Vidzeme and Southern Estonia municipalities start implementation of a new unique cycling-tourism project
Upon initiative of the Vidzeme Tourism Association and part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) a joint Latvia-Estonia project “Go cycling through Vidzeme and Southern Estonia” is started. Kick-off meeting and press conference will be held on Thursday, 10th of September, 2009 at Hotel “Tigra”.
The kick-off meeting of the project will be held at Hotel “Tigra” (Priekuli, Cesis district (LV)) on 10th of September at 10am, while at 11am the conference will be continued by the project kick-off meting for involved stakeholders – project partners, municipal officers, tourism and especially – cycling tourism experts and planners.
The total length of cycling routes in Estonia reaches 714 km, while in this project alone a cycling route of approximately 1600 km will be developed and marked in Vidzeme and Southern Estonian municipalities! This is a unique project implemented by two neighbouring countries, creating a new active tourism project, promoting cooperation of tourism business and policy planners and also extending the employment opportunities in the economically less active peripherial regions of both countries.
The cycling tourism development is affected by several aspects – favourable weather and relief conditions, good geographical location, rich cultural heritage, rather unchanged nature and good road network. Both in Latvia and Estonia there is potential to develop cycling tourism, but still several obstacles exist: low activity, insufficient and missing infrastructure and lack of information are only few to mention.
To solve the problems and create ground for development, the following activities are planned within the Project:
1. To establish joint cycle routes connecting Vidzeme and Southern Estonia, to develop and improve the infrastructure of local cycling routes (e.g., information boards, resting places, signs, trash bins, etc.);
2. To promote long-term cooperation and planning between public and private sectors on development of tourism and cycling tourism;
3. To promote Vidzeme and Southern Estonia as a joint tourism destination.
Since the project covers not only “soft” activities like strengthening and promotion of cooperation, but physical route infrastructure will also be created, during the press conference you can receive more detailed information on the split and use of financing between the partners, project implementation process and planned results.
The Project „Go cycling through Vidzeme and Southern Estonia” is part-financed by the ERDF Estonia – Latvia cross-border cooperation programme within priority „Higher competitiveness of the Programme area”.
The Lead Partner and idea originator of the project is Vidzeme Tourism Association. In total Vidzeme is represented by 10 partners, but Southern Estonia – by Valga County Municipality (representing Tartu, Jõgeva, Viljandi and Valga county partner municipalities). The project implementation period is 18 months.
Vidzeme Tourism Association is an organisation joining Vidzeme tourism industry stakeholders aiming at collective advertisement and promotion of Vidzeme region, as well as fundraisng from local and international financial mechanisms for tourism development. The project was initiated to develop the tourism, but especially – cycling tourism – environment. Further information about the project will be published on www.vidzeme.com and on project partners’ websites.
For more information please contact:
Estonian project coordinator