The Terebovlyanska urban AH placed a bet on tourism. From the “transit point” on the route to the Ternoil Oblast’s castles, Terebovlya turned into a self-sufficient tourist pearl. The hromada is currently cooperating with tour operators from different parts of Ukraine and invites travelers to various thematic hiking and cycle tours.
Serhii Poperechnyi, head of the Terebovlyanska urban AH of the Ternopil Oblast, told how to develop tourism from scratch, described the reasons for cooperation with other hromadas and the theorem of the demand for cultural services in the “Speakers of Hromadas” UCMC-DOBRE project.
"The first thing that impressed me after the reform was the local budget revenues. Today, having accumulated taxes, we got a powerful budget, which can fund a lot in the villages of our hromada. Of course, it's impossible to repair everything at once, but we received opportunities,” says Serhii Poperechnyi.
In October 2015, 25 villages joined the city of Terebovlya – in total, it is more than 30 000 residents. In addition to the city, two villages are profitable, and the rest are co-financed from the common budget – so the money from the city goes to the villages.
Compared to 2017, the AH budget grew by 17% and amounted to UAH 190 million, of which more than 80 million are hromadas’ own revenues. The AH received UAH 12 million from the State Fund for Regional Development, and almost seven million – as the state assistance for infrastructure development.
The Terebovlyanska amalgamated hromada cooperates with several Polish gminas.
By the way, tourism in Terebovlya began to develop only a few years ago. And now the AH may call itself a tourist hromada.
According to Serhii Poperechnyi, the communal enterprise “Terebovlya Tourist and Information Centre” has been operating in the hromada for already a year and a half. It employs five people. The centre produces its own souvenir products, conducts master classes, night excursions.
“The DOBRE Programme has purchased us bicycles, and we have the opportunity to provide bike tours.”
The main bet, according to Serhii Poperechnyi, is placed on a Ukrainian tourist, but they are also waiting for guests from abroad.
There used to be three hotels in Terebovlya, but now none of them works. However, given the demand among tourists, the hromada is working to ensure that travelers have the opportunity to stay overnight. One private hotel near Terebovlya is under construction. Besides, the AH is developing documentation for the construction of a 70-room hotel in the city.
The youth council, formed 6 years ago, is one of the project drivers in the Terebovlyanska AH.
Here a cultural centres’ renovation system was introduced – four cultural and leisure centres have been established.
“If we had always started from culture, there would have been no war in the east. For some reason culture was always of the last concern. But we were inspired by the youth. When we saw that there were no places to spend leisure time in the villages, we looked at the experience of European countries, and made the same at our own discretion.”
According to Serhii Poperechnyi, hromada has updated the library system, although their internal reform initially caused resistance, in particular, from the oblast. However, nowadays modernised libraries have become an integral part of the cultural and leisure centres.
“The most difficult thing about decentralisation is to make people trust us. They are accustomed to the fact that almost nothing has been done for 25 years. Roofs in schools and kindergartens were leaking, and people did not believe that something could be changed. Large hromada means big problems. But now we have the opportunities to earn and change our hromada,” summed up the head of the Terebovlyanska AH.
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