We present opportunities for the development of alternative cultural tourism related to urban markets.

In our new project we will talk about the markets in Plovdiv and for the first time we will focus on their cultural heritage and how they can be part of cultural tourism in the city.

Markets represent the living culture of people and places. They are a kind of “living museums” representing the cultural heritage and the peculiarities of the various communities consolidated around them. The market is not just a place for commerce and trade, but a space for socializing and meeting point for interaction between different social, cultural and religious groups. Even today, despite being physically transformed, upgraded or newly built, markets keep and maintain specific practices and knowledge that are passed down through the generations.

Until now, Plovdiv has not presented the cultural heritage of the markets as an opportunity for alternative cultural tourism in the city. The commercialization of modern market relations, the increasing frequency of online shopping, which is gradually displacing people’s contact with the market, as well as its transformation into a marketplace threaten the vitality and sustainability of the living culture of people and markets.

Endangered knowledge, skills and practices in selected markets in Plovdiv will be studied, with a focus on culture. The results will be articles and systematized materials published in a free bilingual guide, which will also be available online. Local partner organizations from various fields will be involved in the promotion. A public event is also planned, which will present the results through the method of storytelling.

The project is funded by the National Cultural Fund and is implemented in partnership with the foundation “Localfood.bg” in the face of the Farmer’s Market “Pendara”, Tourism Council – Plovdiv, “Ariva Travel” and the Faculty of Philosophy and History of Paisii Hilendarski University.