Senior tourism discussed in the context of regional policy planning in Warmia-Mazury

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Between 5 and 6th June 2013 in Kadyny the Association of Polish Communes Euroregion Baltic organised a two-day workshop for regional stakeholders focusing on senior tourism in the context of regional policy planning. 

The workshop resulted from a direct co-operation of the Association with the Warmia-Mazury Regional Centre for Social Policy in Olsztyn and the FOSa Federation of Social Organisations, which are now in the process of drafting a new Regional Programme for Seniors 2014-2020. The Programme is being drafted by a special task force consisting of regional politicians and civil servants, as well as representatives of senior citizen organisations, NGOs, academia and law enforcement agencies. The Association is also directly represented in the task force to actively engage the regional authorities in discussions on the importance of senior tourism and promote the TOURAGE project and its good practices among regional stakeholders. This joint cooperation resulted in the concept of senior tourism, along with other activities such as sports and recreation, becoming one of the key areas of intervention in the new programme.

The main goal of the workshop was to present key recommendations for the new programme in the area of senior tourism, sports and recreation, and to discuss its relevant objectives, actions, and indicators.

To facilitate the discussions, during the information session the participants were invited to take part in a series of presentations highlighting both strategic and practical approaches to the issue of senior tourism. Ms Elżbieta Kamińska from the Department of Tourism of the Warmia-Mazury Marshal’s Office outlined the main elements of the regional tourism strategy. Mr Marek Ciesielski, Director of the Culture, Promotion and Tourism Department of the Olsztyn Municipal Office presented the Active Olsztyn (“Olsztyn. Aktywnie!”) programme designed to support and promote sport, tourism and various forms of physical activity in the city of Olsztyn. The scientific perspective on the problem of senior tourism and its development in the region was offered by Ms Joanna Zielińska-Szczepkowska from the University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn. Finally, Mr Sebastian Magier from the Association of Polish Communes Euroregion Baltic outlined the main objectives of the TOURAGE project and presented the most interesting good practices proposed by the project so far. 

During the second part of the workshop the participants were engaged in series of team-based discussions and brain-storming activities that resulted in detailed proposals of objectives, actions and indicators for the new programme.

These proposals will be further discussed during subsequent meetings of the task force and later integrated in the final draft of the programme. The programme is expected to be adopted in early 2014.