Alytus region has taken over and adapted the international experience of Slow Tourism.
At the beginning of 2019, the Alytus District Local Action Group (LAG), together with its co-partner Druskininkai LAG, became involved in the international Slow Trips tourism project, which involves nine partners from six EU countries – Austria, Germany, Luxembourg, Italy, Sweden and Lithuanian.
“The origins of slow movement in Western Europe date back to 1986 and since then it has covered almost all areas of activity – food production, tourism, urban development, education, agriculture, economy and culture. Some branches of the Slow Movement have formed organizations, such as Slow Food or Slow cities (Citta Slow) associations, ” says Henrieta Miliauskienė, the coordinator of the international project in Lithuania.
According to the coordinator, so far there are no international organizations uniting the supporters of Slow Tourism. The Austrian Zeitkultur Oststeirisches Kernland LAG has taken the initiative to set up an international Slow Tourism website where a wide range of Slow Tourism services for individual travelers can be found and booked.
“Over the course of a year, the criteria for slow tourism have been refined, methodological material has been developed by the service provider, the patented Slow Trips brand and its guide have been developed, and training has been provided to project partners, who later passed this knowledge on to tourism entrepreneurs in their region.” H. Miliauskiene.
Near Druskininkai you can find the following “Slow Tourism Experiences” – Salt Jazz for Families, Salt Jazz for Groups, A Day in the Farmer’s Shoes, Power of Conifers and Metal Magic.
Slow Trips website is among the 20 finalists of the Rural Inspiration Awards 2021
The project coordinator in Lithuania was pleased that the Austrian precision, attention to detail and a very clear vision of the whole project led to the fact that the newly created website of Slow Tourism www.slowtrips.eu was immediately noticed among one hundred and twenty-five Rural Inspiration Awards 2021 competition applications, and made it to the honorable list of twenty finalists.
“A traveler looking for memorable experiences, acquaintances with local developers and authenticity, visiting our website will not only find picturesque descriptions of each region, but will have the opportunity to immediately book a slow trip experience he or she likes,” said H. Miliauskienė.
According to the project coordinator in Lithuania, although the tourism sector is probably the most affected by the pandemic constraints and the future still looks very vague, the ever-accelerating pace of vaccination across Europe and the creation of a common Green Passport (certificate) are encouraging for travelers. Henrieta Miliauskienė was glad that the project participants – developers of tourism services / products, had an extremely valuable experience, during which they were able to refine the concept of their service, get acquainted with the quality standards and learn to work with the reservation system platform, which gives the service providers valuable experience on how to reach potential customers and sell their services.
The international slow tourism project “Slow Trips” will run until 2022. end of June.