Agora 2.0

Heritage Tourism for increased BSR Identity

Total budget:
€ 2.8 M
Project duration:

Regional development

Numerous projects and activities in the past have demonstrated the impressive variety of attractive natural and cultural assets in the BSR. Unfortunately, the results of the projects where often only poorly visible to a broader public. The project AGORA 2.0 focuses on fostering the common identity of the Baltic Sea Region by highlighting, developing and marketing natural and cultural heritage as a business environment and an outstanding strength of the region.

To achive this aim, three groups have to act jointly:
  • Scientific experts
  • NGOs
  • Public bodies who are responsible for heritage (nature + culture), business environment and tourism

In this cooperation the BSR business development will benefit from the tourism professional's competences to attract people by making the heritage assets more visible, by creating innovative tourist products and by developing pan-Baltic heritage marketing strategies.

A successful marketing of the heritage potentials requires a comprehensive knowledge about the tourism market and customers. Hence, part of this project aims at market information. A public BSR Heritage Tourism Information Service (BASTIS) will provide user oriented data for easy and free use by SMEs and small tourism organisations who have mostly limited access to market information.

The project also paves the way for bringing BSR heritage assets to the European public attention. A multi level and cross sectoral Heritage Scouting System collects and identifies cultural and natural heritage assets having potential as features of a common identity and compiles a catalogue of the most promising heritage sites and goods.

A public online-ranking “The 6 BSR Wonders” shall identify the most popular heritage attractions and a contest supports the development of innovative heritage tourism products. All activities and results will be available online via a web-based BSR Heritage Panel and a BSR Heritage Catalogue shall be distributed as premium promotion material.

The project also provides good practices for developing and marketing of heritage products. Five transnational pilot project groups, each of them dealing with one common feature, work under the supervision of experts on product designing, transferable examples and marketing strategies. All of them are considered to have potential as bearers of a common identity and to be visible from outside the BSR.

Heritage assets are a promising feature for identity building, which should be better used economically, to support business development in the BSR. But at the same time it shall be clearly pointed out that an exploitation of this potential will only be beneficial for the region in the long run, if it is done in a sustainable way.

AGORA 2.0 is approved as a Baltic 21 Lighthouse project. It is well in line with the EU strategy for the BSR and leads the region to become a front-runner in sustainable tourism implementation.