Finding sources of financing for the development of tourist routes serving simultaneously as access roads to fields in The Area of Ambitious Tourism in Poland.
The Area of Ambitious Tourism (AAT) is the area of 12 communes (a written agreement of open character exists between self-governments and commercial entities). The area of AAT is located on the old route connecting Poland with Slovakia, Hungary and the Balkans. The tourism industry has developed strongly in this area, thanks to natural conditions and cultural heritage. AAT focuses on recreating social bonds through student out-of-school tourism in cooperation with commercial tourism. The main product of AAT addressed to tourists is cycling along the designated road routes of individual municipalities and forestry areas. In the assumptions, cycling tourism is put on an equal with ski, foot, and water tourism.
Due to the fact that in the 2014-2020 programming period in the Regional Operational Programme for Podkarpackie Region (co-financed from EU multi-fund ERDF/ESF) there is no possibility of financing bicycle routes, the municipalities included in the AAT group (communes: Besko, Bukowsko, Dębowiec, Dukla, Iwonicz-Zdrój, Jaśliska, Komańcza, Krempna, Nowy Żmigród, Osiek Jasielski, Rymanów, Zarszyn) decided to allocate in every year funds for the construction and maintenance of access roads to fields, which in addition to their main role are also used as bicycle routes. Every years new roads/trails are build.
The signatories of the agreement conduct joint activities aimed at developing the best solutions using the potential and advantages of The Low Beskid.
Finances for the roads/bicycle trails are allocated annually-depending on the financial capacity of the municipality. An estimated amount of 5M PLN is used to connect the roads accessible by bicycles for a complete network. Employees of communities and AAT volunteers are involved in the practice.
Evidence of success
From start this idea the communities - members of AAT have built/have modernized touristic routes of almost 100 km long.
The AAT has developed and published (4000 copies) the map of the eastern part AAT and developed its electronic version for mobile phones. Two further sections are under preparation.
Every year in the AAT are organized about 20 events in mountain biking or trekking with at attendance of 1000 participants each. More than 2000 individual participants use these trails annually.
In the ROP Podkarpackie 2014-2020 there is no possibility to build bicycle trails and universal roads in the rural areas. It was necessary to find sources of financing for building trails in cooperation between municipalities of AAT. It’s important to put these tasks in the EU perspective 2021-2027.
Potential for learning or transfer
The use of the municipalities experience in the field of cooperation and the annual expansion of the access road network to fields/also used as bicycle routes is a good example for learning. In this respect, the most important elements are:
-a way to achieve a joint Agreement AAT,
-identification of problems in the area of the AAT;
-identification of the process of convincing the authorities of several municipalities and private entities to jointly carry out tasks,
-EVA (Economical Value Added) for assessing the economic efficiency of paved sections of forest roads used as part of Active Forest Sharing also for cycling tourism and to determine different prices for the same products addressed to different recipients based on the same infrastructure of the AAT,
-the process of joint efforts to obtain funds and disbursement of funds from the commune budget, the process of acquiring by the signatories of the Agreement extra-budget funds for the implementation of tasks of tourist routes.
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