Together with a group of 9 journalists specialised in tourism in nationwide and regional media, we visited selected projects implemented under the CBC Programme Poland-(Belarus)-Ukraine 2014-2020. On the route of the journalistic study tour there were projects that serve the development of tourism on the border of Poland and Ukraine, protecting and promoting cultural and natural heritage and increasing the safety of tourists.
We started the tour in the Mazovian Węgrów, where we saw the interiors of the former monastery restored as part of the project: The twin monasteries: Węgrów and Rava-Ruska – using the potential of the heritage of Reformati Order for development of tourism and socio-cultural life in Poland and Ukraine (acronym TwinMonasteries).
Then we went to Drohiczyn in the Podlaskie Voivodeship, which hosted journalists with a diverse tourist offer: from kayaking and a catamaran cruise on the Bug, through a visit to the observation tower, from where you can admire the nature and landscape of the valley, to a visit to the Centre of Kayak Tourism with its rich collection of kayaking equipment and multimedia attractions. We also visited the "Zagubek" Local Product Promotion Centre and the "Puszczyk" Ecological Education Centre, where we had the opportunity to learn about the diversity of regional culture and the natural environment of this area. All these attractions were related to three projects: Bug Unites Us – creation of two cross-border touristic kayak trails (BugUnitesUs), Culinary traditions of Bug river region (BugCuisine) and Young Local Guardians of Bug Valley Nature (BugGuardians). At the end, we had a tasting of regional dishes, during which journalists could ask for details directly at the source, i.e. with project partners.
The following day was a drive first to Roztocze, where we visited the Geotourism Center in Lipsko-Polesie (Lubelskie Voivodeship), took a ride on the bicycle path to the observation tower and visited the ecological didactic trail, which are the effects of the B(L)ike Roztocze together in spite of borders (PLUARoztocze). Then we went to the Bieszczady Mountains, where in the evening in Lutowiska we got to know the potential of astrotourism and astrophotography offered by the Carpathian Starry Sky micro-project (CarpathianSky).
On the last day, we met with rescuers from the Bieszczady GOPR Group in Równia near Ustrzyki Dolne (Podkarpackie Voivodeship), where we visited the 'SOS to the rescue’ Training Center, learned about the skills of the rescuers and the capabilities of the equipment purchased in the framework of the SOS-Rescue – the training center for organizing and operating cross-border rescue actions project (SOSRescue).
At all the sites visited, journalists had the opportunity to see in detail the effects of the projects, ask questions of those directly involved in their implementation and make journalistic documentation on the spot. As the participants of the tour emphasised, what they liked most was the passion and commitment of the people implementing the projects, the diversity of the places presented and the wealth of attractions. One of the event’s participants concluded:
The opportunity to see the effects of the development of tourist areas and the involvement of local communities in this process cannot be overestimated. When preparing materials on tourism and the cooperation of local communities in the future, I will certainly use the contacts established with project partners to share with my readers the valuable stories and successes of small communities from furthest corners of Poland on the basis of comparative descriptions.
The study tour for journalists took place from 24th till 26th July, and we will soon be able to see the results ofhis event in the press, radio, television and on the Internet. We will also present them on the Programme's profile on social media.
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