Curonian Spit Heritage Tourism Action Plan
Take part of 8 sustainable heritage tourism development ideas from the proposed tourism strategy for the Curonian Spit.
You will find the documents as a whole by clicking on the links below.
1. Promoting cultural experiences of the World Heritage
Since one of the main objectives of tourism development on both sides of the Curonian Spit is to promote event tourism, enhanced efforts have to be taken to preserve the historic fabric and cherish traditional crafts.
Examples of activities could be special theme weeks during shoulder seasons with a different focus on World Heritage (such as period dishes and clothing, boat construction, music and architecture).
Conservation of traditional features of the Curonian Spit fishing villages should be the primary focus on both sides of the spit – maintenance or restoring of traditional roof and window elements, verandas, original wall and roof constructions, garden fences.
2. Outdoor experiences in the World Heritage
The priority interest of both national parks is to make the visitors to get out of car, move around in the landscape and explore. The Curonian Spit offers plenty of possibilities for outdoor activities, on land and on water.
The priority is given to the expansion of the network of self-guided hiking trails – from restoring the pre-war
network of footpaths based on historical documents to better connecting of self-guided hiking trails with mobile dune lookouts.
This also implies promoting the spit as an attractive destination for active leisure in the overseas priority markets. On the territory of both national parks, access to the seaside will continue to be allowed only in specially designated places. However, visitors should not be prevented from hiking on the Baltic Sea beach even in the strict reserve areas.
3. Reducing seasonality
Both national parks on the Curonian Spit want to extend the peak season at least from May to October. Kursiu Nerija National Park plans launching a traditional Autumn harvest festival in September in Nida. Meanwhile, Kurshskaya Kosa National Park puts the main emphasis on offering the visitors off-season organized educational tours.
The educational tourism zones are being designated for guided visits on specially arranged trails, for wildlife- and bird watching guided tours, and for environmental education. These activities – traditional off-season events and education tours should be developed as concerted efforts in both national parks.
4. Improving the World Heritage infrastructure and making it more accessible to visitors
Transportation planning measures should be more actively applied to regulate and reduce car traffic flows, especially in central areas of the settlements and near the seaside beaches.
Dedicated efforts should encourage vacationers to go to the seaside beach on foot and to travel on the Curonian Spit by bike, including transferring the knowledge on bicycle interactive stops approbated in Kursiu Nerija National Park during the DUNC project to Kurshskaya Kosa National Park.
Also, developing of a common transboundary system of heritage signage and online visitor guidance should be considered.
5. Development of the transboundary system of biking (on the spit) and water tourism (in the Curonian Lagoon) linking both national parks
A transboundary cycling path between Nida and Morskoye should be built linking both sides of the Curonian Spit. An international Russian-Polish- Lithuanian project "Creating a transboundary cycle route along an old postal route on the Curonian Spit: EUROVELO-BALTIC" should create a single cycling tourism system EuroVelo 10 on the entire spit.
For the facilitation of the transboundary water tourism on the Curonian Lagoon, it is necessary to complete the access roads and harbour facilities in the river cargo and passenger multilateral checkpoint Rybachy.
6. Facilitating water tourism
The key tasks of facilitating water tourism in both national parks of the Curonian Spit are:
- promoting the travelling of tourists to, from, and along the Curonian Spit by water transport
- development and adaptation of small harbours and marinas at the settlements on both sides of the Curonian Spit for accepting hydrofoils and period boats
- promotion and facilitation of boat excursions by providing necessary guidance support for boat excursions aimed to explore the Curonian Spit and the highest mobile dunes from the Curonian Lagoon, including possible transboundary visits
- promotion of leisure activities on the lagoon (sailing,windsurfing, angling, etc.)
- promotion and support of the construction and usage of ethnographic boats – Kurenas – by providing information assistance and involvement in various projects, including transboundary ones.
7. Dedicated conservation efforts
for the World Heritage landscape based on combining the protection of cultural landscape values with the interests of the Curonian Spit residents and visitors.
These efforts include the maintenance of the main structural elements of the landscape.
Particular attention must be paid to the protection and sustainable management of the Great Curonian Dune Ridge and the foredune of the Baltic Sea, an open coastal plain (palve) on the Curonian Lagoon coast and deflation hummocks (kupstyne) at the foot of grey and mobile dunes.
8. Develop augmented reality (AR) experience
The start-up pilot idea is to develop and apply a dedicated AR tool for experiencing the central part of the Great Curonian Dune Ridge between Nida and Morskoye as it was 100 years ago seen from the lookouts on Parnidis Dune on the Lithuanian side and on Kaspalege Dune (at Lake Lebed) on the Russian side.
It may have a strong educational effect showcasing the recent evolution of the great Curonian mobile dunes in the last century and the necessity for their conservation.