The development Ipoly-region Association has gained financial support from the Slovakia- Hungary Cross Border Cooperation Programme in order to increase the attractiveness of the border area to improve the joint/ common touristic supplies and services on the ground of developing tourism at Ipoly- area.
Through the process of the project, 11 new pontoons have joined the Paddle Classification System.
The period of the project: 01/01/2018- 30/08/2019
The amount of total financial support / Total budget: 612.656,90 €
State contributions: 61.265, 69 €
Own contributions: 30.632, 85
Main project aims
Creation of new tourism products in the Ipoly river region by involving the local municipalities, companies and civilian associations.
Creating complex touristic service packages by connecting hiking and water tourism.
Increasing and generating popularity of nature conscious tourism.
Providing a large variety of sports activities either on land and water.
Introducing and maintaining local traditions.
Invigorating local and cross border community relations.
During the programmes’ realisation in the last 20 months we have encouraged the local service sectors to recognise the touristic potential in the area; to show teachers, families, sport-related clubs and the elderly the physically positive and educational effects of water sports and it can bring communities together.
The project was able to achieve these goals with the support of Ipoly-Region Association, Ipeľský Euroregión, Ochranárske a Kultúrne Združenie Poiplia- Ipeľská únia and the Hungarian Kayak- Canoe Association.
The activities of the project
The 20 months of project work was organised around nine main activities:
- Act: Management: the main task of the management was to achieve and realise their own part of the project and to ensure cooperation. As a consequence of effective teamwork that was carried out by Máté Szegner ( project manager ) and Ida Wollent ( cross border partner ), different modifications of project duration and budget were successfully completed.
- Act: Communication: the publicity of the project was ensured by holding two press conferences, one concluding conference, creation of a new website, twenty-two information boards and eleven permanent posters, furthermore four articles were published in the press and twelve professional events were held.
- Act: Mentor program: the most important professional element of the project. László Ipacs mentor ensured the professional success of the project by visiting and informing Hungarian schools for 6 months and Slovakian schools for 6 months as well as supervisory and licensing authorities and local governments. He also validated the professional aspects of water tourism in the course of planning and implementation.
- Act: “Rowing in the same river” - green trail development: five local values workshops and two round table discussions were organised involving local experts with the aim of to collect relevant touristic attractions. The results were published in three languages and twenty-two copies. The over 100 km long mapped Ipoly green trail fills a great void in water tourism.
- Act: Promotion of the region: a website and downloadable Mobil applications were created, and also three films were made in order to increase the attractiveness of the Ipoly river area.
- Act.: Water family days in Slovakia
- Act: Water rowing camps: We organised 12 roving camps along the Ipoly river in the summer of 2019.
Both, Hungarian and Slovakian citizens joined the programme.
Most importantly, we organise programmes for families, touristic service providers, and authorities with the aim of providing great possibilities and occasions to build relationships that will bear fruit for both parties and promoting smooth cross border cooperation.The camps attracted more than three hundred people and achieved great success. Experienced guides assisted them on Robinson Islands, located near Szécsény. The teams took part in riding, kayaking, and canoeing for two days to discover the surrounding area. By taking part in these trips the participants gained knowledge and enriching experiences about the values of nature and culture of the Ipoly-region. The trail included Litke, Bussa, Balassagyarmat, Nagycsalomja and Ipolytölgyes.They also visited Visegrád where they found great pleasure in viewing the landscape of the Estuary of Ipoly-Danube from the air by sliding Air Canopy.There was an opportunity to meet Tamás Wichmann, the world champion of canoe who performed a fascinating guitar play by which he impressed his audience.There was also a possibility to get acquainted with two junior champions, Laura Gönczöl, and Réka Opavszky. They explained that anyone can become a champion by being persistence and determined.We were challenged by electric gadgets but we have won the “battle “, thanks to the effective sports activities and the beauty of the surrounding area. We always emphasise the importance of environment protection as a consequence the participants have obtained reliable and wide knowledge of this field.
- Act: Procurement of Equipment:
The necessary equipment of water tourism was supplied by three partners and as a result, the required equipment was given to eleven different places of the network for the operation.
The operators of the “ rowing in the same river” network are determined to carry on the programme in the future. As a result, they signed an agreement of 5 years further cooperation in 30/ 08/ 2019.
The Ipel- rowing network started operating.
The obtained equipment includes 94 equipped kayaks-canoes for shipping 253 persons, 2 dragon boats, 74 bicycles with child seats. 5 meteorological stations provide up to date information for the website, 9 portable floating pontoons, 7 containers for ship storage, 4 trailers for ship transport, 2 lifeboats, and 2 nine-seater vehicles.
We held four workshops for the future operators, partners, families, and athletes in the course of the project.The programmes of the three days workshops were based on theoretical and practical knowledge to be obtained as well as to get familiar with the natural values and beauty of the Ipoly area by rowing or cycling around.As a result of the workshops, 18 people had accreditation as water tourist guides.We can count on them in the future.