The Viabal project is about realizing the potential of increasing the number of visitors to the rural coastal areas
, by connecting the local heritages to the joint Baltic Sea narrative and stories
, in forms that increases visibility and accessibility to the joint Baltic Maritime Heritage
, at sites where this heritage actually originated and where it still remains.
Facing four basic challenges:
- Fragmentation of the BMH
The BMH is rich and abundant but the use of it is extremely fragmented. Few if any of the hundreds or thousands of operators at coastal sites around the Baltic Sea displaying a local maritime heritage, have the knowledge, networks and resources to put the attractions they offer in an All Baltic Sea context and narrative.
A common and very profound problem and challenge for local BMH operators is that the tourism season is very short. Creating new businesses and increasing the number of visitors to local heritage sites requires methods and approaches generating visitors also in off season period of the year.
- Erosion of the BMH
The operators in rural coastal areas are often small and suffer from lack of economic resources, manpower and networks, resulting in limited capacity for maintenance of the BMH, in overgrowth or general unconcern. Climate change, urbanization and mass tourism uncarefully handled contributes to site erosion.
The maritime heritage of the rural coastal areas suffers from low accessibility, showing itself e.g. in insufficient transport facilities or in lacking IT supported access. In the rural coastal areas accessibility to the maritime heritage often constitutes special problems to elderly and disabled.