In the Baltic Sea Region a new project to popularize the values of the historical Hanseatic League has begun
In October partner organizations from Latvia, Estonia and Sweden begun a new project – “Hanseatic Approach to New Sustainable Alliances (HANSA)” – within the framework of the Central Baltic programme 2014-2020.
As already indicated by the name of the project, the main aim of it will be to facilitate the values of the historical Hanseatic League, which still can be found among the member cities. Furthermore, partner organizations will closely collaborate to create and develop new tourism products to make the Hanse the leading tourism brand within the Baltic Sea Region. Eight partners from Latvia have joined the project, namely, Cēsis Culture and Tourism Centre, Koknese, Limbaži, Pārgauja and Kuldīga counties, as well as Valmiera City Council and the Vidzeme Planning Region. Viljandi and Pärnu City Councils are represented by Estonia and from Sweden – Gotland Region and the Gotland Tourism Development Agency “Inspirational Gotland”, which is also the leading partner of the project.
At the end of the project it is planned to create several hiking and cycling routes, create and popularize the brand “The Gastronomy of Hanse”, through which Hanseatic values will be combined with local food-making traditions and many more activities in order to increase the number of incoming tourists throughout the year.
In order to get to know each and every partner of the project better, representatives from all 9 cities went on a week-long educational tour. During this tour tourist information centres were visited, so that all partners would get a better understanding of what activities are being carried out to promote the hanseatic heritage and, hence, attract more tourists. Furthermore, the main museums were visited along with having expert level sightseeing tours around the cities. During this week all participants evaluated tourism offer in each city and carried out a SWOT analysis to highlight the current situation, which then could be compared with the outcomes of the project, that is, what results the project has brought.
At the end of the week partners acknowledged leisure and recreation potential of Pärnu, appreciated the authentic Estonia in Viljandi, were pleasantly surprised about the high professionalism of the employees working in the Cēsis Castle Complex and how it is being used for tourism purposes. Aside that partners came to a conclusion that Koknese Castle ruins have great tourism development potential, were charmed by the old town of Kuldīga and the smallest member of the Hanseatic League – Straupe, as well as they were fascinated by the Silver Museum in Limbaži. Last but not least, experts truly valued the usage of the Hanseatic heritage in the Valmiera Museum and where overwhelmed by the great number of well-preserved Hanseatic heritage sites in Visby.
Next on partners will continue researching the hanseatic past of each respective city in local and foreign archives, as well as will continue working on development of new tourism products to increase the visibility and popularity of the hanseatic heritage.
In close cooperation of 11 partners from Latvia, Estonia and Sweden, from October 2015 until December 2018 the project “Hanseatic Approach to New Sustainable Alliances (HANSA)” will be carried out. The aim of the project is to revitalize the historical heritage of the Hanseatic League and it is supported by the Central Baltic programme 2014-2020.