Development of Liepaja Urban Core & Beach & Its Seaside Park
The bases for urban core development are its natural and cultural attractions, existing infrastructure and human resources. With respect to natural attractions, the Liepaja may not have scenery as spectacular as in other cities of Europe, but in many cases it houses more rich and diverse ecosystems, which have not been degraded by pollution or overuse. During the Soviet period, the provision and improvement of tourism services, and indeed basic infrastructure were not such a high priority, and the industry was in decline.
Today, almost ten years after re-independence, studies undertaken by EU experts show that in 1996 tourism in Latvia accounted for more than 5% of GDP and almost 8% of State exports. Tourism is once again a growth industry. Infrastructure is being renewed and improved, information is more readily available, and both local and foreign entrepreneurs are looking for new opportunities.
Since re-independence in 1991, Liepaja Municipality has been very active in redefining its role. A number of important political and economic issues have been resolved, and a number of large projects are currently completed or underway for the improvement of infrastructure. The time is now ripe for the drafting of a realistic Tourism Development Strategy, based on the successful activities completed to date, and which will help guide tourism development in a sustainable and environmentally-friendly manner involving both public and private sector resources.
At present tourism development occurs as and when funds become available, on an ad-hoc basis, and there is currently no co-ordinated programme for the maximisation of positive effects and minimisation of negative effects. In order to prevent rapid and unsustainable development, which will have to be rectified at a later stage, a pro-active approach should be taken. This should include capacity building within the public sector and the enacting of conditions which will attract private sector interest.
Tourism becomes one of the most important branches of the economy of Liepaja, providing a wide range of opportunities for entertainment of good quality.
It is needed to develop urban core of the city. Of great importance are camping facilities, because, city is visited by big number of tourists, who travel with bicycles, busses and on foot, with motorcycles, and who would like to overnight in a tents or inexpensive camping houses.
The urban core of Liepaja – its historical centre. City historical centre first of all represents city “face”, its image, by which we know Liepaja ourselves and which it stays in a memory of guests. In a centre are represented practically all functions – businesses, shopping, municipalities and social establishments, entertainment and education, flats. Centre is a job place in everyday life. It is also everyday goal or transit point for the main part of inhabitants. It has also important place in green area of the city (beach, Seaside Park). …
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