Country Holidays

Project archive

Goals Results Co-financed by
ProWell - Promoting and Enhancing Rural Wellbeing Tourism Products of Northern Europe (2014 - 2015) (SI2.677286)
To enchance and promote thematic Rural Wellbeing tourism product in Europe, by supporting transnational co-operation between different tourism stakeholders (micro and small tourism enterprises, destination marketing organizations, tourism development organziations and research institutes). The project aims to profile and add competitiveness of the Northern Europe as a Rural Wellbeing Tourism Destination by supproting tourism service providers providing services under the theme.
  1. Set rural Wellbeing concept foundation;
  2. Report about definition and foundation of the concept of Rural Wellbeing;
  3. Develop country-specific parts of the guidelines;
  4. Market research with online customer survey at;
  5. Promotion and development actions of Rural Wellbeing tourism at national and European level:
  • organise 2 national workshops;
  • make on-site visits to Wellbeing product sites;
  • use IT services to promote the Wellbeing product sites on the web for domestic and international market;
  • print and disseminate info materials for micro and small tourism enterprises;
  • print promotional leaflets with a section on the Nordic Wellbeing product. Partner languages and English.

Project is a part of EU's Competitivness and Inovvation Programme (CIP).

Transparency of CSR skills through ECVET in European tourism, TransCSR (2013 - 2015)
To foster the acknowledgment and transparency of CSR skills for the European labour market in order to provide companies with skilled employees and on the other hand to increase employability for workers/ job-seekers in the tourism field.
  1. Analysis report and Recommendations
  2. Learning outcome matrix
  3. Documentation for the skills pass
  4. Web based self-assessment tool
  5. Model for the attribution of the ECVET credits

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. Leonardo da Vinci Transfer of Innovation.

Marketing campaign for development of rural tourism products in all regions of Latvia and their promotion (2013 - 2014) (13-04-L31300-000006)
To implement a rural tourism marketing campaign, developing and promoting rural tourism products based on rural resources and traditional values: local and regional food, culture and rural crafts, rural production. 1) Develop new products:
  • ~250 "Countryside Bounty" farms-open for visitors
  • 100 establishments, offering national cuisine
  • 1 thematic route "Culinary Route Latvia", 6 touring routes "Get to know country life".
2) Develop marketing materials (electronic and printed):
  • "Countryside Bounty" brochure;
  • "Culinary Route Latvia" touring map;
  • Travel brochure for foreign markets "Go rural";
  • Touring route sheets "Get to know country life"
3) Marketing activities (public events, media trips, press releases, etc.):
  • 4 regional info days
  • 3 public events
  • Project public report disseminated
  • Video presentation on the role of rural tourism in rural development
  • 2 open days in rural farms
  • PR events (press releases, interviews, etc.)
4) Improve access to new markets:
  • Advice RT providers on registering/integrating with GIS;
  • Digital version of the Culinary Route Latvia and 6 local routes;
  • RT provider access the edit their profile in the database;
  • Mobile version of

EU European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD)

Back to nature; Training of Trainers on Rural Tourism (2012 - 2014) (2012-1-TR1-LEO05-35140)
Aim of the project is to adapt former project results, develop new curricula, training modules and case studies, and thus create a complete course material on rural tourism which will be delivered on-line to the target population of VET teachers, tutors, tourism entrepreneurs and managers.
  •  Virtual Communication Platform
  • Curricula on Rural Tourism Training
  • Training Modules on Rural Tourism
  • Case Studies
  • Local Trainings of VET Teachers, Trainers and Tutors
  • E-learning Platform

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. Leonardo da Vinci Transfer of Innovation.

Corporate Social Responsibility Training and Certification in the Travel Sector (2012- 2014) (2012-1-HR1-LEO05-01703)
To introduce Corporate Social Responsibility in the vocational knowledge and skills of current and future European travel professionals in order to secure environmental, social and economic sustainability of the European travel industry. It aims to transfer an established innovative CSR training, assessment and award system collaboratively developed by UK and Dutch travel associations, to other European countries.
  • MoU between VET institutes and Associations indicating a mutual recognition of the CSR training
  • Translated web-site regarding sustainability standards, self-asessment and self-training for accommodations
  • A "CSR for travel companies" virtual learning environment
  • A set of web tools for "CRS in travel companies"
  • A "CSR for travel companies" training handbook
  • A "CSR in Tourism" course for VET institutes
  • A country-specific CSR standards grading and award system for travel companies
  • Auditing and control standard of each importing association
  • Train the trainer workshop aimed at training travel company staff and VET tourism students about CSR in tourism companies
  • A Communication startegy for each country
  • National training workshops for CSR coordinators
  • Integrated CSR training into VET curricula resulting in first group of VET students certified
  • Travel companies coached and awarded for CSR quality standard
  • Information brochure for accomodation suppliers
  • Accommodation sustainability audits

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. Leonardo da Vinci Transfer of Innovation.

SAFETUR (2012 -2014). Practice based training tool for safety and security in European rural tourism (2012-1-LV1-LEO05-03389)
Provide a practical and efficient, continuosly updated life-long learning opportunity for tourism micro-SMEs in Europe through improved training accessibility in the field of Safety and Security at workplace and for clients, leading to compliance with cross-european standarts, an increased professionalism, competitiveness through trust and reability and through these, stability and sustainability of rural tourism initiatives in Europe.
  • Handbook "Your rural tourism business- run it smart"
  • Web tool - online self evaluation
  • Web tool - Inspection manual
  • Web tool - Virtual training in Safety and Security
  • European Rural Tourism Workshop on Safety

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. Leonardo da Vinci Transfer of Innovation.

HERITAGE TOURISM (2011-2013) Promoting the use of cultural heritage in service design of rural tourism (CB54)

To increase the competitiveness of Estonian and Latvian rural tourism businesses through product development and design of tourism services using national cultural heritage.

  • Skills and knowledge of 350-400 rural tourism providers improved.
  • Development plans created and partly implemented in ca 15 rural tourism businesses in Latvia for using national heritage in their service design with support of experienced designers, archiects and tourism consultants.
  • The logo of cultural heritage tourism products designed in Latvia, the products promoted in touring routes, in the web, printed publications and travel fairs..


European Nature System: An ECVET process to put in transparency and recogniseacross Europe the learning outcomes and the qualifications of the professional figures in the nature-based tourism sector ( LLP-LdV-TOI-11-IT-685)
To put in transparency and recognise the learning outcomes characterising the nature-based tourism professions, applying andimplementing the European tools and frameworks EQF and ECVET.

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. Leonardo da Vinci Transfer of Innovation.

Active Tourism for Sustainable Development "transfer of innovative job-related vocational training and methodology "(2011-1-BG1-LEO05)
  • Transfer of innovative vocational training solutions inactive tourism based on labour market needs and skills identification and facilitate the creation of national qualification standards in active tourism in the countries involved.
  • Foster the involvement of employers, continuous vocational training representatives and stakeholders at cross-sector level to make the new professional profile and attractive occupation in rural areas.
  • Increase accessibility to active tourism for the disabled and seniors.
  • Integrate the green tourism philosophy into vocational training solutions in active tourism.
  • Active Tourism Skills Map - graphic illustration of the major skills to match labour market needs;
  • Updated and improved Active Tourism Training Guide and Curriculum;
  • Web site and interactive Web Learning Tool in Active Tourism;
  • Online database of international stakeholders in Active Tourism.

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. Leonardo da Vinci Transfer of Innovation.

ROUTES 4 (2010-2012) Mentor-supported E-Learning in rural tourism (2010-1-ES1-LEO05-20971)
The project focusses on four aims:
A. define the needs of training for mentors in an E-Learning environment. This will take into consideration different
realities for distance- or internet-based learning in Andalusia, Estonia, Latvia, and Bulgaria.
B. create training materials for future mentors and students
C. test the outcome on five local training activities
D. use state-of-art WEB 2.0 to create a virtual community for mentor supported E-learning.
  • Outcomes include a need analysis for qualifications of mentors in E-learning invironment;
  • teaching materials for the training of mentors;
  • guidelines for adaptation of existing courses to match with the mentor support;
  • a Handbook about introducing mentor support in E-learning;
  • and interactive thematic website with Web 2.0 structure;
  • an international workshop; and the proposal for a new formal vocational qualification asmentor.

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. Leonardo da Vinci Transfer of Innovation.

AKTOS (2010 - 2012)

To carry out the transfer of a tool that integrates innovative contents and results and transferthese materials to rural communities in need of a specific training related to the exploitation of the endogenous resources.

Association "Lauku celotajs" is partner in this project and is developing trainingmaterial "Active tourism handbook". You can follow latvian partner project activities here


The main result that will be transferred within the AKTOS project will be the Good PractisesGuide of the previous FONTES project, that intends to inform the users target groups, about the employment possibilities generated by thedifferent endogenous resources of the rural areas, which in many cases are not yet properly exploited.

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.

Agora 2.0 (2009 - 2012)
The project focuses on fostering the common identity of the Baltic Sea Region by highlighting, developing and marketing substantial parts of the Baltic Sea Region natural and culturalheritage as business environment and outstanding strength of the region
  • Developed database of forest areas
  • Developed new active tourism products - hiking, study trails, bird and animal watching, mushroom and berry picking etc.
  • Develop learning material for rural tourism providers on new forest tourism product development
  • Map of forest sites including new active tourism products


This project is partly financed by the European Union (ERDF) within the Baltic Sea Region Programme

POLPROP-NATURA, 2009-2012 (LIFE07 ENV/LV/000981) 
The aim of project is to generate socio-economic effects for the region by a sustainable management ofprotected areas by using European Charter as instrument, by linking protected areas to their regions (accessibility, services, economiclinks), by establishing public-private partnerships between administrations of protected areas, local SME's and regional planningauthorities to create new tourism products and increasing the quality of eco-tourism by establishing a BSR quality standard.
  • Environment and tourism policy proposaldocument on sustainable tourism for biodiversity in Latvia.
  • Sustainable tourism management model of aNatura 2000 site developed, based on 5 new sustainable nature tourism products and their marketing module.
  • Positive awareness of Natura 2000 among all target groups reached through dissemination/communication campaign.

With the contribution of the LIFE financial instrument of the European Community


Baltic Green Belt (2008-2011)
The aim of this project is to facilitate the preservation of biologicaldiversity in the Baltic Sea Region by establishing the Baltic Green Belt as a permanent network of co-operation.
  • Database of military heritage sites.objects based on existing sources, recorded local information about the sites/objectsand their influence on the local life and nature.
  • Recomendations for sustainable use of military heritage sites/objects in Natura2000 and other protected nature areas in tourism.
  • Developed walking, cycling, driving and/or combined touring routes including military heritage sites and protected natureareas in Baltic states.
  • The results of project widely disseminated across Europe.


This project is partly financed by the European Union (ERDF) within the Baltic Sea Region Programme

Parks & Benefits (2008-2011)
The aim of project is to generate socio-economic effects for the region by a sustainable management ofprotected areas by using European Charter as instrument, by linking protected areas to their regions (accessibility, services, economiclinks), by establishing public-private partnerships between administrations of protected areas, local SME's and regional planningauthorities to create new tourism products and increasing the quality of eco-tourism by establishing a BSR quality standard.
  • Developed new nature friendly tourism pilot products in the territory of Kemeri National Park - walking, cycling, watertourism, bird and animal watching.
  • Published brochure of national parks of Latvia, gathering information on tourism offers within 4 national parks inLatvia.
  • Organized seminars and prepared seminar materials for distribution according to seminar themes � Activities oftourists in nature, Tips on sustainable use of nature resources, Biological diversity and it's protection.
  • Provided input for guidelines on health and nature tourism.
  • The results of project widely disseminated across Europe.


This project is partly financed by the European Union (ERDF) within the Baltic Sea Region Programme

Aurora 2 (2009 - 2011)
The aim of the project is to renew and to adapt training module of accomodation and cultural tourism for all partnercountries , translating it in national languages. 
  • Restricted need analysis in the involved project countries
  • The Module Accommodation in English, Finnish, Latvia, Dutch, Spanish and Swedish
  • Module Cultural Tourism in English, Finnish, Latvian, Dutch, Spanish and Swedish

The action has received EC funding

STEPPA (2010 - 2011)
Project`s main aim is to promote and strengthen the cooperation between the different experiences and certification initiatives for small and micro tourism enterprises working with protected areas and strengthen their competitiveness.
  • Strengthened competitiveness and cooperation between small and micro tourism enterprises working with protected areas
  • Created links between implementation of sustainable management systems, increased competitiveness, growth in conservation awareness and support, and businesses and destination value
  • Promoted capacity-building on sustainable tourism approaches and evaluation;
  • Disseminated best practices at a European level

This project is part of the EU's Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP)

2008-2011 Sustainable use and management of nature resources in the Natura2000 sites - popular and potential tourism destinations in Latvia.
The project goal is to facilitate maintenance of biological diversity in the Natura2000 sites in Latvia under growing pressure from Tourism.
  • Tourism development plans for 4 Natura2000 sites: the Dviete flood-lands nature park, the Lake Rāzna national park, the Abava river valley natural park, the Vidzeme seacoast of the Gulf of Riga within the North Vidzeme Biosphere reserve.
  • Guideline document for management of Natura2000 sites in the context of sustainable development.
  • A set of environment friendly tourism publications: hiking, boating, cycling, nature holidays in Latvia and the Baltics.


Supported by a grant from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA Financial Mechanism and the Norwegian Financial Mechanism

2008-2010 Transfer of Quality Ensurance Tools for European Rural Tourism Sector
The project goal is to provide practical and efficient life-long learning opportunity for SMEs in rural tourism in Europe. Web based training tool for quality, consisting of:
  • web based quality check for minimum RT accommodation quality criteria in Europe;
  • inspector's manual;
  • virtual training module, illustrating the minimum RT accommodation quality criteria.

The action has received EC funding

2007- 2008 Awareness rising Natura2000: working with Europe's rural tourism sector
  • To promote better understanding amongst a significant cross section of rural tourism providers in three countries/ regions in Europe of what Natura2000 is and what - its implications/ benefits are for them.
  • To raise awareness of Natura2000 among tourists visiting the three protected areas.
  • To create good practice guidance and practical tools for rural tourism providers on their activities in and around Natura2000 sites.
  • To dissaminate the results and experiences of the project to wider audience of rural tourism providers across the EU.
  • Awareness and understanding of the implications and benefits of Natura 2000 raised with over 1500 rural tourism providers in three countries/regions. What is NATURA2000? - information for rural tourism providers.
  • Innovative tourism products based on Natura 2000 -developed and piloted in the 3 countries.
  • Online information on Natura 2000 accessible to tourists.
  • Good practice guide - manual for tourism-management in Natura2000 sites.
  • The results of the projects-widely diseeminated across Europe.
European Commission
2005-2008 AGORA-Network Sustainable Tourism Development in the Baltic Sea Region
(Association is a partner in the project)
Create a network with 44 partners in ten countries all around the Baltic Sea for developing sustainable tourism with a focus on rural areas. To collect information from tourism projects in the BSR - to save their experience and results and -to make them accessible for interested users.
Project leaflet
  • Concrete policy recommendations;
  • Strategic concepts for sustainable tourism;
  • Network of different partners and actors from different sectors, in different reģions, with different approaches to the field. Within the AGORA project, Association will implement a pilot project "Sustainability through common rural tourism quality aspects for BSR".
Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Latvia
09.2005 - 08.2007 The Rural Tourism Project AMBER
The project aims to develop a self-learning vocational level training programme.

Project summary
  • 3 training modules
    • IT skills in rural tourism
    • Basic principles of Hospitality in Small Scale Rural Tourism Establishments
    • Activities in rural tourism
      sub module Recreational fishing
  • Web based system for web site develoment including:
    • templates to create accommodation provider own website
    • learning tutorial "How to create and publish your own web site"
EC Leonardo da Vinci programme
10.2005-10.2007 "SECTOUR Safety and security in tourism - innovations in educational programs and business practice" (Association is a partner in the project)
The project intends to reduce risk of the safety problems in tourism sector through the development of innovations in tourism education (including further education and adult education).

Project leaflet

The project results will be:

  • Improved tourism management educational programme, online support for assessment, assistance, and continuous upgrading of the tourism guide and tourism manager qualification;
  • Material for improving the quality of tourism service enterprise management.
EC Leonardo da Vinci programme
2003-2006 "TOURBENCH - European monitor and benchmarking initiative for the reduction of environmental impacts and cost in tourist accommodation" (Association is a partner in the project)
To develop a practical and easy European benchmarking tool esp. for micro/small and medium sized tourism accommodation enterprises: to recognize their own environmental impacts and cost/guest, to compare (inter)nationally with similar enterprises and see their own strengths, weaknesses and saving potentials, to get recommendations for immediate action, to assess the perception of guests and to get tips how to apply for a national Eco-label, for the EU-Flower or for EMAS. Eco-labels and Environmental Management certificates will have first ever in Europe comparable and reliable data from hotels and camping sites on the costs for and consumption of water, energy, cleaning chemicals and the production of disposal waste, per overnight and per m. The comparison of their ecolabelled with non-ecolabelled accommodation shall confirm (or not) the preference of their licensees and shall show the potential for improvement.
Royal Accommodation Award 2006
EC LIFE Programme, Latvian Environmental Protection Fund, Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Lavia
2003-2004 A Common Development Strategy of Rural Tourism in the Baltic countries - an Open Source Information System for Small and micro Enterprises in Rural Areas"
To develop a common open source information and reservation system primarly for the Baltic countries and easily adaptable for use in other pre-accession countries.
  • One of the main results will be stronger integration of the Baltic RT, such as common marketing, data standards, cross country data analysis as well as common platform for future development projects.
EC Phare
2002-2004 A new approach to training for quality in European rural tourism
To improve the quality of training, services and products in rural small to micro enterprises. Quality criteria, approved by international RT organizations, inspection manual, generic model of the quality criteria system (web based application), provider self-evaluation forms (web based and in print form) and virtual inspector training model created. EC Leonardo da Vinci program, Ministry of Agriculture
2001-2004 Development of the criteria for the Green Certificate, implementation and control
To facilitate environment friendly tourism development in rural areas and small towns.
  • Environmental results
    • Comprehensive review of the existing situation in rural tourism in Latvia.
    • Environmental control system implemented in vacation properties.
    • Awareness, reduction and control of the negative environmental impact: consumption of electrical power and heating resources, water, consumption of detergents and cleaning aids, amount of waste, etc.
  • Economic results
    • Preservation of nature and sustainable tourism development.
    • Reduced operational costs of vacation properties due to economical use of resources.
    • Development of the production and processing sector in rural areas due to the use of locally manufactured building materials and market for local foods
  • Recognition
    • Domestic and foreign tourists increasingly recognize the "Green Certificate" vacation properties.
    • Rural tourism providers increasingly interested to obtain the "Green Certificate" as a high quality sign of vacation properties.
EC Life Programme, Latvian Environmental Protection Fund
2002 Research "Implementation of the international eco-label "Green Key" criteria system to the hotels in rural territories in Latvia"
The creation of a common eco-labelling system in the Baltic States and Scandinavia.
  • Information collected about the "Green Key" criteria system in Denmark and Estonia.
  • Information collected about the "Green Key" criteria system implementation possibilities in Latvia.
  • The activities of rural hotels in Latvia ervaluated regarding the "Green Key" criteria.
Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development of Latvia
2001 Training course
To improve professional competencies of rural tourism (RT) product providers through increasing their awareness of the quality requirements, diversification of rural tourism product, financial planni ng, tourist safety and security, marketing, etc.
  • Regional training seminars attracting beginners as well as experienced product providers.
  • Experience exchange trips for the seminar participants visiting RT establishments.
Ministry of Agriculture of Latvia
1999-2001 Rural tourism training in Internet
To provide access to high quality updated vocational training in rural tourism.
  • Regularly up date training modules covering the most essential areas of rural tourism.
  • The material disseminated in the project countries.
EU Leonardo Target programme
2000 - 2002 Virtual Market Place for Rural Tourism Sales, Development, ICT Services and Applications
To extend markets between European countries and market European Rural Tourism Micro Enterprise (RTME) products to global markets.
  • RT portal for RTME.
  • Increased competitiveness of RTME.
  • Improved employment opportunities in rural areas through effective use of ICT (information and communication technology) by the RTME sector.

EC IST 5th framework programme

1999-2001 Analysis of Sustainable Rural Tourism Development Opportunities and Promotion of Environmentally Friendly Tourism in Latvia
To inform the public about opportunities of sustainable tourism development in Latvia and promote the idea of environmentally friendly tourism among potential tourists as well as product providers.
  • Conference on Rural Tourism Development in Latvia.
  • Published study on rural tourism development opportunities in the Latvian countryside.
  • Inspection of the accommodations, environmental aspects evaluation.
Latvian Environment Protection Fund, Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development of Latvia.
2001 Training materials for development of tourist activity facilities
To promote diversification of RT product - development tourist activitiy facilities. Training materials for providers of fishing and horse riding services produced. Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development of Latvia.
1999-2000 Support to Tourism Development in Latvia
To facilitate rural tourism development in Latvia.
  • The data basis of rural tourism accommodations was enlarged and the existing information updated.
  • The country holidays web site was reconstructed.
  • The catalogue "Atpūta laukos 2000" was published.
  • Training materials for rural tourism providers were developed and published.
PHARE programme
1999 Rural Tourism Development Target Programme
To elaborate the Rural Tourism Target Programme (for the period 2000-2006) as guideline to RT development as an important part of the Latvian national economy.
  • RT Development Target Programme completed and presented to stakeholders and authorities.
  • Definitions of RT products formulated. The program is being uccessfully
  • implemented in RT development.
Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development of Latvia
1998 Rural Tourism seminar programme in Germany
To improve operations of Latvian RT establishments through gaining German expierence about the quality, service, costing and sales of RT product. Seminar programme organised for Latvian RT product providers in Germany. Nordhein - Westfahlen
1998 Country holidays website
To open a new marketing channel for RT product. RT website created. Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development of Latvia
1997 Rural Tourism Development in Latvia - Diversification of Rural Economy
To improve the quality of RT product, to increase competitiveness in Europe.
  • The Quality Certificate developed and awarded to the qualifying establishments.
  • Training materials published and distributed.
  • The catalogue "Atpūta Laukos '98" published.
Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development of Latvia
1997 Rural Tourism Marketing
To promote development of RT in the Latvian countryside.
  • Increased recognition and demand for RT product as a result of successfully implemented marketing and promotion campaign in mass media and participation to travel trade fairs.
  • Increased number of RT product operations.
Ministry of Agriculture of Latvia