31 May 2023
Finishing project “SUN ROUTE” implementation activities
In order to enrich the existing tourism supply in the region, a diverse tourism offer was created within the framework of the project No LLI-464 “Sun Route” bringing together various sun-themed attractions, promoting the common cultural and natural heritage of Jelgava and its surroundings, the city of Joniškis and the Šiauliai Region.
Around twenty different sub-routes are suitable for groups of students, families with children and individual travelers, in all seasons – spring and summer, autumn and winter. The route includes nature trails and parks, heritage buildings, museums, expositions, environmental objects, farms and information about tourism service providers. An interactive map was created in which, depending on the time of year, the number of travelers and the desired duration of the tour, it is possible to choose the route that suits the individual, as well as choose the places to visit by creating an individualized route.
Various interactive solutions have been introduced to offer tourists the opportunity to enjoy cultural heritage virtually in an exciting way, as well as to promote tourist attractions in non-seasonal and bad weather, including the city’s panoramic chambers in Jelgava St. Trinity Church Tower, displays, interactive stands with accessible information about the sights and travel routes included in the project, tailored for people with disabilities and blind people, as well as 3D solutions and virtual reality facilities in the city of Joniškis offering virtual tours. To ensure that tours were available to a larger audience at the same time, mobile audio equipment for tour guides was purchased. For the convenience of city visitors to St. Trinity Church, a solar-powered multipurpose service point with USB connections and power rosettes to charge gadgets, Wi-Fi, and a bike first-aid kit has been built in the tower’s rear. In addition, 14 new tourism signs have been installed in the city of Jelgava to help visitors discover the attractions they are looking for.
The facade and interior renovation works of the Joniškis Tourism and Business Information Center have been carried out for the provision of quality tourism services, furniture and technical equipment have been purchased, 3D equipment for offering virtual tours, as well as the Šiauliai Tourism Information Centre has restored technical equipment and furniture for the needs of the Tourism Centre, thus offering a quality and modern environment in the customer service area for city guests. A tactile map was placed in the city that allows blind people and people with mobility difficulties to feel and familiarize themselves with the main objects of the “Sun Route” project in the city of Šiauliai and understand the scale and shapes of the sightseeing sites. Installed in the city of Šiauliai, two interactive solar-powered benches will provide an opportunity for city guests and residents to use Wi-Fi, charge smart devices, among other options.
In order to promote the visibility and sustainability of the established tourism route, significant marketing measures have been implemented within the framework of the project – TV advertising spots have been developed and broadcasted in local mass media, social media, as well as advertising materials, including a tourism offer booklet in Latvian, Lithuanian, English and Russian languages, for use in tourism exhibitions and other events of different scale. Travel advertising measures have been performed for local media and tourism agencies. In addition, seminars and training were organized for public relations specialists and representatives of the tourism industry on topics promoting tourism competitiveness and digital marketing highlights, as well as an exchange of experience trip for representatives of project partners to Sweden.
On May 30th, 2023, the final conference of the “Sun Route” project took place, in which A. Ravins, chairman of the Jelgava State City Council, as well as representatives of partners involved in the project and representatives of the tourism industry participated, in order to gather the results achieved and discuss future project development vectors, as well as to present the project implementation related challenges.
Project objective: to increase the number of tourists and the number of overnight stays in the territory of the programme between the cities of Jelgava and Joniškis, as well as the Šiauliai region, by establishing a common cross-border tourism offer “Sun Route” with a unifying sun theme and promoting the visibility of the route as an attractive and interesting destination, which tourists would choose for multi-day travel all throughout the year.
Interreg V-A Latvia-Lithuania programme 2014-2020 project No LLI-464 “Development of the joint cross-border heritage tourism product “SUN ROUTE” has been implemented in co-operation of the Lead partner, Jelgava local government institution “Central Administration”, Jelgava Regional Tourism Centre, Joniškis Tourism and Business Information Center (PP2) and Šiauliai Tourism Information Centre (PP3).
The total budget of the project: is 840,290.00 EUR. Of this, EUR 714,247.00 (85%) is European Regional Fund funding and EUR 126,043.00 (15%) is national funding (state budget grant and co-financing from partners).
Project implementation period: June 1, 2020 until May 31, 2023.
For more information: https://www.jelgava.lv/lv/pasvaldiba/dokumenti/projekti/2020-gads/