1.1 Promotion of local culture and history
Association of Białystok Functional Area (Podlaskie Voivodeship, Poland)
Brest State A.S. Pushkin University (Brest Oblast, Belarus)
Białystok Functional Area (BFA) and Brest Oblast are visited by thousands of people every year. These border-crossings are in majority related to the short term shopping or business trips. Both regions have great tourist potential, rich history, and culture as well, but not many tourists want to spend their vacations there. There are many reasons for such a situation – lack of knowledge about travel opportunities, including visa-free options, unqualified tourism staff, language barriers, etc.
The problems have been noticed by the partners of the project CBCPaths, who have decided to change this attitude towards visiting the neighboring countries for touristic purposes. The association of 10 municipalities near Białystok (BFA) and Brest Pushkin University have come together to improve the image and attractiveness of this area by creating and promoting new tourist products based on local culture and history. Three tourist routes will be developed on both sides of the border: one, called "Common heritage", going through Brest Region, another one named "Secrets of the Lesnaya River" – a canoe trail starting in Białowieża Native Forest, and finally, a "BFA Pearls" tourist route – the combination of 10 thematic paths of BFA. To improve the qualifications of tourism staff, numerous trainings (language, traditions and culture workshops) and study visits will be organized in both countries. Rational improvements for people with disabilities will be provided within the project as well.
Moreover, to ensure tourism growth, two development strategies will be created for the Polish and Belarusian partners as a tool for increasing tourist traffic between Poland and Belarus in the future.
The project makes the basis for long-lasting cooperation between tourism organizations in Poland and Belarus as part of a long-term strategy for the development ensured by the qualified staff. As a result, the Polish-Belarussian borderland will become more open for everyone and will attract people to spend their holidays here.
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