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Šodien, 13. maijā, "Lauku ceļotājs" piedalījās Latvijas Republikas vēstniecības Japānā rīkotajā vebinārā tiešsaistē, kur iepazīstināja japāņu tūroperatorus un medijus ar projektu "Lauku dzīvesveids – Pievilcīgu lauku dzīvesveida galamērķu radīšana" un "Lauku dzīvesveida" produktiem Latvijā.

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The Central Asian countries present considerable opportunities to become major tourist destinations due to their unique cultural, historical, archaeological, and natural attractions and heritage. While Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan have strategically utilised tourism to drive economic growth, the sector still faces numerous challenges, including lack of supply chain and logistics facilities, underdeveloped infrastructure and low standard services for tourists. In some countries, visa restrictions and high prices are also considered inhibitory factors for travellers.

The recent development and high potential of the tourism sector in the region provides an opportunity not to miss for setting-up and promoting a sustainable tourism model aimed at supporting growing local economies, respecting communities and protecting cultural and heritage sites from risks of overcrowding and from damage caused by natural disasters.

"Travel destinations that are becoming increasingly popular, such as those in Central Asian countries, offer unprecedented opportunities to become role models of sustainable tourism in the world," said Gian Andrea Garancini, MOST Project Manager.

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A new project “The Rural Tour: A training programme for sustainable rural tourism” has started. The main objective of the project is to contribute to the sustainable rural tourism targets at the European level by developing the skills of business owners, managers, employees, VET students and potential entrepreneurs in the rural tourism sector by an innovative and easily accessible training method. Within the scope of the project, activities will be carried out to develop the capacities of the people who are active or will be active in the rural tourism sector through created e-learning environment.

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The SWITCH-Asia programme's team has created a video about sustainable housing and building. In 2019 the Asia-Pacific region has become majority urban for the first time in the history. With more than 2,3 billion people living in the cities, the need for a sustainable urban future has never been more important. Sustainable housing can improve the quality of life. How homes and buildings are planned and developed have significant impacts on living conditions, social life, resource use and climate mitigation.

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Here you can find 18 hiking tours for one and multiple days (up to 11 days) in Latvia and Estonia, which is part of the Baltic Forest Hiking long distance path (in Latvia – Mežtaka, in Estonia – Metsa matkarada) (E11) – the most interesting, scenic forest areas of both countries, which are renowned for their natural and cultural objects. Several tours include national parks, nature parks, and biosphere reserves, as well as UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Every tour includes a schematic tour map, provides information about the mileage to be covered within a day, level of difficulty, most outstanding sightseeing objects, as well as practical information about the road surface, getting to the starting point and returning from the finish back to the city.

The tours are provided for both individual travellers and small tourist groups. It is recommended to book transport (rent a car or use public transportation), accommodation and meals in advance, as well as arrange personal and luggage transfer if necessary.

The tours may be shortened or extended depending on the wishes of travellers. These hiking tours, or some of them, may also be included in the traditional tourism routes and city excursions to diversify the offer.

>>> TOURS (PDF)


The project “A model for sustainable tourism in Central Asia: Building capacities, creating awareness, introducing technology” (MOST) team met on 13th and 14th of January for the second steering committee meeting. It was planned to be in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan but due to ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and travel restrictions meeting was held via Zoom platform. On the first day partners shared information about tasks that has been done. As planned the first trainings on GSTC criteria, relevant standards and green procurement as well as on ICT tools took place within the first year of the project. To discuss different topics about sustainable tourism three round tables among targeted SMEs and local and regional authorities took place in Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan and via Zoom platform. “Lauku ceļotājs” took part in one round table that was organized by Eurasian Tourism Association in Kazakhstan. Our experts gave presentation about environmental certification procedures and sustainable tourism management issues, also shared their experience with the environmental quality mark “Green Certificate” in Latvia. A project website and Facebook page has also been created to share the news about what’s going on and what has been achieved.

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We continue to work on the project "Silver Travellers". The project aims to close an existing gap in the provision of modern technology learning in the rural tourism sector facing new market challenges. On December 18th the project partners met online to discuss the next steps until the end of the project in August 2021.

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On December 11, 2020, the winners of the competition "New Tourism Product 2020" in Latvia organized by the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia (LIAA) were announced. The first place was awarded to the tourism product nominated by Vidzeme Planning Region – the long-distance hiking route Forest Trail (Baltic Forest Hiking).

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On December 22 in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan and via Zoom platform a round table was held on the topic “Environmental Certification Procedures and Sustainable Tourism Management Issues – the challenges and the expectations at National level”. The purpose of the round table was to strengthen the dialogue between enterprises and government agencies regarding the development of sustainable tourism in Kazakhstan. Representatives of central and regional government bodies, higher education institutions, associations, hotels and travel companies were invited to the round table.

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An increasing number of rural tourism accommodation owners are ready to take all required safety precautions and receive guests who need a place to stay for self-isolation or quarantine. The sites are located in all regions of Latvia, most of all – in the central part of the country. 

We keep an updated list of such accommodations and their online map >>> HERE.

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