The project is co-financed by the Governments of Czechia, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia through Visegrad Grants from International Visegrad Fund. The mission of the fund is to advance ideas for sustainable regional cooperation in Central Europe.
Rail is ecological, comfortable and safe means of transport, which will play a key role in the EU’s efforts to achieve climate neutrality by 2050, within the framework of new growth strategy – European Green Deal. In line with that, the European Parliament reached a provisional agreement on designating 2021 as the European Year of Rail. One of the objectives of the European Year will be to create public awareness of the potential role of rail for European sustainable tourism.
The tourism economy is heavily affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. According to the World Tourism Organisation, the crisis has led to a decline in international tourism over 70% in 2020, back to levels of 30 years ago. Policy Brief: COVID-19 and Transforming Tourism underline that rebuilding tourism should be based on innovation, digitalization, sustainability, and partnerships. Tourism innovation should be focused on creating a new sustainable approach that links users with creative industries, empower communities, and promote new digital products and experiences.
Considering the situation in the fields of heritage and tourism, the main idea of the proposed project is to explore the layered context and respond to the current challenges facing heritage tourism, offering effective responses through the development of innovative sustainable solutions. The project aims to highlight the tourist potential of the railway, particularly through its history and heritage, recalling the role that rail has played in creating the Central European collective identity.
Establishing the cooperation network among heritage and tourism-related stakeholders in our regions.
Empowering creativity and digital skills as key players in the innovation of cultural heritage tourism.
Connecting the selected railway sites into the joint route, both real and virtual, and promoting among the local and foreign target markets.
The project will be launched with networking and cooperation activities, which are essential to bringing together owners and managers of railway heritage sites, as well to involve related stakeholder who deals with heritage preservation and tourism development.
We will combine different railway heritage types (museums, collections, infrastructure, buildings, etc.) in a joint route, create a unified visual identity of the railway heritage tourism products and mark the objects involved in the project with informative signs, design digital tourism products, such as a virtual interactive route, and produce digital handbook/catalog.