On 26-27 October the Access Routes project partners met at Šlokenbeka Manor in Kurzeme for the first on-site kick-off meeting. The project is being carried out by the Kurzeme Planning Region as the Lead partner in cooperation with Vidzeme Planning Region, Estonian Chamber of People with Disabilities, Development Centre of Võru County, Tartu County Tourism Foundation – Lõuna-Eesti DMO, along with accessibility experts from NGO Apeirons.

#accessroutes project continues the accessibility initiatives undertaked in Kurzeme already during #UniGreen and #NatAc projects and aims to expand the accessible tourism destinations included on mapeirons.eu with additional nature trails, cultural heritage objects and services (catering, accommodation etc.) and develop 30 accessible 1-3 day routes in Latvia and Estonia.

The project shall also develop and install creative and effective tactile solutions at 12 sites in Latvia (Kurzeme and Vidzeme) and 9 sites in South Estonia. Cross-border approach will help to develop and ensure unified minimum accessibility criteria and brand the routes with “Disability friendly” quality sign.

Over the first project period it is planned to develop a check-list on accessibility of cultural heritage objects and services (catering, accommodation etc.), which will serve as a guide for project partners, municipalities, businesses and others involved in the management of cultural heritage objects and provision of services, with an aim to assess the current accessibility level, detect the improvements needed and find efficient accessibility solutions. After the check-list is developed, the partners shall start practical object and service inspections in Latvia and Estonia. This activity shall last over the whole project duration and objects and services classified as accessible shall be published on mapeirons.eu.

In the first project period, the partners shall also start on-site inspections of nature trails in Vidzeme region and South-Estonia. These inspections shall allow to significantly supplement nature trails’ section on mapeirons.eu by uploading data on nature trails accessible to all in Vidzeme and South-Estonia.

Within the practical meeting sessions the participants visited also several objects in Kurzeme – Art path at Valguma pasaule, Durbe Castle, Ķemeri Park and Forest house, as well as one of the project sites, where the new tactile solutions shall be created and installed – Mālkalns Park in Tukums.

Project will last for 2,5 years and shall finish on 31 March 2026.

Project activities are being implemented with the support of the Interreg Estonia – Latvia Programme 2021-2027.

Meeting Agenda:

Meeting Agenda - Project Kick-off meeting 26.-27.10.2023 Šlokenbeka Manor (Smārde Parish, Tukums County, Latvia)

Meeting presentations:

Access Routes. Presentation of Alise Lūse, Kurzemes plānošanas reģions Access Routes. Presentation of Estonian partner - Vorumaa Arenduskeskus Development of Accessible Tourism Routes The role of South Estonia DMO. Presentation of Estonian partner - South Estonia Destination Marketing Organization SITE IMPROVEMENTS VIDZEME. Presentation of Vidzeme planning region

Infomation prepared by:

Project Leader in Kurzeme Planning Region
Alise Lūse
Tālrunis: 26567874, alise.luse@kurzemesregions.lv