VIABAL has the intention of establishing a methodology based on a practical, operational and local tourism actors, by establishing pilots on rural coastal sites and for maritime heritage themes, thereby laying a foundation of a system for others to successively join. VIABAL is basically focusing the urgent needs for growth in businesses and job opportunities in rural coastal regions and for an increase in the number of permanent residents in the rural coastal areas.
VIABAL focuses on the broader concept ”visitors” rather than ”tourists”. Tourism tends to be highly seasonal, while visitors from schools and research are all the year around. Reaching young people for an increased awareness of the Baltic perspective is more effective within the framework of school activities than from tourism.
Central to the VIABAL project is the focus on rural coastal area, contrasting to many heritage projects focusing on more densely populated areas or cities. A key word of the VIABAL is ”routes”. VIABAL has two basic components, the Baltic maritime heritage as such and the routes/the different ways to get to it.
There is a stated EU experience of too many projects and resources going to too little cooperative and joint efforts and results too often not surviving after project time. This specific issue is forming one of the most important features of the VIABAL. The activities intended are primarily based in local business and heritage competence, founding the project on energies of those actors.
EU strategies points out the need to be aware of the strategic and practical consequences of an increasing elderly population, people living longer. Also there is an EU focus on the need for disabled people to have access to activities and a good life. ”Routes” being a key word to VIABAL, the accessibility to the maritime heritage of elderly and disabled will be an important issue.