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Database of relevant RDP project examples

   

Project title: Developing and marketing the services of rural tourism in Lääne county
MEASURE: Leader
Measure name: Leader measure
Theme: cooperation
Keywords: tourism
Start year: 2009
Local action group: LAG Kodukant Läänemaa
Name of the beneficiary: NGO Läänemaa Turism (Lääne county's tourism)
Homepage: http://www.westest.ee
Backround of the project: Although cities are playing a big role in tourism, some small places, new areas and interesting and unique product packets are starting gain popularity. Lääne county is a tourism area but there aren't many unique products and packets which are related to rural area and would be offered by small entrepreneurs.

There is a need to develop Lääne county's tourism products and to involve rural area's small entrepreneurs into tourism network. Also they have to be more active on presenting their products in foreign or local markets and thus to enliven the tourism network of rural areas. Läänemaa Turism in cooperation with partners and membership has a great opportunity to start product development and marketing of cultural holidays but the significant part of rural areas are rather areas that provide nature tourism services. Lääne county is known as an important destination of bird- and nature tourism. It is important to have effective marketing channels so that the information would reach possible customer. This project is offering its help for small entrepreneurs from rural areas on above mentioned aims and activities.
Main activities: Organizing information days and three-days training "Lets develop the nature tourism". During the training they made product packages of small entrepreneurs which could be presented as a pilot in home page www.puhkaeestis.ee in campaign that took place on Lääne County's Day. Publishing print about nature tourism named "Wildlife Estonia", extra pages in newspaper "Eesti Päevaleht", newspaper "Den za Dnjom" and in newspaper "Eesti Ekspress" called "Suvitaja" ("Summer guest").
The previous articles presented recreation opportunities, sights and services inside the county. They also organized a filed trip to see the county for foreign journalists and travel agents. In addition they carried out the photo competition about Lääne county's tourism objects and represented the county in Mardi fair in Finland. They did 2 presentations about Estonia in United Kingdom's bird fair "British BirdFair".

The training was followed by marketing activities. The also compiled the prints about county's routes in four languages which was divided in Mardi fair (and other nature tourism fairs) and visitors of tourism info centre. All materials are available on Läänemaa Turism home page.
Output and results indicators: As the result of the project they created common packets of small entrepreneurs, part of them were posted as a pilot on the special home page of Lääne county's campaign www.puhkaeestis.ee. The training added an experience about how to accomplish similar projects in the future (to involve NGO). The project is the first tourism project of product developing and common marketing of nature tourism. The compiled a bunch of marketing publications that would support the activity of small entrepreneurs. They accomplished some activities that will help to raise the area's popularity. Lääne county will participate on Mardi fair in Helsinki in 2012 to present Estonia. Lääne county can be in focus in other words leading partner, they will involve handicraft and tourism entrepreneurs.

The project activities helped to strengthen the network, retained the level of tourists in the county and increased the consuming of tourism products with local features. The distinctive aspect of Lääne county's nature is bird watching and the project has developed and enlivened that.
Experiences/lessons learned: The training and offering the created packets in internet were good experiences. Compiled publications about the routes are supporting the activity and marketing of small entrepreneurs. The field trip of foreign journalists and travel agents received great feedback. Mostly they were people interested in nature tourism. Information about Lääne county has now reached to Scandinavian and European press.

When organizing that kind of trip you really have to pick the right persons to participate to avoid so called dead weight, who aren't interested in the area and enjoys the trip on personal view.

The Russian language newspaper was also very successful, Estonians who speak Russian are really interested in travelling in Estonia. The nature tourism publication "Wildlife Estonia" was also very successful - schools in Estonia and embassies in other countries are subscribing it. Participating on the BirdFair helped to promote and advert the area and many useful contact were also made for further cooperation.

The project manager thinks that the first experience in common marketing and product develop project helps to act more more quality and more focussed. Certainly one initiative isn't the solution for all above mentioned needs and to strengthen the cooperation network you need to continue these activities.
Contact person : Anneli Haabu
County: Lääne county
Project inserted into database: 2011-08-24

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