Identification of key elements for creating the touristic cross-border functional area at the Lithuanian – Polish border
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This project served to assess whether it is possible to establish on the Polish-Lithuanian borderlands a tourist cross-border functional area (TCBFA), dynamizing the cooperation of local governments, entrepreneurs, non-governmental organizations and other stakeholders, as well as local communities.
The studies conducted (desk research, interviews, questionnaires, workshops, and research walks) have confirmed that this peripheral, sparsely populated and troubled region has sufficient resources to ensure the development of tourism through better coordination of cross-border cooperation. The research also enabled the delimitation of TCBFA borders on the Polish and Lithuanian side.
The result is a model for coordination of cooperation, which helps commit to joint action in the field of tourism. The added value of this model is assuring conditions for the development of intersectoral cooperation and networking, which is a pre-condition for the development of cross-border tourism.
The effective use of the model entails the need to implement cross-border projects, ensuring the development of a coherent tourist offer on both sides of the border. The tangible result of cooperation within the TCBFA will be the creation of a cross-border tourist destination, combining the elements of history and culture as a basis for developing active tourism, thereby establishing a recognized brand of this region.
In the long term, it is recommended to support the activities of the TCBFA on more advanced institutional solutions, e.g. The European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation, which would facilitate the management of the TCBFA. Particularly relevant for the progress of the TCBFA is motivating stakeholders from outside the public sector to engage in cross-border cooperation. These stakeholders should play a greater role in the development of tourism in the borderlands.
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