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  • Bringing neighbours closer

    Bringing neighbours closer

    Welcome to the Interreg V-A Latvia–Lithuania Programme 2014–2020!

    About the programme
  • Bringing neighbours closer

    Bringing neighbours closer

    Welcome to the Interreg V-A Latvia–Lithuania Programme 2014–2020!

  • Bringing neighbours closer

    Bringing neighbours closer

    Welcome to the Interreg V-A Latvia–Lithuania Programme 2014–2020!

LLI-501 World War I heritage tourism route and expositions for attracting visitors to border area (WWI Route)

The aim of the project was to increase the number of visitors in the border regions of Lithuania and Latvia by utilizing the World War I heritage sites located in Daugavpils and Zarasai districts, which are relatively well-preserved on both sides of the border.

During World War I, the German army had created a unique fortification system that has survived for over a hundred years and became interesting for tourists. The international route was expected to include over one hundred different artifacts and places (dugouts, remains of buildings and power stations, shelters, hospitals, soldiers’ cemeteries, remains of narrow gauge railways, remains of aerodromes); all these artifacts were anticipated to be extremely attractive for visitors.

Infrastructure built by the German army had brought these regions together with a defense frontline. Without the cooperation of both sides, the heritage of the First World War would not have had the same momentum as by uniting and creating a common international route. One of the main tasks of the project was to create a strong e-marketing campaign which would introduce the public to the created international route and the First World War exhibition in the territory of Lithuania and Latvia. The goal of the project was to increase the number of potential visitors. The World War I expositions in Turmantas (Lithuania) and Medumi (Latvia) were to be created within the project. Two info trips for media and tourism professionals were organized.

A website and a mobile application were created and promoted. As the route was positioned as a car-free route, 20 bicycles (10 for each partner) were purchased for visitors. Each of the exhibition centers also has 5 electric bicycles suitable for people with different levels of physical ability. For the convenience of visitors, brochures with maps were created in several languages (LT, LV, RUS, ENG, GER, and PL). Trainings for guides were organized that provided new job opportunities for local residents. A conference for local residents and potential service providers was organized to present the project and opportunities from the increased tourist flow. Comprehensive research that investigated the World War I legacy with the purpose to locate artifacts in the territory of Latvia and Lithuania was carried out. This information was used as a basis for information stands, guide presentations, and website content. The sites and surrounding areas were improved by clean-up activities and infrastructure, like information stands, road signs, and waste bins.

Social media and contacts:
Phone: +371 65476831
E-mail: vita.rutina@dnd.lv
Website: https://www.daugavpilsnovads.lv/
Address: 2 Rigas str, Daugavpils, LV-5401

17 March 2021

Kick-off meeting of LLI-501 WWI Route

Agenda-kick-off-meeting-LLI-501Kick off meeting together with Joint Secretariat representative and project partners took place on 15th of March. As a worldwide situation with COVID 19, this meeting organized on ZOOM platform.

During the Kick-off meeting overall information about project its aims and vision were given. Each partner presented its responsibilities and activities within the project. Timetable for the 1st and 2nd period was discussed in more details.

Project Lead partner is Daugavpils District Council, partner – Zarasai Tourism and Business information center.

The aim of the project is to increase the number of visitors in the border regions of Lithuania and Latvia by using the World War I heritage sites located in Daugavpils and Zarasai districts, which are relatively well-preserved on both sides of the border.

As a  result of project, both partners will increase number of tourists in region and  WWI heritage will be more reachable for people.

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Latest Instagram posts - @wwiroute

The main output was to increase of WWI route visitors. Both museums were only opened at the end of the project, but through all this period of project implementation groups of people were invited to visit WWI heritage objects that is situated on the route.  The project partners expected that at least 500 people would visit the route during the implementation period. During the project implementation 754 tourists visited the route, which is 50% more than planned.

Before the project was launched, excursions were spontaneous and only a few per year. They were usually organised by military historians and guides who were interested in the period, whereas during the project, excursions were targeted, with tourist flows being directed to the target regions, and tourists being allowed to get to know the exhibitions being developed.

To make historical heritage more reachable, project partner made  following activities:

Research of 1st World War heritage at the cross border territory (Latvia-Lithuania)
One of the main goals of the project is to make the historical heritage of World War I more accessible. To ensure accessibility is not only physical but also research-based, the project partner initiated research on World War I, conducted by professional historians Professor Valdas Rakutis and Titas Tamkvaitis. You can familiarize yourself with the study material here: https://ww1route.eu/lt/parengta-pirmojo-pasaulinio-karo-palikimo-tyrimo-studija/.

WEB page of WWI route
Created a web page that helped generate traffic. Page link: https://ww1route.eu/. The website is available in the four most popular languages in the region – English, Latvian, Lithuanian and Russian. It is a functional page presenting the exhibitions in Medumi and Turmantos, the international itinerary, news from partners and marketing policy.  The page met all the standards set by the promoters. The statistics on page traffic are attached to the marketing report.

Purchase of Outdoor Tools & Equipment
 Both partners bought equipment and tools that are neede to keep sites along the route tidy. It will be used regularly for environmental maintenance  of the route. In order to preserve and maintain good technical condition, 2 dehumidifiers, 4 fire extinguishers (4kg), a sign with the name of the museum, mats, dustbins, soap dispensers, electronic hand dryers, toilet bowl, brushes, hand sanitizing liquid stand, vacuum cleaner, broom, bucket, folding stairs have been purchased for LP needs

WWI route mobile application
Mobile application https://app.ww1route.eu/. The application works on all platforms (macOS, WINDOWS, LINUX, ADROID and iOS) and is also available for free on Google Pay (Android version) or App Store (Apple phones). The app https://app.ww1route.eu/ takes you directly to places of interest and allows you to divide routes into shorter ones. The app was created multilingual – in 6 languages ​​(English, Latvian, Lithuanian, Russian, Polish and German). The app is functional, allowing partners to add information or modify the itinerary, and to break down routes according to the needs of the group or visitors.

 Educational historical game
The game has been developed on the basis of escape rooms, using a web-based platform to make the game interactive: – when solving logic tasks and providing answers, the system (website) will provide directions on where exactly players need to move. The game is based on historical facts about World War I, thus engaging and allowing players to delve deeper into the history of World War I. – The game takes place in real and virtual space simultaneously. Players solve tasks in virtual space and receive answers and clues while travelling in real space. The game will be available on the internet, properly adapted to mobile phones (not as a mobile app. Game link: https://wwiroutegame.visitzarasai.lt/. The game is also available at https://ww1route.eu/. The game is used with younger age groups on the route in Lithuania.

E-Marketing tools
An e-marketing campaign was carried out to increase the flow of visitors through the creation of exhibitions and key tools. The following services were provided by the supplier:

– Marketing on social networks;
– Advertising on search engines;
– Banner advertising on internet portals (Google Network Display);
– Integration of articles on Lithuanian and Latvian news portals;
– Display advertising. Streaming of video clips on Youtube or equivalent system.

During the period of service provision, 21 unique posts were created and promoted to the target reaching 1 026 340 users. In addition, the accounts were liked by at least 1001 users. The information on the social networks was provided in Lithuanian, Latvian and English,

Throughout the entire project implementation period, there was an increase in visit. The advertising generated traffic to the existing website https://ww1route.eu and its publicity. The project has generated at least 6.4 thousand visitors to the website from social networks. During the contract, advertising was carried out on search engines using keywords Lithuanian and Latvian languages. Visitors’ clicks on the ad were aggregated to reach the website. Unique users on the subpage of the website – 5 055.

During the service period, 4 texts were created and published on LT and LV news portals (tvnet.lv, lrytas.lt). The articles integrated information about the mobile application, points of interest and already created video clips. One text was read by at least 5000 unique users.

Clean up works
Site clearance works were carried out along the entire route The clearance works included the following activities: removal of fallen trees, branches, removal of trees growing on objects. Cleaning up of grass, rubbish and hazardous waste collection, creation of convenient access paths for visitors, clearing of shrubs on the access road, repairs to the graves of German soldiers, cleaning of the monuments, preparation of the sites for rubbish bins, purchase of rubbish bins, and regular maintenance of the area with the help of Turmantas municipality.

A visual representation of the improvement of the sites is attached to the project report. During the project implementation, all the sites included in the route in Turmantas and Zarasai municipalities were managed. The project funds were used for the management of objects in Turmantas municipality, such as pillboxes, warehouses, cemeteries and artillery sites. Easy access paths to the objects were created, and the objects were cleared of rubbish and trees growing and damaging them. The grounds of all the sites along the route of the First World War were cleaned up: falls and paths were cleared, rubbish was removed, and trees on the sites were cut down. As a result, the accessibility of the cultural heritage sites has been improved and made more convenient for visitors.

Information arrows and stands

56 signposts have been created and erected to indicate the direction of heritage sites (20 in Lithuania and 36 in Latvia). This has facilitated easier access to the WWI artefacts, especially for groups or individual tourists who will be on their own, without a guide.

15 information stands are set up and erected. 5 information stands were erected on the Latvian side and ten on the Lithuanian side.

Guide system

Both partners bought guide systems for large tourist groups – Guide system is a wireless and portable radio system used to transmit an audio message from a presenter to listeners. It is very comfortable, esspecially when it is hiking tour.

Expositions

One of the main activities in this WP was to make attractive expositions in Medumi and Turmantas. LP made 2 exposition rooms with all artifacts in the main building – one of them traditional museum exposition with a lot of artifacts, and another room is like life scenes installation, where visitors will themselves as a WWI soldier,  and a small exhibition outside the museum has been created in the bunker in Egypt

PP2 made exposition rooms as well –  2 classrooms in old school. One of them traditional exposition with a lot of artifacts, and another room will be presented by modern technologies, that will attract younger visitors.  PP2 bought at least 300 exhibits  related to the First World War from residents and private collections (88 German divisions, Russian armies and other artifacts related to the aforementioned period at the Lithuanian-Latvian border).
 

Bicycles

20 regular bicycles, 10 electro bicycles and 4 bicycles holder for a car were purchase for both partners. (Activity A.T 2.7)Battery of electric bikes hold at least one hundred kilometers. Bicycles provide the opportunity to pass the entire route on the Lithuanian and Latvian sides. Bicycles are also selected for ecological aspects. Electric bikes are selected for equal opportunities – people of different physical abilities will be given the opportunity to participate in common excursions, visiting as many objects on the Lithuanian and Latvian side as possible.

Each partner bought 2 bicycles holders, that help transport small number of bicycles. In case of large tourist group Lithuanian partners have special trailer that can transfer large amount of bicycles, so both partners will collaborate and offer large amount of bicycles for tourist groups

 Attributes

To make more attractive offer both partners bought soldier unifor for museum guides. Touristic attributes purchased to expand the tour program with diferent activities, for example military field catering. Catering service is provided by local businessman who could offer such service, partners  provide just equipment.
Due to the interest in this service, LP has also purchased a collapsible table, 2 steps, as well as a mobile shelf for the museum.

  

Trip to France

Another activity that was planned at the beginning of the project but due to COVID19 was delayed is the exchange trip to France. The partners had the great opportunity to visit a very rich and high quality Imperial War Museum in London, as well as 2 museums in France which are similar in location to the partners’ museums – small settlements located right on the front lines. Both French museums are much smaller than the one in London, but they are imaginative. While in London the partners were inspired by ideas how to attract children to the museum and make it more attractive, in France the partners learned about the ways how to make an interesting exhibition with limited finances.

Thanks to all these activities, the partners were able to create very high quality and competitive exhibitions, which this year were actively nominated in various regional and national nominations focusing on the quality and attractiveness of the exhibition.

Conference for local service providers

The PP2 organised a conference for local service providers. The aim of the discussion was to explain to local residents and potential entrepreneurs how to get involved in this project, to present the themes of war tourism and the regional potential, and the future perspective. The conference presented the intermediate result and the opportunity for people who could provide various services in the tourism sector (catering, accommodation, guides, souvenirs, etc.). The project partners prepared invitations to the conference for guides, the general public, public services, local authorities and interest groups, including NGOs, which could be interested in the project. The conference took place in Zarasa.

WWI route guides Training
To train 10 guides who have the competence to organise professional guided tours along all WWI routes in both countries. The project funded the training of 6 guides on the Lithuanian side and 4 on the Latvian side. Their services were used for guided tours of WWI sites. All guides have received guide certificates.

Renovation of exposition center in Medumi

One of the most important activities of the project was the renovation of the building in Medumi – a future museum.  It was the most expensive and longest lasting activity of the project. The activity was protracted and only implemented in period 3.  The activity was subject to changes which were more related to changes in the type of renovation works. For example, the type of heating was changed from wood heating to a greener type – air pump. When the renovation works started, the price increases in the sector were very sharp, but the amount agreed in the contract remained almost unchanged.

The tender for the renovation was awarded to Builder Industry Ltd, which completed all the work within the contractual deadlines.  Roof repairs, interior and exterior works, sewerage, electrical and heating system works were carried out

Renovation of exposition center in Turmantas
The project carried out simple repairs to the premises to prepare for the installation of the exhibition in Turmantos and to enable the proper display of the collected artefacts.  The World War I exhibition in Turmantas will be set up in the two former classrooms of Turmantas Primary School and the two auxiliary rooms of these classrooms. The Zarasai District Municipality Administration has transferred these premises to the PP on a loan basis. The merger of the premises has created three exhibition spaces with a total area of 96.9 square metres and a foyer.

Investment was necessary to adapt the premises to the needs of a modern exhibition space and visitors. The simple renovation works included dismantling, simple repairs, installation of electrical wiring: connecting classrooms – dismantling of partitions, removal of construction waste, dismantling of existing old floors, tidying up of the floors, walls, ceilings, installation of new electrical wiring, packing of doors and floors, simple repairs. Simple repair works. The works carried out enabled the project to be successfully implemented. The cross-border investment is significant in that the exhibitions were created in both Turmantum and Medumi, which are integral parts of the international route of the First World War, complementing it not only with the legacy of the fortifications, but also with the material and working heritage of the soldiers of that time. World War I exhibits have been preserved and refurbished, which has undoubtedly increased the number of visitors to the region and made tours more interesting.

 

 

Last updated: 23.05.2024 15:28