LLI-010 INTRODUCING NATURE TOURISM FOR ALL (UniGreen)

 

PROJECT OBJECTIVE
To facilitate the development of nature tourism in border regions of Latvia and Lithuania, by improving infrastructure and tourism products, i.a. adapting them to people with disabilities.

PROJECT IMPLEMENTATION PERIOD

1 May 2017 – 30 April 2019

PROJECT FINANCING
1 176 867,14 EUR (including funding of the European Regional Development Fund 1 000 337,07 EUR)

PROJECT PARTNERS
Kurzeme plannning region, www.kurzemesregions.lv ;
Directorate of Aukstaitija National Park and Labanoras Regional Park, www.anp.lt
Directorate of Biržai Regional Park, www.birzuparkas.lt
Durbe County Municipality, www.durbe.lv
Administration of Kretinga District Municipality, www.kretinga.lt
Kuldīga County Municipality, www.kuldiga.lv
Roja County Municipality, www.roja.lv
Saldus County Municipality, www.saldus.lv
Skrunda County Municipality, www.skrunda.lv
Ventspils County Municipality, www.ventspilsnovads.lv
Directorate of Žemaitija National Park, www.zemaitijosnp.lt

PROJECT SUMMARY

The Project focuses on facilitating sustainable tourism in border regions and Latvia and Lithuania to stabilise and increase the number of visitors and overnight stays in the region by:
1.      new tourism products and improvement of existing by promoting them and making them more accessible for all travellers;
2.      appropriate marketing activities promoting project territory as a single destination for diverse nature experience (guides, maps, web);
3.      management of nature objects (investments (3 watching towers, 7 pontoon piers, 19 info stands, 1 parking lot, 3 resting areas, 6 walking trails equipped with various edutainment elements) in 10 nature territories, incl. 5 within NATURA 2000 and near them);
4.      paying attention to products for people with disabilities (infrastructure improvements as well as info in Braille and audio solutions);
5.      supporting local business and development of qualitative environment for living and work of different social groups, incl. with disabilities.The uniqueness of the project is to develop the accessibility to nature objects for travellers with disabilities.

The project Directorate of Zematija national park will aim to establish:

  • reconstraction of Plateliai lake viewing platform (1), information stands (9) in Braille script and other stands installation (9 units), visitor counter (1);
  • organization of Conference about tourism sector’s adaptation for disabled people (1)
  • preparation of trail maps (4), leaflets (1) and souvenirs (postcards)
  • Tour guide trainings (2)
  • Experience exchange visit to Finland, participation in project events

LINKS TO ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Head of visitor service department – Rovena Augustinė (ph. +370 659 81609; e -mail Rovena.augustine@zemaitijosnp.lt)

Deputy head of Finance and General support department  – Paulius Mika (ph. +370 677 86345; e-mail Paulius.mika@zemaitijosnp.lt)

Latvia – Lithuania Cooperation Programme webpage www.latlit.eu

http://www.europa.eu/

* The Project description has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union. The contents of the description are the sole responsibility of Directorate of Zemaitija national park  and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union.

Activities which have taken place (information updated regularly):

    1. Experience exchange visit to Finland for project partners. During the visit partners visited Finish national parks, reserves, various tourism objects which are adapted for people with disabilities. More information: Geroji Suomijos patirtis.
    2. Plateliai Lake viewing platform renovation works started to adapt it for people with disabilities. Date: from 1st of August, 2017 till the end of February, 2018. More information: Darbai vyksta.
    3. An international conference “Accessible Nature Tourism” were organized on October 19-20, 2017.
    4. Project partners participated in the project management meeting in Usma on 8-9th of November, 2017.
    5. Plateliai Lake viewing platform renovation works have been completed and information stands have been built, one of which is tactile, adapted for people with visual impairments. More information: Baigta tvarkyti apžvalgos aikštelė.
    6. Visitor counter was built near the Platel Lake viewing platform to assess the traffic of visitors who are interested in sightseeing sites and this particular Plateliai Lake viewing platform.
    7. PP11 participated in a study trip for project partners and tourism specialists to the Kurzeme region, in Latvia on 10-11 th of May, 2018, during which the possibilities of adapting tourism services and infrastructure for the disabled were introduced.
    8. Project partners participated in the project management meeting in Aukštaitija National Park on 17-18th of May, 2018.
    9. Guide courses were organized for 15 people who have been issued with a certificate that allows them to practice.
    10. Workshop was organized to provide the knowledge and skills needed to communicate with people with physical and visual impairments providing services in tourism sector. Excursions for people with visual and mobility disabilities have also been organized.
    11. Project partners participated in the project management meeting in Biržai Regional Park 25-26th of October, 2018.
    12. PP11 released the tactile postcards in Braille and standard scripts. Tactile view conveying has been driven by embarrassing press technology, understood by people with visual impairments, and helps the person concerned to better understand the real picture.
    13. PP11 arranged the project management meeting in Žemaitija National Park on 11-12th of April, 2019.
    14. PP11 released the leaflets and maps of cognitive trails in the Žemaitija National Park. Part of leaflets and maps are tactile with Braille and standard scripts. Tactile image was based on the eminent press technology understood by people with visual disabilities.

Lecturers presentation from the Conference “Accessible Nature Tourism”, which was organised on 19-20th of October:
1. Leena Kuosmanen, Laurea University, Finland – “How Accessibility can Enhance Tourism? Visitor-Friendly and Barrier-Free Service Environments for Customers with Special Needs”;
2. Maris Ceirulis, Liepaja Society of Blind, Latvia – “Universal Design Principles, Latvia Case”;
3. Ginta Žemaitaitytė, Lithuania Association People with Disability, Lithuania – “Accessible Tourism For All – Are We Ready?”;
4. Riikka Mansikkaviita, Metsähallitus, Parks & Wildlife Finland, Finland – “Everyone outdoors”.

Conclusions of The Conference

 

Campaign “Takais per Lietuvą”

Žemaitija National Park Directorate in 10th of June started a campaign #takaisperLietuvą to promote active lifestyle. It aims to invite everyone to go outdoors, learn about the nature and hike in Lithuania together with sharing the pictures and impressions from hiking on social media – Facebook or Instagram, using the hashtag #takaisperLietuvą. Once a week one lucky hiker will be chosen and receive a special gift from the project Nature Tourism to All – a bag with a useful hiking stuff. The campaign shall last all summer long and during the campaign period the hikers are also invited to hike in the trails of Kurzeme, in this case using the hashtag #takoKurzemē.

Winners shall be announced every week at the Žemaitija National Park Facebook profile and webpage www.zemaitijosnp.lt, by sharing the trail pictures posted by the winner. On Facebook or Instagram everyone is welcome to post both, simple and ordinary pictures with one’s hiking adventures, as well as beautiful nature view or also some special and extraordinary shots.

To get more information on nature trails in North Lithuania and Kurzeme, study our new Guidebook, which contains information on more than 80 trails. Guidebook is available at all Tourism information centres in Kurzeme and North Lithuania. Also, there is a possibility to get the *pdf version in Latvian, Lithuanian and English. In the Guidebook, trails accessible to people with disabilities, seniors and families traveling with baby-strollers are highlighted in green, therefore we would be particularly happy to invite the disabled persons, seniors and, of course, the whole family to take part in the campaign. Hikers may also find a useful guide for nature trails in Kurzeme and North Lithuania with trail descriptions, audio and video materials, as well as GPX routes at Kurzeme Planning Region webpage by clicking this link: https://www.kurzemesregions.lv/en/projects/tourism/unigreen/nature-trails/.

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