Association" (Hungary), the project will have public resonance and undeniable success, as its very name is already a brand. The European community definitely welcomes cross-border partnership aiming to preserve and promote culinary heritage.