Těšín Silesia for All
21/07/2015 | 0 comments
Těšín Silesia for all was a small Czech-polish cross-border project focused on accessible tourism. It was co-financed under the Cross-border Cooperation Operational Programme between Czech Republic and Poland – Microprojects Fund of Euroregion Těšín Silesia - Cieszyn Silesia. The project was successfully completed in June 2015.
Těšín Silesia (or Cieszyn Silesia) is a historical region in Central Europe along the border of the Czech Republic and Poland. This territory originally belonged to the Great Moravian Empire. In 1920, after the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire it was divided between the newly created countries – Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic) and Poland. Common historical development and therefore similar traditions, character of the landscape, problems etc, it all offers great potential for the development of cross-border cooperation, including tourism.
Photo: Church in Bystrice (KAZUIST).
As a tourist destination, Těšín Silesia provides excellent conditions for diverse holiday activities all year long – walking, hiking, cycling, skiing, paragliding, horseback riding, fishing, golf, swimming or just relaxing in a spa or exploring the region. The main attraction of this region is the Těšín Beskydy mountain range as well as the unique architecture (picturesque wooden buildings), preserved local customs, traditional folklore and handicrafts.
Regarding accessible tourism there is a big difference between the Czech and Polish part of Cieszyn Silesia. While on the Czech side there were already implemented several projects (led mainly by Kazuist, Ltd.), on the Polish side it was yet an unknown topic (pilot project).
Therefore, the aim of the project Těšín Silesia for all was to raise awareness among tourism stakeholders of the importance and benefits of accessible tourism and to provide persons with access needs information about accessibility of tourist attractions in this area.
The main output of the project is 20 tourist attractions mapped in terms of their accessibility for people with reduced mobility and orientation. The main attractions inspected were museums and churches, but also a lookout tower, theme parks, chair lift, a sports complex, ski jump site, design centre, centre of culture and art, etc. Generally the accessibility of tourist attractions for people with disabilities is low.
Detailed results are published on www.jedemetaky.cz (so far only in Czech and Polish).
Inspection of the venues as well as other project activities (introductory workshops and study tours for stakeholders from the private and public sector) show that accessibility is still not perceived as a challenge and a business opportunity. It is very difficult to arouse their interest in this topic and convince them to cooperate through the whole chain and making tourist offer accessible for all (improve services, create accessible packages, provide accessibility information, train the staff).
Regional Council for Development and Cooperation based in Třinec - non-profit association of municipalities, businesses entities and non-profit organization supporting the overall development of the region and providing tourism destination management for Těšín Silesia tourist area, see:
Powiat Cieszyński (Cieszyn District) - a unit of territorial administration and local government based in Cieszyn, see:
Project contact person: Jana Szczuková, firstname.lastname@example.org
Download this short Project Description in PDF format from the right-hand panel.
KAZUIST is an Associate Member of ENAT and
ENAT National Contact Point for the Czech Republic