Attracting visitors to the Middle Oder through renovation and cross-border co-operation

The project expanded and constructed port facilities along the Oder River to create tourism opportunities on both sides of the Polish/German border. It purchased two boats that offer cruises on the Middle Oder River Valley.

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River cruises are attracting tourists to the revitalised Middle Oder region © Nowa Sól Commune River cruises are attracting tourists to the revitalised Middle Oder region © Nowa Sól Commune

" [The project] translates into economic, social and urban regeneration of previously deteriorating areas of the cities, including port districts, and contributes to the return of water tourism enthusiasts to the river. "

Beata Kulczycka, Nowa Sól Town Hall

Around five thousand tourists now take a cruise on the river every year, and the number of water sports enthusiasts using port infrastructure has increased by 40 %. “Marinas and ports were built on the Polish and German banks of the river, revitalising the area,” says Beata Kulczycka of Nowa Sól Town Hall, one of the beneficiaries of the project.

New ports, new opportunities

In particular, port infrastructure was constructed in Bytom Odrzański, Nowa Sól and Cigacice in Poland, resulting in six jobs, and also in Frankfurt am Oder, where another job was created. In addition to basic services related to docking vessels, these ports are also now offering recreational services such as food and drink, as well as opportunities to barbecue.

To complement this development, two twin passenger boats, the Zefir and Laguna, were acquired and now run on the Middle Oder route from Głogów to Kostrzyn nad Odra. By involving Polish and German municipalities from the regions of Lubuskie and Brandenburg respectively, the project also helped to eliminate barriers to the development of cross-border transport infrastructure. As a result, a stretch of more than 220 km of Middle Oder River Valley route “is unique in the region and may be very interesting for different target groups,” says Ms Kulczycka.

Selling the river

Furthermore, joint PR marketing activities were carried out, including the creation of websites and the publication of bilingual (Polish and German) guides and maps. A joint German-Polish billboard campaign was also undertaken in several towns and cities. The aim is to impress upon visitors “the uniqueness of the natural and cultural landscape of the region,” says Malwina Nastaj-Czechanowska of the Polish department of European integration and promotion. “Now we finally have the opportunity to offer a complex tourism product.”

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “Oder for Tourists 2014” was EUR 7 337 362 of which the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributed EUR 6 746 120 from the Operational Programme “Poland – Germany” 2007-2013.

Draft date

24/06/2015