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Database of relevant RDP project examples

   

Project title: Sustainable tourism network "Genuine Experiences in Lahemaa"
MEASURE: Leader
Measure name: Leader measure - Measure 2.3: Developing internal and international cooperation, to raise competitiveness in production and service
Theme: cooperation
Keywords: tourism, transnational cooperation
Start year: 2009
Local action group: LAG Development Center
Name of the beneficiary: NGO Sustainable tourism network Genuine Experiences in Lahemaa
Homepage: http://www.ehedad.ee/
Sum of support: 6 029 EUR (94 329 EEK)
Backround of the project: Lahemaa National Park Visiting Centre in cooperation with most active entrepreneurs created entrepreneurs cooperation network in winter-spring 2005, which is acting under a name Genuine Experiences in Lahemaa. Cooperation network is union of unofficial voluntaries, which became in act in spring, 2005. The aim of this union is to provide first-rate and unforgettable thrills, services and local food that presents regional nature- and culture-heritage to visitors. Products of Genuine Experiences entrepreneurs are environmentally friendly and their development is addressed to sustainability.

The actions of project are concentrated mainly on to aims: first to develop sustainable common marketing of tourism network and public relations and to start long-termed networking with two LAGS of area of Finland Kymenlaakso. NGO SGEL have 15 members based on family (14 micro organizations and 1 private museum) in the territory of Lahemaa National Park and in territory of Estonian LAG Development Centre. All provided services are following the rules of ecological tourism.

Project leader is Sirje Kuusik, who has been an expert of ecological food for 16 years and has dealt with direct marketing of farm-products.
Objectives of the project: To create market and public relationship outputs that are still missing or insufficiently within sustainable tourism network Genuine Experiences in Lahemaa (SGEL). To develop and create new local regional and international partnerships that are connected with SGEL, which helps to develop sustainable tourism and marketing in Lahemaa region. To find new cooperation partners and use more local food and food resources of Lahemaa region.
Main activities: Creating and starting to manage common website for members of sustainable tourism network Genuine Experiences in Lahemaa, including 4-hour training for members about marketing in internet; participating in TOUREST 2010 FAIR in 12.-14. February with separate board; training presentation trip to SGEL members with presenting website; seminar of local food and round table for project partners. Publication and logo to present sustainable tourism network.
Output and results indicators: The project created primary modern common marketing, they presented themselves in tourism fair 2011, repaired and harmonized the level of members and common marketing, partners started to notice the network and mediate the products to target groups, facilitated the introduction of Lahemaa as sustainable nature tourism target area, received the tools (common home-page, information bags, common publications) to carry out common marketing after the project, presented the network and the area to Finnish partners and continued the pre-work as a partner in transnational cooperation project about local food. The key-role of the project is development work.

They introduced a follow-up project in 2010 with an aim to strengthen the sustainability of cooperation network.
Experiences/lessons learned: This was the first big project for cooperation network, which also applied for support. Project manager said that there is too much bureaucracy and difficulties with paying own contribution.

Problems that have emerged and need solutions: how to organize the information exchange within network; there is a need to find representative person, how to organize relations.

In this kind of sustainable tourism network it is important to act honestly and broadly, not to recruit with salaries, if not there is a risk to lose the "naturalness".

Good example of how one area's tourism entrepreneurs can cooperate.

The project and Leader follow-up project has been an important contribution on the fame and attractiveness of the area of Lahemaa and LAG Development Centre.
Additional information about the project: April 2012 - story in the brochure "LEADER for local food development!" - http://www.maainfo.ee/data/trykis/Kohalik_Toit_2012_veebi_bookm.pdf

Presentation in Finland in EUSBS seminar, 28.09.2011 - http://www.maainfo.ee/public/files/2011_09_28_Lahemaa_sustainable_tourism_network_KEEL_Sirje_Kuusik_NEW.pdf

Best cooperation project in contest "Notice Leader 2011". Article "Let´s go to Europe in a genuine way" in booklet "Notice Leader" - http://www.maainfo.ee/public/files/2011_NoticeLeader_Ehedad%20Elamused.pdf

Article in newspaper "Virumaa Teataja", 27th April, 2011: http://www.maainfo.ee/index.php?article_id=1511&page=3265&action=article&

Presentation in Estonian Agricultural Fair, 22nd April, 2010: http://www.maainfo.ee/public/files/Esitlus_Ehedad_Elamused_Lahemaal_Sirje_Kuusik.pdf
Contact person : Sirje Kuusik
County: Lääne-Viru county
Project inserted into database: 2010-04-30

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