Bakony and Balaton regional tourist destination management organisation established
Municipalities, tourist attraction operators and service providers have set up a tourist destination management (TDM) organisation for Hungary's Bakony and Balaton region in order to make the most of the area's diverse architectural, intellectual and natural heritage and boost tourism and culture. This coordinated regional approach should improve cooperation between service providers and management of the tourist industry so as to make it more competitive and sustainable in a region for which tourism is a priority.
" The region contains architectural and intellectual heritage and natural assets with a unique diversity. This led to development of five main product categories: active, cultural, rural and beach tourism, and wine and gastronomy. Images presenting these categories are an important component in brand building. We use pleasant images that capture emotions and make the destination attractive by taking a fresh approach and putting the topics into a natural, human context. "
In terms of product development and project management, the partners drew up a destination development strategy. They analysed and summarised local research activities required as part of a regional research programme and carried out local research in cases where no local organisation was available to do so.
Marketing activities entailed profile design and image development, website construction, the introduction of a regional tourist card and targeted online marketing campaigns aimed largely at the domestic market. Publications included information on the regional tourist card, a hotel catalogue, a multilingual information map with footpaths, cycle paths and riding tracks, visual and themed publications and an event calendar, while promotional tools and gifts were also produced.
Training, partnerships and tourist information
The TDM manager and employees received professional training, including via themed workshops, and strategic partnerships and professional cooperation were forged. The project has created three jobs.
A tourist information system was developed, including welcome signs, and a regional customer satisfaction measurement methodology and quality assurance system were elaborated. Panoramic cameras and related systems were installed at prime tourist locations and a bike rental network was set up involving the establishment of 10 rental points and procurement of 300 bicycles, as well as security equipment, tools, child seats and trailers.
The project should increase numbers of tourists and numbers of nights they spend in the area. As a consequence, revenues from tourism should rise, leading to a stronger economy and improved quality of life for local residents.
Total investment and EU funding
Total investment for the project “Establishment of a Bakony and Balaton Region TDM organisation” is EUR 250 000, of which the EU’s European Regional Development Fund is contributing EUR 170 000 from the Operational Programme “Central Transdanubia” for the 2007 to 2013 programming period.