Third international „ICT - 13 Iron Curtain Trail” workshop took place in Riga from 4.10-5.10.2011
To inform the mass media about the unique cycling route „Iron Curtain Trail” the reporters were invited to the press conference on 4th of October, which took place in the Ministry of Economics nad Riga City Council, Latvia. The workshop was attended by Mr. Michael Cramer (Member of European Parliament, Germany). He is also the initiator of the idea behind ICT project. Conference was also attended by Mr. Adam Bodor (Board Member of European Cyclists Federation), Mr. Raitis Sijats (Head of the Board, Vidzeme Tourism Association), Mr. Romualds Razuks (Project Patron), Ms. Marina Paňkova (Head of the Tourism Department, Ministry of Economics, Latvia) and other project partners from Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Germany.
The Heads of the local Municipalities of Latvia agreed that the project will be a great tool to attract more tourists and develop the local entrepreneurship. A research conducted by European Parliament shows that the route has the potential to generate 355 million EUR revenue per year.
It was also noted that the travelers who travel by bike spend as much money as other tourists and is also a good way to show that there are good sights in the Baltics. Mr. Romualds Razuks emphasized the opportunity to develop the cycling tourism in Latvia and promote the historical heritage at the same time. At the end of the seminar a bike trip was organized to Jurmala using the possible future route.
For almost half a century, Europe was divided into East and West by the "Iron Curtain", a border stretching from the Barents Sea to the Black Sea. The Iron Curtain Trail invites people to retrace and experience the former division of the continent on a 6,800 km cycle track along the length of the former border, combining European culture, history and sustainable tourism. The Iron Curtain Trail thereby contributes in a lively and very practical way to the creation of a genuine European identity. In 2005, following the initiative of Green member Michael Cramer, the European Parliament recognised the "Iron Curtain Trail" as a model project for sustainable tourism and called upon the Member States for support.
Links to articles about the conference (in Latvian):
EuroVelo13, Iron Curtain Trail development tool for sustainable tourism and mobility, Bodor Adam, European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF) 4th of October, 2011, Riga, Latvia