The Latvian and Estonian nature tourism project NAT-TOUR-EXPO started in January this year with the aim of developing a joint Latvian-Estonian Nature Tourism Product adapted to the UK market. The nature tourism product will be based on individual SME nature tourism products, professionally packaged and accessible from an innovative specialized nature tourism web platform linking directly product providers with the market – free independent travellers, specialized interest groups, and tour operator companies specialized in Baltic countries. The nature tourism product will include wildlife and birding holidays, nature photography, soft adventure: hiking, walking, cycling, boating, and also touring programs to include elements and values of nature, e.g., botanical, wildlife spotting, wellness/Spa, food and foraging. This concept meets the current demand in the UK market where nature tourism, escape to nature, rural holidays, outdoors wildlife are on-trend words.
The project will last 36 months and as a result approximately 25 SMEs in Latvia and 25 SMEs in Estonia will be supported with training and sales expertise to develop nature tourism products and services adapted to the UK market. The project will raise the quality of nature tourism products in Latvia and Estonia so that they approach the Scandinavian level and potentially promote the development of the Central Baltic region as a common nature tourism destination for further markets.
Already in the first period, activities involving various suppliers of nature tourism products took place. On May 10 and 11, the Latvian Nature Tourism Association went to Prangli Island in Estonia to meet with project partners, as well as Latvian and Estonian SMEs who provide nature tourism products, and British nature tourism experts (Andy Fairburn, Paul Wagner). The meeting of the project partners was complemented by a bicycle tour and a guided tour of Prangli Island, rich in natural scenery, as well as a trip with sea kayaks to get to know the 1.03 km² small but unique Estonian island of Rammu.
Project budget information: The total budget of the Project is 1 112 592,03 EUR, of which the ERDF Interreg Central Baltic Programme contribution is 890 073,62 EUR.