VIA HANSEATICA PROJECT
VIA HANSEATICA -
Advancing remote areas by development of cross-border VH tourism route on basis of local resources.
Via Hanseatica – it means history, knowledge, culture, good food, atmosphere, friendly people and many other things that make your trip special and unforgettable. These words are the best description of Via Hanseatica tourism route. However, they are not just feelings and emotions; it is also a tourism route that connects several countries and cities - St. Petersburg, Narva/Ivangorod, Tartu, Valga/Valka, Valmiera, Sigulda and Riga. Tourism route includes region's cultural and natural objects in all three countries, highlighting the uniqueness of each country, thus creating particularly attractive tourism destination.
Project “Via Hanseatica”
A large part of territory of Latvia, Estonia and Russia are remote areas. We have heard lots of information about job losses and decreased population in rural areas. Understanding the situation, one of the "Via Hanseatica" challenges is to facilitate Estonian, Latvian and Russian sustainable development of remote areas by full use of Via Hanseatica cross-border tourism route potential.
So far, the tourism potential of the route has not been fully exploited. Therefore, in the coming years, experts and specialists will develop tourism packages for variety of audiences. This will strengthen cooperation between tourism operators, service providers and stakeholders, as well as create tourism destination attractiveness. There is very limited amount of joint tourism product development and marketing actions taking place on Via Hanseatica route, because the key players are scattered along the route and do not have the capacity to plan and carry out larger joint activities.
In the middle of April with a kickoff event, which brought together representatives of all three countries of the project partners and representatives of various institutions, we have started implementation of „Via Hanseatica” project. During next year’s main ambition is to gain higher level of recognition of „Via Hanseatica” as tourism destination and secure productive income source of regions. All this will be done in cooperation of 45 organizations from Estonia, Latvia and Russia.
Successful implementation of the project can happen joining everybody’s efforts and workforce therefore during kickoff event were carried out three workshops in order to find out partners opinion about Via Hanseatica package development and training activities, as well as about Via Hanseatica promotional materials.
Project manager Sille Talvet: „Being with all this people who are so ready to build up Via Hanseatica I believe that Via Hanseatica can have a success story of the Skype. Meaning good quality product with excellent brand and used by everybody”.
The project implementation period is from January 2012 till December 2014 with total budget over 1.8 million euros of which 90% are financed by Estonia - Latvia - Russia Cross Border Cooperation Programme. Estonia - Latvia - Russia Cross Border Cooperation Programme within European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument 2007 - 2013 financially supports joint cross border development activities for the improvement of the region's competitiveness by utilising its potential and beneficial location on the crossroads between the EU and Russian Federation. The Programme web-site is www.estlatrus.eu.