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About the project


Project title: International cultural route “Balts’ Road”

Project number: LLI-187

Project partners: lead partner – Budgetary institution Siauliai Tourism Information Center (Šiaulių turizmo informacijos centras) (Lithuania).

Partners: Zemgale Planning Region (Latvia), National Regions Development Agency (Lithuania), Kurzeme Planning Region (Latvia), Talsi County Municipality, Talsi County Museum (Latvia), Jelgava Municipality (Latvia).

Project duration: 24.04.2017 – 23.04.2019 (24 months 0 days)

Project budget: €763 402.38, of which €648 892.00 are EU Structural Funds.

Project funding sources: Project partners’ funds as well as European Regional Development Fund.


The project is implementing Interreg V-A Latvia – Lithuania Programme 2014-2020 I Priority “Sustainable and clean environment through cooperation”. The project will directly contribute to accomplishing the programme priority specific objective l 1.1. “to increase number of visitors to the programme area through improving and developing cultural and natural heritage objects, services and products”.





The concept of Balts’ cultural route is created in accordance with the concept of the cultural route defined by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe (2010):

The cultural route is the cultural, educative project of joint activities in heritage and tourism fields, aiming at preparation and promotion of the itinerary (itineraries), based on the historical territory, the cultural concept, internationally important data or phenomena, which are significant aspiring to understand common European values and respect them.

The operator of the cultural route is a registered legal person (organization, group of organizations) or a public organization of the country (one or several) belonging to the Council of Europe, which ensures the legitimacy of functioning of the cultural route, managerial, financial and moral responsibility and represents it at the Council of Europe.

           The concept of Balts’ cultural route takes into account:

The objective of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania  to highlight possibilities of ideas of national cultural routes and select projects with historical justification and applied research, which could be developed in the future and which aim to create conditions for inter-regional and / or international mobility  of legal persons acting in the cultural field, developing cultural tourism, to preserve and actualize regional cultural heritage or cultural events, enhancing local cultural identity.

The provisions of The National Tourism Development Programme 2014-2020 that the essential function of the state and municipalities is to enhance complexity and competitiveness of cultural tourism products. Seeking to successfully present and promote cultural tourism products, it is appropriate to join European cultural tourism routes or to prepare thematic cultural tourism routes, to adapt exceptional tourism attractions for tourism.

The Cultural Route Programme of The Council of Europe, which aims to comprehensively disclose European cultural identity while strengthening cultural tourism and cultural cooperation. Inclusion of cultural heritage tourist attractions into Cultural Routes aims at better protection and development of heritage.



– is the international cultural route covering historical residential areas of the Balts (Lithuania, Latvia, Russia, Belarus, Poland);

– is grounded on scientific (interdisciplinary, applied, humanitarian, social, economic, managerial, etc.)  research;

– enables inter-regional and / or international mobility of legal persons acting in the cultural field, develops cultural tourism;

– protects and actualises the Baltic identity, national and regional cultural heritage, various types of cultural actions / processes / activities (events), strengthens local identity;

– promotes cultural tourism: awareness of the Baltic cultural environment, landscape, the fine arts and performing arts of the past and present, historical and contemporary Baltic (ethnic) way of life, values, traditions, events, processes of creative and cultural changes;

– creates and includes Baltic historical and cultural heritage, various cultural resources (festivals, celebrations, exhibitions, plein air painting, creative camps, fairs, etc.), actualising the Baltic identity;

– brings together the network of municipal, budgetary (cultural, scientific, educational, sports, etc.) institutions, non-governmental organizations (communities, local action groups, marketing, communication, etc.), tourism segments (The Department of Tourism, The Lithuanian Chamber of Tourism, The Lithuanian Tourism Association,  Lithuanian Association of Tourist Information Centres, etc.), accommodation and catering (rural tourism, hotels and restaurants, etc.), other business segments (of food, recreation, etc.) and partners of other fields in Lithuania and foreign countries;

– constitutes operating cultural, cultural tourism routes (overview routes, thematic, natural routes, etc.), offering various forms and ways of culture, leisure spending;

– constitutes functioning active communication, publicity (operating website, social networks, etc.);

– constitutes articles, products, services, etc. representing “Balts’ Road”.


The concept of the Baltic cultural route is based on the approach that the functionality of the Baltic cultural route is ensured by joint activities of developers / implementers and participants:

            Acting members: municipalities; cultural, tourism, public institutions, enterprises and organizations operating in their territory; holders of cultural and tourism resources and service providers of “The Balts’ Road”.

           Partners: Lithuanian and Latvian state institutions, financial and information sponsors.


          Strategic planning areas of the activities of “Balts’ Road”:

          Baltic origin resources, their development and variety, physical and social environment, infrastructure, facilities and services, image and other related phenomena and data;

          other significant (valuable, attractive) resources located in the environment of Baltic origin resources; tangible tourist attractions and intangible resources, cultural phenomena (traditions, events, etc.); their nature, status, functioning, infrastructure;

          regulation of protection of Baltic origin resources (their content, related phenomena), usage restrictions, standards of display of resources and quality of services, entities (systems) of administration, management, support, special signs, existing products (commercial, educational), financing, etc.


From The Lithuanian Tourism Development Programme 2014-2020

Tangible and intangible cultural heritage of Lithuania is unique and rich, but it is not presented to foreign and local tourists attractively, there is a lack of complex measures which would encompass more than one tourist attraction or phenomenon of cultural heritage and create the added value for the content of heritage.

Lithuania too little uses the possibilities that could be provided by participation in international programmes of cultural routes, primarily in those that are certified or aspire to be certified by The European Institute of Cultural Routes: Lithuania’s participation in such international programmes would enhance interest of residents of other European states in our country, improve the image of Lithuania as a tourist country. Attractively presented programmes of cultural routes would also promote domestic tourism: having discovered various regional cultural commonalities, Lithuanian residents would prefer to visit and get to know tourist attractions and phenomena of cultural heritage.

Programmes of cultural routes would also have added value as educational means, which interestingly present Lithuanian history and culture for pupils, promote public spirit and the interest in their country.

Identification of topics linking tourist attractions and phenomena of Lithuanian cultural heritage with each other and with foreign cultural heritage tourist attractions will be followed by preparation of tourist programmes of cultural routes, which through marketing companies will be presented in Lithuania and abroad.

Considering the growing demand for cultural tourism and Lithuanian tourism resources, it is appropriate to advocate cultural tourism products, tourist routes connecting several states, to promote regional (Baltic) clusterization in the tourism sector, and jointly present tourism possibilities in the Baltic region in inbound and particularly in perspective markets (China, USA, Japan). It is appropriate to seek membership in The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development and strengthen cooperation with European and world organizations: the United Nations World Tourism Organization, the European Travel Commission and other.

The sustainable development strategy is based on the idea that the current generation by its actions must ensure better quality of life for itself and for future generations; therefore, economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development must be in conformity with interests of all interested parties: local residents, local communities, visitors, industry and the government.

It is noted in The National Sustainable Development Strategy that the state plans to allocate sufficient funds for protection and management of tangible cultural values. Implementation of the project “The Balts’ Road” will considerably contribute to one of the fundamental principles of sustainable development: revitalisation of valuable cultural and historical heritage and its preservation for future generations.

Currently tourism is one of the fastest growing industries, while tourism services are becoming a significant source of income in many countries. On the other hand, tourism, like any activity, threatens the quality and preservation of resources; therefore, the focus on eco / environmentally friendly forms of tourism becomes inevitable. There are a lot of territories and tourism attractions suitable for eco-tourism in Lithuania; therefore, it is necessary to form the market of eco-tourism services more actively, providing innovative services and attracting persons who want to travel on foot, by bicycles, who are interested in natural and cultural heritage. The distinguishing properties of eco-tourism are: reduced impact on the environment, respected local culture, activated activities of local population.

Sustainable tourism development enables local people to benefit from the provision of tourism services, simultaneously  local cultural and environmental integrity is preserved, protection of ecologically sensitive areas and natural heritage is enhanced.


The activities of “Balts’ Road” are planned observing the following principles:

      Availability and understanding. The purpose of interpreting cultural heritage is to help to understand the value of cultural heritage sites, to encourage the public to perceive that these sites need to be protected and to get involved in such activities.

      Information sources. The value of cultural heritage that is interpreted and presented for various strata of the society, identified on the basis of scientific, applied research or live cultural tradition, must be clearly defined and thoroughly documented.

      Attention to the environment and context. Interpretation and presentation of cultural heritage should encourage protection of values of sites of tangible and intangible cultural heritage in their natural environment, cultural and social contexts.

      Preservation of authenticity. Respect for authenticity of cultural sites is expressed by disclosing the significance of their historic fabric and cultural values, protecting them from the adverse impact of destroying interpretive infrastructure, visitors’ pressure, inaccurate or inappropriate interpretation.

      The principle of sustainability. Interpretation and presentation of cultural heritage should contribute to sustainable protection of cultural heritage sites by promoting public understanding and involvement in protection works, ensuring long-term maintenance of interpretive infrastructure and constantly checking the content of interpretations.


Balts’ Cultural Route. Strategic Aims.

  1. To conduct investigations of cultural and tourism resources and their complexes located in the Baltic cultural route area, using obtained data for grounding preparation of sights, services, infrastructure of related topics and content.

The aim is reached following such activity directions and planning corresponding measures:

Preparation of the concept of cultural tourism (services and sights) in the area of the Balts’ cultural route.

The study on availability, accessibility and social environment of the territory and tourist attractions.

The study on prerequisites for administration of the territory and tourist attractions (the study on the administrative environment).

Assessment of the whole of tourism attractions, of the condition of selected tourist attractions and infrastructure.

The study on prerequisites for usage of the territory and tourist attractions (display, presentation) for cultural tourism needs.

Formation of cultural tourism services and the assortment of sights: expositions, events, museums, shows, festivals, tours, accommodation, catering, transportation, etc.

Creation of models of administrating products of the cultural route.


  1. To plan the Baltic cultural route that would stretch through Lithuania, Latvia, Belarus, Russia, Poland, linking Baltic cultural and natural tourist attractions, expressing tangible and intangible heritage, involving professionals of various fields, communities and institutions in the name of preservation and popularisation of the Baltic heritage.

The aim is reached following such activity directions and planning corresponding measures:

Selection of cultural tourist attractions in the regions of the Balts’ tribes, which are significant for local and international tourism.

Making passports of tourism attractions, formation of scientific-methodical library (sources).

Creation of thematic and overview tour routes, based on research results, scientific recommendations regarding:

  • The nature of tourist attractions: soldiership, trade; the Balts’ daily life, mode of life, daily work; family traditions, culinary heritage; folk art, crafts, ornamentation; architecture of granges and rural architecture; festivals, craft days, traditional calendar festivals; folklore, language; etc.

–      topics (content): the territory of the Balts’ cultural route is characterized by modern cultural trends, city celebrations, festivals, plein air painting, phenomena of literature and other cultural fields (awards, etc.); settlements, buildings, fortifications; colour metallurgy and jewellery; worldview; the Baltic art; etc.

–      geographic, ethnic and administrative territories: Lithuania – Latvia, Lithuania – Belarus, Lithuania – Poland, Lithuania – Russia; Highlanders (people of Lithuanian highlands), Yotvingians, Curonians, Lettigallians, Lithuanians, Prussians, Selonians, Skalvians, Samogitians, Semigallians; etc.

–      Infrastructure, accessibility, labelling, etc.

Presentation of cultural tourism products (excursions, services, sights, media, etc.) created in the area of the Balts’ cultural route to the public.


  1. To create conditions for inter-regional cooperation of legal persons operating in the cultural field, developing cultural tourism, preserving and actualizing cultural heritage and cultural events of Balts’ historical and ethnographic regions, strengthening local cultural identity.

The aim is reached following such activity directions and planning corresponding measures:

Socially responsible approach to tourism grounded on cultural heritage.

Responsible cooperation of culture and tourism sectors, ensuring effective management and maintenance of cultural heritage while making use of these values for tourism.

Image formation on an international scale.

Economic and social impact on the region.

Political support for management and protection of Baltic heritage.

  1. To ensure functioning of the Balts’ cultural route by coordinating activities of related organizations, creating and maintaining the information dissemination system, which implements support tasks – to inform, persuade and remind.

The aim is reached following such activity directions and planning corresponding measures:

Creation of information infrastructure (expositions and exhibitions, brochures, social networks, mobile connection, etc.).

Preparation of support measures ensuring customers’ awareness of the advantage of the Balts’ cultural route, cognitive, cultural, tourist possibilities and maintaining permanent interest.

Search for new ideas supporting products and services in the activities (content) of other cultural-tourist projects operating in the area.

Funding (cultural and tourism support funds, investment projects, sponsors, budget allocations, etc.) of support actions (sales promotion, advertising, advocating, etc.).

Preparation of forms, measures and places of structure, management, availability, presentation (sales) of information (data), creation of interactive environment and tools (website, information portals, etc.).


  1. To ensure implementation of the sustainable development philosophy by forming the environment of higher quality of life in today’s society and in the perspective of future generations.

Implementation of project activities, made decisions and expected results, based on the synergistic effect of economic, ecological and social factors.

  1. To generate tourist flows in the project implementation territory by increasing awareness and tourist applicability of the Baltic culture, creating a cross-border route “Balts’ Road” in accordance with the principles of sustainable tourism development and integrating “Balts’ Road” in the map of European cultural tourism routes.

Creation of new tourist attractions intended for promotion of local and international tourism in the project implementation territory, based on advanced, innovative technological solutions.

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