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Latvia's top new tourism product 2020 announced: 1st place awarded to Forest Trail

23.12.2020

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).


The approximately 2 100 km long Forest Trail is part of the European long-distance path E11 and leads through the most beautiful forests and national parks of the Baltic States – Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. It starts from the Polish-Lithuanian border near Lazdijai, passes through Latvia, turning into Riga, and arrives in Tallinn, Estonia. The Northern part of Forest Trail from Riga to Tallinn is already open to hikers and is fully marked in the territory of Latvia, but the Southern part from Lazdijai to Riga is still under development and the trail marking is planned for summer 2021.

Cooperation and ERDF support

Research into the possibilities of creating long hiking routes in Latvia, and in particular Vidzeme region, started 10 years ago, and finally the right partnership and funding was found to implement this idea. Vidzeme Planning Region together with Latvian Rural Tourism Association “Lauku ceļotājs”, Nature Protection Board, Riga Planning Region and Latvian State Forests, as well as partners in Estonia with the support of European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) are developing the 1060 km long Northern part of Forest Trail from Riga to Tallinn, which runs through Vidzeme for 333 km. The support and involvement of the respective municipalities and local tourism industry representatives is also important in the creation of the Forest Trail.

Why Forest Trail?

The Forest Trail highlights the region's natural and cultural heritage and is designed to help bring tourists closer to the region's entrepreneurs, thus also contributing to the development of tourism services. The popularity of hiking in the world is only growing and long-distance hikers are no longer just self-sufficient adventurers who do not use tourism services. There is a segment of tourists who want to combine an adventurous and active experience in nature with learning about the cultural history, as well as a certain level of comfort and services. The rich natural resource is a competitive advantage of the region and an important resource for the development of active and recreational tourism.

The Forest Trail route is divided into stages of about 20 km, and a description is available for each stage, as well as practical information for hikers about service providers and attractions along the route. More information: baltictrails.eu

Development of the Northern part of Forest Trail is part-financed by the European Union and European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Central Baltic Programme 2014–2020, while the Southern is part-financed by ERAF Interreg Latvia–Lithuania Programme 2014-2020.

Information prepared by:

Māra Sproģe, Communication Manager of Forest Trail in Vidzeme Planning Region

mara.sproge@vidzeme.lv,T: +371 26488091


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