The overall objective of the project was to improve conditions for sustainable water tourism development and to increase competitiveness of water tourism.
Existing water tourism offers were limited to local market and concentrated in most popular areas, but the number of rivers suitable for boating was larger. As it's possible to boat from early spring til late autumn, the project addresses also the problem of seasonal tourism. The project was prepared in cooperation with municipalities, tourism entrepreneurs, tourism experts. Discussions were organized to identify problems and find proposals for establishment of new tourism products alongside rivers of Vidzeme. The negative impacts and load on nature resources resulting from increased tourism flow was taken into account. Wise management and necessary infrastructure in order to ensure sustainable use of resources was planned. Project had 3 main fields of action: 1) Product development and quality raising through experience exchange, expeditions and identification of new products and businesses. 2) Improvement of water tourism related infrastructure – revitalizing rivers through cleaning, establishment of resting areas, floating bridges, footways and footbridges. 3) Targeted marketing strategy.
A Handbook for water tourism service providers with suggestions for quality service provision and establishment of a competitive company was prepared, as well as an informative boating routes planner and informative materials on water tourism possibilities in several languages. Main beneficiaries are: nature and active tourists, fishermen, boating tourism operators and other stakeholders
Total budget for implementation of project - 2 168 674, 70 EUR
Evidence of success
Main results: 15 new or improved joint tourism products or services. 300 local tourism entrepreneurs improved the business environment. A lot of rivers in Latvia and Estonia were vitalized and made suitable for boating. Water tourism was promoted as active tourism component within Latvia and Estonia domestic market, also in Lithuania, Russia, Germany, Finland. Tourism entrepreneurs are using the routes and river maps in their tourism offer. Boating season has been extended.
Implementation went smoothly and successfully. Some activities planned had to be postponed due to nature protection restrictions, for example cleaning of rivers couldn't be implemented during fish spawning. Additional time resources had to be spent for communication with private property owners.
Potential for learning or transfer
Public and private partnership:
Cooperation with local governments, tourism service providers and private owners allows for significant and tangible results.
Versatile and motivated team:
The project results are closely related to professional knowledge, interested and enthusiastic partners.
Individual approach and communication:
Entrepreneurs are interested in preparation of precise information about those river stages where they provide their services. More ideas and proposals are expressed during a direct conversation. It is advisable to commence cooperation with private owners timely, precisely determining activities in private territories or next to them, coordinating such activities individually.
Cooperation between neighboring countries:
General public was involved with the campaign “River Berry”.Participants of the campaign who had completed at least one boating route in Latvia and one route in Estonia had a chance to win valuable prizes.
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