Heritage Tourism for increased BSR Identity (AGORA 2.0)
Heritage Tourism for increased BSR Identity
Date du début: 30 nov. 2009,
Date de fin: 15 déc. 2012
Countries in the Baltic Sea Region have a long common history throughout the centuries and a great variety of natural and cultural resources. However, the area is still not well recognised as one common region, even by its own residents.AGORA 2.0 aims at strengthening the common identity of the Baltic Sea Region, based on its rich natural and cultural heritage. Substitutional for numerous assets, the project deals with five concrete cultural and natural heritage potentials which are seen as possible bearers of a common identity:- Castles,- Red-brick gothic,- Forests,- Shifting sand dunes,- Stones / rocks (as geological potentials).Guided by experienced experts from Copenhagen Business School and University of Greifswald, these partner organisations had the outstanding possibility to systematically develop new tourism offers: after analysing the initial situation, conducting visitor surveys and generation of new ideas for heritage tourism products.To support the Baltic Sea Region tourism sector, especially small and medium sized companies, BASTIS was developed as a modern web based solution, following the "wiki principle" (www.bastis-tourism.info). The 'Baltic Sea Heritage Tourism Information Service' provides well structured and prepared market research data. "BASTIS-Wiki" is the heart of the service - it offers data about destinations, source markets, heritage tourists and heritage sites. "BASTIS-Blog" is the news centre and "BASTIS-Forum" is a place for exchange and discussions. The service is free accessible and you may check how to get an own account and how to take advantages by adding relevant information about heritage sites. After the projects end BASTIS will be served and regularly updated by the Baltic Sea Tourism Commission who wants to offer this outstanding service for tourism stakeholders all araound the Baltic Sea.Following approved marketing principles and using a bottom-up approach, project partners searched: "What do we have in common in the whole Baltic Sea Region?" (www.bsr-identity.net). An online questionnaire invited to share opinions. The final study is available under www.agora2-tourism.net. On the other hand it was interesting to look for unique cultural and natural heritage features which are well known even over the borders of the region? Finally, 65 pre-selected features were basis for a public online ranking to identify "The Six Baltic Sea Wonders". The winners were: Cultural heritage: - Tallinn Old City (EE)- Vilnius Old City (LT)- Gdansk - Town of Memory and Freedom (PL) Natural heritage: - White Cliffs on Ruegen & Moen (DE, DK)- Curonian Spit and Lagoon (LT, Kaliningrad / RU)- Masurian Lake District (PL)Representatives of the winners were invited and ceremonially awarded during the "Joint BTC & Final AGORA 2.0 Conference in Sopot, Poland, on 8 November 2012. Achievements: BASTIS - The Baltic Sea Heritage Tourism Information Service - belongs to the most relevant achievements of AGORA 2.0. While high level experts in other regions are still discussing about possible solutions - we alredy implemented it. BASTIS is an information source for the tourism sector, it is free accessible and offers well structured and prepared market research data concerning:- destinations,- source markets,- heritage tourists,- heritage sites.As a modern tool BASTIS offers a service for heritage sites: to become members and put in data about their own objects. BASTIS was updated by the latest available data. A new service allows to chose and summarize data on BSR level (www.bastis-tourism.info)."What do we have in common in the whole Baltic Sea Region?" - results of this interesting study are available at the projects website. The survey aimed at identifying common characteristics of the Baltic Sea Region which could be accepted as basis for a common marketing.The questionnaire has been available in 10 languages and the online survey is still open for your opinion.The online contest "The Six Baltic Sea Wonders" was officially finished and representatives of the winners were ceremonially awarded during the "Joint BTC & final AGORA 2.0 Conference" in Sopot on 8 November 2012.All in all, such activities like the Baltic Sea Wonders contest or the survey "What do we have in common in the whole BSR?" could considerably contribute to increase the residents awareness of the huge potentials of their own living space Baltic Sea Region and to develop a better feeling of a common understanding. Thus, to strengthen a common identity of the region. It is a proces which needs more than 3 years time, nevertheless it became clear that "common identity" is a keyword which is more and more in the interest of BSR stakeholders. For future efforts to attract tourists outside European borders it is indispensable.Five pilot groups worked on natural and cultural characteristics of the Baltic Sea Region: castles, red-brick gothic, forests, shifting sand dunes and stones / rocks. Guided by experienced tourism experts and scientists they had the outstanding possibility to improve their tourism offers, based on transnational cooperation. After analysing the own situation (SWOT analysis) a study was conducted to get to know the visitors perceptions (VIPER study). Results of this study (available at the projects website) lead to concrete recommendations for partners.All groups implemented common ideas to strengthen their specific potential, e.g. the "Castles' passport" (more than 40 castles), a "Bicycle Route along Brick Gothic", "Forest Trails" in Latvia and Estonia, Geocaching based on stones as geological potentials and others. Another result of cooperation is a jointly made series of 5 brochures "The Treasures of the Baltic Sea" showing the variety and rich potentials around the Baltic Sea.
Vällingby, Hässelby-Vällingby, Stockholm, Sweden
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