A nature tourism project Birding Baltic was prepared by Marika Mann, the CEO of Estonian Nature Tours, to be launched in 2016. In addition to the local organizatios there are also partners from Sweden and Latvia. The Central Baltic Interreg funded project should attract birders and general nature tourists from all over the world. During 4 years (2016-2020) several birdwatching and photography hides will be built and specific nature tour programmes launched. The primary goal is to kick off the local tourism enterpreneurs, make them support the joint tourism promotion programme and introduce our local values in the world-wide community of nature-lovers.
The main project partners are Föreningen Näsholmen from Gotland, Sweden, Dabas Tures from Latvia and Loodusturismikeskus (Nature Tourism Centre) from West-Estonia (represented by Marika Mann). All these organizations are offering bird watching activities, as the East-Atlantic Waterfowl Flyway is passing all these three countries.
|Ilze Vilskerste (Kolka, Latvia), Karin Åström (Gotlandilt, Sweden)|
and Marika Mann (Matsalu National Park)
Photo: Arvo Tarmula (Lääne Elu)
Estonian NGO Loodusturismikeskus is planning a real capacity boost. In addition to aforementioned hides there will be binoculars, spotting scopes, photography equipment and light river boats with silent electrical motors to serve the tourists. When the project is completed, all this equipment will be given over to nature tourism companies, who will carry these activities on. The other partners from Estonia are State Forest Management Centre and Läänemaa Bird Club, who are organizing tourism activities in Matsalu National Park and in Haapsalu town.
The Central Baltic Project call is really important for SME-s, as practical marketing activities are also eligible this time. All three countries together will be able to focus the marketing activities outside EU countries, e.g. to Americas' market. If both steps of the application call will be positively appraised, it will be possible to start with the activities from the second half of the next year. The total budget of the project for all 3 countries is 2,5 MEUR