Redevelopment of park and square increases cross-border tourism

A cross-border project improves two historic towns allowing 120 000 tourists so far to take advantage of eight new information terminals while discovering the cities.

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As part of the project, flowers were planted and a new decorative fountain constructed. © Violeta Grigoriene As part of the project, flowers were planted and a new decorative fountain constructed. © Violeta Grigoriene

" The project significantly improved the public infrastructure of the resorts, increased their visibility and attractiveness and directly increased the flow of tourists – a fact made evident by the over 120 000 visitors who took advantage of the new information boards. "

Algirdas Svirskas, Head of Division of Investment and Property Management

Tourism is important for the border towns of Druskininkai, Lithuania and Augustow, Poland. Both are resort towns with a long history of health related tourism and thus both rely on tourists to maintain the local economy. However, in order to maintain a healthy tourism economy, updates to both towns’ infrastructures were badly needed.

Town squares renovated

The ‘Development of Cross-border Public Tourism Infrastructure Project’ addressed this issue by looking at ways to bolster sustainable tourism while also preserving local heritage.

For example, a core element of the project was the renovation of two historic areas, one in each town. In Augustów, the Sigismunt August Square was renovated and an informational board about the history of mineral water in the region was constructed. In Druskininkai, the Old Physiotherapy Park was upgraded. The work included reinforcement of the banks along the Nemunas River and restoration of the natural spring. As well, flowers were planted and a new decorative fountain was constructed.

Tourism promoted

As part of the project, eight informational terminals were constructed around the towns. These terminals provide information to tourists and distribute brochures and maps of the region.

To further boost tourism, the project also organised four exchange seminars for staff and administrators at tour companies, which included a trip to Druskininkai. In addition, a media campaign, featuring radio and Internet promotions, was executed.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “Development of Cross – border Public Tourism Infrastructure through the Renovation of the Old Physiotherapy Park in Druskininkai and Sigismunt August Square in Augustów” is EUR 2 323 621, of which the EU’s European Regional Development Fund is contributing EUR 1 975 078 from the Operational Programme ‘Lithuania-Poland’ for the 2007 to 2013 programming period.

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