Baltic Wings

Baltic Wings - nature tourism for sustainable rural economic development

P2 Sustainable use of common resources

2.1. Natural and cultural resources developed into sustainable tourist attractions

Central Baltic

01.01.2018 - 31.12.2020

€1 438 273

€1 100 272

Project Summary:

In the European context the Central Baltic region has great natural resources with relatively untouched wildlife areas, but is still rather unknown to nature tourists. The project aims to increase visits to already known sites for birdwatching and other nature activites as well as to develop new sites in order to extend the now short tourism season.

To achieve these goals, co-operation across national borders with focus on developing high-standard attractions and services is needed. Facilities need to be upgraded and accessibility for all visitors, including those physically disadvantaged, must be improved. Birding infrastructure, such as birding platforms, trails, hides and nature information centres/info points suitable for national as well as international tourism is needed and will be built within the project. By working together, we can offer nature lovers from all over the world a wide variety of natural landscapes, biotopes and special and rare species. Joint migratory routes for birds connects the countries in the region and will be a special theme in the project. Together it is possible to make targeted international marketing activities. By involving local partners that can develop tourism services, new job opportunities in rural areas will be created. Local guides are important for the fulfilment of the project aims.Guide education is an important part of the project.

The connection between small-scale farming and high nature values such as rich biodiversity and beautiful open landscapes will be emphasised to create awareness of the value of nature protection. The development of first class wildlife and bird sites will also be beneficial to the local public with free access to installations. This will also be of great educational value to schools for nature studies.

Lead Partner

Stockholms Ornitologiska Förening

Country: SE

www.stof.nu

Partner budget: 708.595 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 531.446 EUR ERDF

Project Partners

Föreningen Närsholmen

Country: SE

not applicable

Partner budget: 344.009 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 258.006 EUR ERDF

Kökar Kommun

Country: FI

http://www.kokar.ax

Partner budget: 170.000 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 127.500 EUR ERDF

Dabas Tures

Country: LV

www.dabastures.lv

Partner budget: 144.570 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 122.885 EUR ERDF

Dabas aizsardzības pārvalde

Country: LV

www.daba.gov.lv

Partner budget: 71.100 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 60.435 EUR ERDF

Associated Partners

Ekoturismföreningen

Country: SE

Moonsund Eco OÜ

Country: EE

Skärgårdsstiftelsen

Country: SE

Expected results

The results will be several high quality bird watching and other wildlife tourism attractions around the Baltic and increased joint capacity to offer new and exciting tourist experiences. Through marketing the central Baltic area will be established as a leading and exciting birding and wildlife tourism destination.

Our project will have several physical results such as information centers/info points with exhibitions open to the public, joint exhibition parts, hides for close-up nature studies and photography, nature information trails and platforms (disabled/wheelchair adopted). These can also be used for educational purposes locally to raise awareness and will lay a foundation for future tourism activities. Testing will develop best practice/constructions. When possible we will collect statistics on visitor and customer numbers. Local lodging, stores and local food products will be favoured, making the local economies stronger.

Joint birding and wildlife tourism products will be developed, tested and evaluated. The products will then be marketed in ecotourism fairs yearly, advertisement in international best-selling bird and wildlife magazines, promotional tours for journalists and tour operators, printed publications and one joint website. Marketing materials such as maps and a joint film will be produced as well as a report on bird migration in an identified, but poorly known, birding hot-spot (Kolka, Lv).

Joint education of guides, guidelines, checklists and code of conduct will ensure tourism products/packages of equal and high standard as well as low environmental impact . Our aim is to develop sustainable products, but also change attitudes and increase engagement for nature.

Local guides will be working in longer seasons than before, since we intend to start in March/April and stop in October/November. We expect an increasing number of visitors and as a consequence, a rising number of entrepreneurs welcoming tourists also at low-seasons.