About this good practice
The partnership cooperation of 5 regions of Eastern Poland (EP) is to serve the development of a tourist product which is the Eastern Bicycle Trail-Green Velo-the first Polish tourist product on such a large scale (over 2000 km route). Maintaining uniform standards for this network product requires cooperation and integration of activities between many stakeholders. Cooperation takes place on many levels, including on the interregional level. The specificity of the product, its complexity, the area covered by its functioning and a large number of components being the subject of the offer for cycling tourists makes it necessary to involve many partners at each stage of product development.
In order to maintain the continuous development of the Route, conduct the coordinated promotion and strengthen the reputation of the Route brand, a cooperation agreement was signed between 5 regions of EP: regions support and finance joint promotional activities of the Route. The agreement is updated annually. The promotion of the Green Velo Trail includes a joint, comprehensive presentation of the offer at tourism fairs, domestic and foreign events, printing promotional publications, running a joint promotional campaign (e.g. on the websites of the largest daily newspapers in Poland), promotion on social media (Fb, YT), application updates on smartphones. The goal of the cooperation is also to develop solutions for maintaining the infrastructure of the route after the project's durability.
One representative of Marshal Office from each region is involved in the implementation of the partnership agreement. These people meet periodically. In the budgets of regions – partners of the agreement, funds for joint promotion are provided. In 2019, 0,5 milion PLN was allocated for this purpose.
Evidence of success
In 2018 year, over 410K tourists have visited trail, over 500K tourists use reservation and information system annually. The trail has won many awards e.g: special prize Bike Expo Fair Kielce 2017 for the longest Polish trail; certificate of Polish Tourism Organization for The Best Tourist Product 2016; nominated for the cycling route of the year in the Netherlands 2018 „Fietsroute van het Jaar”; honorable mention Festival of Tourism Gdańsk 2015; honorable mention “Ambassador of The East" 2019.
Potential for learning or transfer
The Eastern Green Bicycle Trail is the longest, consistently marked bicycle trail in Poland. This is over 2,000 km of the route with 228 MORs, i.e. Places Friendly to Cyclists - places where cyclists can rest. The uniqueness and diversity of the regions through which the trail leads emphasizes tourist attractions (including natural and historical). The creation of a long-distance cycling route and its joint promotion by 5 regions self-governments shows the ability to cooperate with these entities in the implementation of a complex project. An area of knowledge transfer can also be a developed system of cooperation between partners in the field of promotion and mechanisms for continuous improvement of the quality of undertaken activities (e.g. regular meetings, workshops, conferences, study visits, etc.). The strategy of the Green Velo trail brand and modern promotional methods of the Green Velo route may also be a potential for learning.