Pan-Baltic hiking conference - EUMA
The Pan-Baltic hiking conference focus was to make an aftermath of the Baltic Trails a network of long-distance hiking trails connecting Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, which were newly created.
The EUMA, represented by the general secretary was invited to this conference where new aspects and challenges of hiking trails in the Baltics where discussed. This goes in line with the current EUMA project where trails are a focal point of the current activities.
With the Baltic Trails great goals were achieved:
the three Baltic countries are now linked with the European network of hiking paths as part of the routes E9 and E11 having become a part of the European hiking community
It created a strong identity of the Baltics as a cross-border hiking destination, with the same image, tourist information, trail marking and management based on local involvement;
a convincing and highly relevant hiking tourism product is created attracting visitors to the region and taking them outdoors for healthy and active holidays in fresh air and beautiful nature in any season of the year.
The conference brought together a wide range of stakeholders: developers of hiking tourism products, trail planning specialists, municipalities and organisations responsible for trail maintenance, tourism organisations and hiking enthusiasts. The EUMA was invited as an expertise leader in the field of mountain sports where hiking has a strong position. We are looking forward to future exchanges.
The best practice sharing centered around experiences in planning, implementation, management and maintenance of long-distance cross-border hiking trails. The keynote speeches presented experiences from the Baltics, Sweden and Norway. This was followed by Baltic panel discussions highlighting challenges and solutions in practical aspects such as local acceptance and support, benefits and sustainability of long-distance hiking trails.