Flagship Project

Promote the cultural and nature heritage

The sustainable development of the cultural and nature heritage is the basis of an attractive tourist offer in the Baltic Sea region. This offer very often has a regional and sometimes even a local character. As to the cultural heritage tourism, the cities in the Baltic Sea region are touristic magnets that play a key role in the further development of the region as a tourist destination. In order to enhance the accessibility and the visibility of the cultural and nature heritage sites, cross border and transnational cooperation should be increased. Through joint products, standards and marketing the tourist potential of the cultural and nature heritage could be expolited in a more effective and sustainable way. In order to be successful in this field, it is key to bring together the competent representatives of the cultural and nature heritage facilities with the destination management organisations and the private sector.
During the first phase of implementation, a survey on relevant projects funded by the European Territorial Cooperation programmes in the Baltic Sea region was carried out. At that time, 82 tourism related ETC projects were identified, most of them in line with the overall objectives of Priority Area Tourism. While this finding hints at strong potential synergies in cooperation, in practice it has proved to be difficult to effectively cluster complementary projects across the region as an appropriate funding tool for this purpose does not exist. 

In the following, the lead partners of this flagship project were able to initiate the Enjoy South Baltic! project which is mostly financed by the South Baltic Programme and on which the activities in this flagship project currently are based upon.

In the initial phase of the ESB! project implementation the analysis of the perceived attractiveness of the region was conducted, accompanied by the monitoring of the ongoing projects in the Baltic Sea region. On the basis of these findings, the project partner defined the United Kingdom, Switzerland and the Russian Federation as output sales markets. The project partners, together with the domestic tourist industry, have been working on the creation of cross-border tourist products packages, matching the themes differentiated during the analysis. Eventually, the project will focus on launching the developed products on the markets. During the project implementation, a communicaton platform has been established for B2B contacts from the covered destinations and the three mentioned source markets and for the individual tourist. For more information, please visit the Balticsea Travel-website.

The tourism project management model, founded within ESB! project, ensures synergy between the regionally implemented tourist policies, which results in creating a strong, recognizable brand of the whole Baltic Sea region as one tourist destination, set on strong foundations, i.e. European cultural routes or natural assets included on the UNESCO world heritage list. Moreover, the monitoring activities will strengthen the cross-border cooperation and guarantee efficient use of the results of other ongoing projects. The identified development directions will help to create the most suitable and appropriate tourist offers, which will be developed and implemented in cooperation to the SMEs.

Expected results of the ESB! project:

• Creating and launching a new cross-border and concise tourist offer based on nature and cultural heritage distinct features;
• increasing awareness of tourist attractiveness of the South Baltic region among tour operators doing their business on the developing trade markets defined in the project;
• establishing long-term cross-border inter-institutional and industrial relations;
• developing a cross-border tourist offer sales system.

The ESB! project will be finished by the end of 2014.

In addition to the activities in the ESB! project, various seed money projects were developed that shall lead to further flagship projects in the field of cultural and nature heritage tourism.

Further information: see "seed money projects"