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Belarusian and Latvian partners foster relationships and hope to realize “Bella Dvina 3

25.04.2014 13:22, Local Foundation for Promotion of International Dialogue and Cooperation "Interakcia"

On April 23, 2014, the Cooperation Agreement between the Foundation "Interakcia" and the Latgale Region Development Agency was signed in Daugavpils. For a long time the partners have been working together on sustainable development of tourism in the Belarusian and Latvian border territories. The signed document will enable the two organizations to share experience, knowledge and information more actively and on a regular basis.

The partnership between Interakcia and the Latgale Region Development Agency began in 2008, when the project "Bella Dvina" was launched. Its major goal was to make the Western Dvina (Daugava in Latvian) region – the river connects the Belarusian and Latvian border territories – more attractive to tourists. The initiative was so fruitful that it was then prolonged as "Bella Dvina 2", which also encompassed Akštaitija in Lithuania.

"Bella Dvina" has turned into a recognizable brand. This enables us to successfully organize actions with "umbrella" names, such as Bella Atletica and Bella Melodia festivals in Braslau, and believe in further improvement of the transborder tourism, probably in the project "Bella Dvina 3", – said Ivan Shchadranok, the director of the Foundation "Interakcia", when signing the Cooperation Agreement. He also pointed to the versatility of those events and actions which have already been implemented.

  Ivan Shchadranok and the head of the Latgale Region Development Agency Māris Bozovičs sign the document

Indeed, within the project "Bella Dvina 2", which officially ends on May 6, 2014, 5 new routes around the Western Dvina region were created, 4 trips for Russian journalists and travel agencies were conducted, 6 festivals and the Transborder Tourism Forum were organized. Moreover, participants and visitors of 8 international travel and tourism exhibitions got to know about recreational opportunities in the border territories of Latvia, Lithuania and Belarus. In order that everyone could visit more sights of these marvelous places a special touristic map of Bella Dvina and Baltic lakes was published, and more than 700 information signs, stands and boards were installed. Finally, 12 public recreation sites, including 5 beaches in Vitebsk Region, were enhanced. (You can get further details about “Bella Dvina 2” here).

"Bella Cuisine" is one more joint initiative of Interakcia and the Latgale Region Development Agency. Thanks to this project, which has been in progress since 2013, traditional recipes of Vitebsk Region and Latgale will become more noticeable on the European culinary map. The key directions of the project are as follows: accession of Vitebsk Region to the European Culinary Heritage Network, improvement of food businesses in the area, publication of a 6-day Bella Cuisine route about the most popular gastronomy objects of the Belarusian and Latvian border territories.

Thus the Agreement became a logical consequence of the productive interaction. The two organizations agreed to organize exchange trips and internships for their employees, joint forums and meetings, and permanently keep in touch to work on new initiatives in the realm of transborder sustainable development, such as "Bella Dvina 3". The heads of Interakcia and the Latgale Region Development Agency underscored that the two partners have the same goal – to increase quality of life in their home countries and the neighboring states.