United in diversity
Start date: Jul 31, 2008,
End date: Oct 30, 2010
The South Baltic Region is seen as one of the most heterogeneous areas in the EU. There are still great differences between regions, especially in terms of economic structure and development processes. In some rural areas, the economies still depend on agriculture largely, and do not fully exploit the opportunity of benefiting from the development of other sectors, such as tourism. On the other side, some of the well developed areas have succesfull accomplished the difficult process of structural change by using the potentials of their unique landscape and cultural heritage. The South Baltic regions: Central Pomerania, Bornholm and Southern Sweden are geographical very close. All those three regions have a lot in common regarding cultural heritage. On the other hand, great mental and cultural differences, especially between the people from Poland and those from Denmark and Sweden still occur. This multi – cultural environment is one of the greatest adventages and makes the South Baltic Region very attractive.Due to new cultural and naturalistic approach in the European Union countries, there are still more opportunities to exploit the undiscovered potential of The South Baltic Region, particulary in the tourism sector.The environmental unfriendly, traditional massive tourism, which still occurres in most coastal regions, is slowly losing it`s leading position. There is a growing interest for sustainable forms of activity, respecting protections needs for natural and cultural heritage. One of this forms is bicycle tourism, which is very high on agenda today. The unique landscape and rich cultural heritage of Regions of Central Pomerania, Bornholm and Scania, provide the best conditions for bicycling. All those regions have succesfull developed a lot of their own bicycle routes, but there is a lack of one big cross-border route. The main idea of this project is to support the sustainable development and promotion of the South Baltic Region, by creating a joint cross-border bicycle thematic route Vikings and Slavs – in search for a common heritage. This project has two main objectives: one related to the sustainable development of the affected area, aiming at reducing existing economic disparities, another one related to the remarkable social value inside this proposal. Achievements: Main achievements in the project so far are: the Bike the Baltic crossborder bicycle route following existing bicycle trails on Bornholm, Southern Scania and in Central Pomerania with heritage points of interest, including a description of the heritage points of interest along the way. Small bicycle infrastructure improvements in the underdeveloped area of Central Pomerania: final implementation of 24 small scale investments (12 rest places and 12 family recreation places), repair of one important 2000 m long section of bicycle path between Wyszbórz and Lubiatowo, implementation of conceptual document "Stocktaking of bicycle routes in the common area, including diagnosis of their infrastructure condition", implemetation of feasibility studies and another required documentation for three of the paths indicated in the "Stocktaking of bicycle routes in the common area, including diagnosis of their infrastructure condition" in Central Pomerania. 6 multimedia kiosks located along the Bike the Baltic bicycle route in Central Pomerania, with www.bikethebaltic.eu start site with access to Internet (Hot Spot) and possibility to download the GPS application. Regarding the marketing and promotional issues - all Partners took an active part in the planned activities, the results: a market analysis concerning bicycle tourism in Central Pomerania, on Bornholm and in Southern Sweden has been delivered; a marketing strategy has been delivered; 7000 post cards have been printed and distributed; 11.000 brochures in 5 languages have been printed and distributed; a historical guide book containing heritage information and stories has been written and printed in four languages and distributed; a Bike the Baltic promotional tour from Scania over Bornholm and ending in Central Pomerania has been carried out with various press releases and interviews underway; an exhibition in Forum shopping centre in Pomerania has been carried out; training of Bike the Baltic website ambassadeurs in each country has been carried out; a final Press and information conference has been held in Koszalin at the end of the project; a joint database for a website application and mobile application has been established; an interactive website with a tour map and bicycle routes with heritage points of interest, a (hi)story section and a guidebook section has been established in five languages.
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