Connecting attractions and cultural and historic POI's into a single, marketable experience in the Kőszeg mountains and hills at the Austrian-Hungarian border.
Long-distance hiking is a developing branch of sustainable tourism, for which the border region has good natural and cultural endowments. The special geographic location has made it possible to create and manage a unique nature experience and panorama path from the feet of the Alps to the Hungarian Plain (the alpannonia® name derives from the combination of the names of these two regions). The project aim was to develop a cross-border long-distance route, to develop the same quality & unique tourism offer along it. The 1st step of implementation was to define and signpost the 150 km long main route and the side roads; to create hiking gates and places for resting and recreation. In addition to infrastructure development a tour guide training took place; there were also awareness-raising actions to make involved settlements, the general public and local businesses more receptive to the trail and hiking tourism in general. Furthermore marketing and publicity campaigns were undertaken, in order to strenghten networking and to create an attractive ovarall image for the route. In order to improve the created product, a new project (alpannonia® plus) has been launched, activities include the optimization and extension of the route itinerary, the establishment of a long-term strategy for route operation, qualification of the route service providers along the trail based on jointly developed criteria.
More info: ThreeT project IE website, Library section, Study Visit Report Hungary.
A mix of HR inputs provided by partners and stakeholders (tourism&hiking experts, municipal leaders, nature protection exp.) & monetary resources from EU and local funding: Alpannonia total budget: 2.238.101 € - Hungarian part: 988.101 € - ERDF: 1.313.310 € (Cross-border Coop. Prog. AT-HU 2007-2013)
Evidence of success
A cross border hiking route developed and managed by partners from 2 countries (Austria, Hungary).
The favorable features of the route: spectacular landscape, it follows the mountain ridges all along, not difficult to complete, connects to many cultural and natural attractions and experiences.
Attractiveness of the concept connected to the route: the main focuses of the experience are the original and unique regional features (crossing borders, local flavors, cultures, regional character).
The joint management of the road is not effective so far.
There is less demand on the Hungarian side where the related marketing activity is weaker.
The practice of cooperation between service providers is not working perfectly yet.
Potential for learning or transfer
Integration of nature specificities, physical and information resources, tourism services, and cultural values into one unified tourism product, and the operability of management tools which support it.
- Clear and positive vision, well defined route with extensive physical infrastructure and connecting attractions; active and committed partners - Networking between a large number of different actors.
- Well-planned processes, but the implementation is still in progress, further development is needed.
- The existence of the road and the possibility to connect to it, are useful factors of encouragement for local ecotourism initiatives.
- The development of a QR code information system, with visible and downloadable information supplement for the visible landscape and sights for the hikers can be considered as an innovative solution.
- In those circumstances where very different conditions (border area, different terrains, multilinguality) has to be handled jointly and effectively.
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