The main achievement of the project is the creation of a common tourism product based on four small local cultural regions recognized by UNESCO - Setomaa, Kihnu in Estonia, and Suiti and Livi coast area in Latvia. Livi coast area is aiming to receive the recognition by UNESCO by submitting the application in 2021.
Three new routes - Suiti Route, Livi Coast Area Route, and Kihnu Travel Wheel, that were created during the project lifetime and the already existing route - Seto Village Belt, that was updated - all together form a new common, comprehensive and attractive tourism product. Visitors of the routes can experience a genuine cultural heritage, which is “living cultures” – where the unique architecture, food, religious and cultural traditions, handicraft, music traditions, national costumes, etc are still part of the everyday life of local communities. The jointly developed unified sales message and the slogan “Living cultures – United by the unique” gives the Estonian and Latvian UNESCO regions a unified visual identity.
Attractive and profitable tour packages were created by the project partners using the support of tourism experts during theoretical training and practical workshops. Tourism entrepreneurs from 4 regions participated in mutual study visits for experience exchange and benchmarking. In each region, 10 practical training sessions were organized for them in order to improve their skills and knowledge in using local cultural heritage in tourism service design. As a result of these activities, a practical handbook was composed of practical advice and tips on how to use the local cultural heritage in tourism. The project involved SMEs acting in the tourism service sector and the skills and knowledge of tourism service providers of each region were improved. The interest in project activities was very high. In total 203 SME’s participated in different project events.
New visitors' websites were prepared to promote the regions and routes. They also provide information about the joint tourism product: visitkihnu.ee for Kihnu island, www.suiti.lv for the Suiti region, and livones.kolka.lv for Livi coast area. Visitors' website for Setomaa region visitsetomaa.ee was updated. The tourism section was created on the website of the Alsunga municipality, Latvia.
In each ethnic region partners developed tour-packages for marketing. The main target group is tour-operators, but also individual tourists from domestic and foreign countries. As a result, the tour package of each region and a common tour package of four regions and South-Estonia smoke sauna were created. Tour packages are available in the joint tourism brochure in 3 languages (Estonian, Latvian, English).
Based on the previous experience of the Setomaa region, Kihnu, Suiti, and Livi coast area regions launched the Open Café Days, which attracted many visitors and had a really good positive impact on the promotion of the regions as heritage tourism destinations.
Ca 8200 tourists participated in open events organized within the project: opening of Livi center in Kolka, Kihnu Heritage Days, open workshops of Seto singing tradition.
Project partners have improved 8 cultural heritage sites and included them in the routes: in Latvia - Basi museum and Alsunga museum in Kuldiga County, boat installation in Miķeļtornis in Livi coast, Livi cultural center in Kolka, and in Estonia - Metsamaa heritage farm in Kihnu island, Kihnu museum, Seto farm museum in Värska, and Luikjärve farm in Setomaa. All sites are open for visitors.
Two cross border networks are established:
- The cross-border network of tourism service providers from 4 regions, who provide different kinds of services and activities and promote the heritage tourism product (includes 4 routes) to visitors, incl. the improved cultural heritage sites.
- The cross-border network of 11 partner organizations, which includes 6 municipalities, 2 tourism development organizations, and 3 cultural heritage development organizations. The established network is responsible for the promotion and further development of the tourism product involving small ethnic culture regions that lean on the uniqueness of “living cultures”.
The project story is featured on the INFOREGIO.
The project has been awarded the label of the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018 and the label is being used in events and communications throughout 2018.
Kihnu - EST, DE, LAT, ENG
Suiti - EST, RUS, LAT, ENG
Seto - EST, RUS, LAT, ENG
Livi - EST, DE, LAT, ENG
UNESCO intangible heritage - EST, LAT
National costumes - EST, LAT
The Suiti land - EST, RUS, LAT, ENG
The Livi coastline is inviting you! - EST, RUS, LAT, ENG
Kihnu travel wheel - EST, DE, LAT, ENG
Livs in Latvian
Suiti in Latvian
Kihnu in Estonian
Holidays and days to be celebrated - EST, LAT
Exhibition SUITI CUSTOMS leaflet - ENG, LAT