The kick-off conference of the South Coast Baltic project took place in Bansin, Germany on 16th May 2017.
Bansin, is situated in the eastern part of the Usedom Island and is part of the seaside resort town of Heingsdorf in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. Together, they are two of the best and most popular resorts on the German Baltic seaside. Not by chance, the city has been chosen for the launch of this project, whose aim is to improve the tourist reception in the Baltic Sea.
The first day of the meeting, organised by the Economic Development Corporation Vorpommern for the project and associated partners, was divided into three parts. The first part was dedicated to the presentation of the South Coast Baltic project, to have an overlook of the background of this action, from the implementation of the Marriage project, to future perspective on the Baltic Sea. The second part was taken as a moment for sharing good practices in tourism implementation in other European Regions. The last part consisted in a World Cafe’ in order to allow all the participants, representing different associations, to brainstorm and discuss some specific enquiries.
The SOUTH COAST BALTIC project has been ideated in order to build a long term cross-border destination management through the improvement of boating services and infrastructure, on the basis of the MARRIAGE cooperation network. MARRIAGE project, implemented between 2012 and 2015, had the aim of promoting cross-border destinations on domestic markets, building cooperation and exchange in water tourism management and marketing, and creating a consolidated network in the southern Baltic regions of Vorpommern (Germany), Zachodniopomorskie and Pomorskie (Poland), Kaliningrad (Russia), Klaipeda region (Lithuania).
The scope of SOUTH COAST BALTIC is to provide this network with added value that can reach an extended market. The challenge in these regions, now, is not only to access new target markets, but to provide repeaters and followers with high quality boating facilities and services, that need to be harmonized across the south coast Baltic area, also by means of a joint promotion. As MARRIAGE project struggled to build management competence, now the challenge is to do a step forward in managing strategically the destinations, increasing the quality of infrastructures and services.
SOUTH COAST BALTIC is a very rare case of a tourism project that tries to reconcile recreation (water sports, development of marinas, inland tours) with important issues tackled by the cross-border cooperation, like meeting environmental standards but also encouraging the economic and social development. Thus, there will be the coexistence of actions addressed to protecting natural areas, managing waters, creating interactive loyalty measures (like ‘save the whales’); enforcing receptive and restoration activities, and the creation of a touristic route. It has been thought to promote also cultural and natural sites, cultural events, encourage the consumption of local products, in order to create an inland network and to promote the Baltic Sea Region as a unique touristic destination.
Moreover, with this project an attempt to reach younger generations and families as target groups has been made. The current South Coast Baltic region is experiencing a demographic change as regard to sailing tourism where middle age men seem to have no time for maintaining a boat, while the usual sailors are getting older and older.
Being financed by the INTERREG SOUTH BALTIC PROGRAM, the project can be placed in the priority 2.1- to increase the green and blue potential of the region. But, it is also well-embedded in the EUSBSR since the project aims at connecting the region trough the development of marinas; it works in the field of increasing the prosperity through tourism and cultural activities, and lastly, it contributes to save the sea adopting sustainable measures.
Here you can find the presentation of the conference: 2017-05-18_SCB_2nd partner_meeting_slides