Bella Dvina 2 named best tourism project at international contest

Bella Dvina 2 has won the international contest for the best cross-border cooperation project of as part of the Eastern Europe Initiatives Congress in the nomination Tourism, BelTA learnt from the Polotsk District Executive Committee.

Partaking in the contest was Latvia, Lithuania, Russia and Belarus that presented 20 international projects in tourism development and hospitality. The EU project of international technical assistance "Fostering capacity for tourism development in Latgale-Utena-Vitebsk cross border region" (BELLA DVINA 2) that was implemented mainly in Polotsk District, Vitebsk Oblast (2012-2014) was named the best at the competition.

“The Bella Dvina 2 project provided quality improvements to the tourism infrastructure of the region: recreation area, information boards and tablets near the main places of interest in Polotsk. The district has defined the most promising areas in tourism development and positioning of project activities. The focus will be made on water tourism,” the district executive committee said.

The main goal of the contest is the development of cross-border cooperation, an exchange of experience and efficient models in project initiatives implemented in Eastern Europe.

The last year's winner in the Tourism nomination was the EU international technical assistance project “Bella Dvina – Traveling Across Borders, Discovering Culture, Enjoying the Nature of Western Dvina/Daugava”.

The Bella Dvina project was implemented in 2008-2010. Partaking in it was Latvia's Latgale and Belarus' Vitebsk. The first syllables of the two neighboring countries were used to the name Bella which also underlines the natural beauty of the Western Dvina. A prototype for Bella Dvina was the German-French Park Rhenan Pamina which experts consulted Latvian and Belarusian specialists. The initiative was continued in a bigger scale in 2012. The Bella Dvina 2 project was joined by Lithuania's Aukstaitija. The financing increased to almost €1.8 million (the budget of the first stage was €562,000). A big part of funds was provided by the European Union as part of the cross-border cooperation program Latvia-Lithuania-Belarus. The project was partnered in Belarus by six executive committees, including the Vitebsk Oblast Executive Committee, the Interaction Fund that initiated the first Bella Dvina.

The Eastern Europe Initiatives Congress gives wide opportunities for cooperation, knowledge and experience exchange, promotes the dialogue at every level (from intergovernmental, ministerial to interregional and interpersonal) as well as involves local communities in creating a common space for joint work. 


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