Components

MARRIAGE started in October 2011 and lasts until September 2014 (36 months). Activities in the project are organized within 5 working components . Component related activities run parallel and are linked to each other. The thematic components 3, 4 and 5 are each dedicated to one of the main objectives

 

1. Management and Coordination

1. Management and Coordination

The first component comprises all activities ensuring efficient implementation of the project supported/ carried- out by Project Coordinator and Financial Manager in close cooperation with the Lead Beneficiary.

2. Communication and Dissemination

2. Communication and Dissemination

MARRIAGE uses publicity to guarantee a broad awareness of the project and its results by the general public as well as by politicians and decision makers. The second component deals with the internal communication to Partners and Associated Organisations. In terms of external communication, it concentrates on informing a wider audience on the project and its activities. The active dissemination of the MARRIAGE outputs, products and results to the envisaged target groups is allocated in the thematic component 3, 4 and 5.

3. Joint promotion of the south Baltic rim as cross-border boating area

3. Joint promotion of the south Baltic rim as cross-border boating area

The third component advertises boating in the southern Baltic rim in a new way. As proven in other well-promoted cross-border sailing area at sub-Baltic Sea Region level (e.g. Denmark / Germany) boaters like to visit different ports and places on their trips and can be motivated to sail adjacent countries. These boasters create further incomes at marina and destination level. MARRIAGE aims in making use of the existing potentials of the domestic markets in Germany, Poland, Lithuania and Russia and further increase the number of boats already sailing coast-parallel and across the borders. Core element of the approach is, therefore, to further develop and integrate the product profiles of boating areas and destinations at regional level (e.g. Rugen, Zachodniopomorskie). Regional tourism organisations that “own” these products will start to present their boating destinations as part of the southern Baltic rim.

The joint marketing campaign bases on regional actions which are coordinated on cross-border level:

  • Development of integrated print materials like boating brochures on part-areas or destinations that address foreign guests (e.g. foreign language versions) and encourage cross-border trips (e.g. info on foreign destinations in reach). On top “lean” umbrella materials (brochure / leaflet / banner) present overall information on the southern Baltic rim as cross-border boating area.
  • New digital offers with Web 2.0 elements like “Boating apps” provide similar information in digital form. They are created for each region separately. Interactive app features (e.g. “like it” buttons) and a “cross-border boating forum” provide user-generated contents. This is to enhance trust in provided information, as also mental barriers and prejudices prevent boaters to travel across borders.
  • Joint fair visits with common booths of partners at relevant boating fairs present the region as cross-border boating area and increase its visibility on the domestic markets along the southern Baltic rim.
  • Multiplier campaigns with a series of “fam trips” for a common pool of journalists from the participating countries are organized to induce media articles. A cross-border regatta Lithuania-Russia-Poland for journalists and other boaters demonstrates new tour options after opening of Kaliningrad waters. Advertisements and information placement in relevant print and online media add on top.
  • Pilots of Web 2.0 marina websites and booths for foreign boaters prepare the transfer of the campaign to the marina level.

4. Knowledge transfer and training for better marina management and profitable marina operation

4. Knowledge transfer and training for better marina management and profitable marina operation

The fourth component seeks to enhance competences in marina management and operation in Poland and Lithuania through a knowledge transfer among practitioners. The strategic focus of the competence development is to enhance the profitability of marinas. As their operation is capital intensive, lack of incomes can easily cause problems to maintain proper infrastructure and services in ports that once had high quality. Profitability appears imperative for durably safeguarding attractive marinas especially in Poland and Lithuania, where most ports are run by municipalities with low financial capacities.

The knowledge transfer and competence development with this regard includes 3 steps:

  • Successful practices from Germany are identified and analysed. An international expert group that is composed of marina operators, experts and educators from Germany, Poland and Lithuania supervises and supports the process. Working methods include desk research, operator interviews (focus: tacit knowledge), study trips and feedback workshops within the expert group. The direct dialogue between sources, transmitters and recipients of knowledge is used for educating the (regional) trainers. The findings are processed into a prototype handbook / training curriculum.
  • The gathered knowledge is amended for training marina operators in Poland and Lithuania. Specific versions are created for them in national languages and extended by country-specific contents.
  • Regional trainings programmes (Zachoniopomorskie, Pomorskie, Klaipeda) are implemented on this basis. They are offered off-season and as a series of modules, as target groups may vary dependent on contents (e.g. marketing > management, service mentality > operational staff). Regional authorities support recruitment of participants. Public “marina testing visits” in each region by German operators are to raise further interest.

Challenges of this approach are the proper target group retention which requires educational skills, consideration of national specifics and on-the-spot trainings in national languages. Main sources of expertise, however, are marina operators from Germany who are willing to give their knowledge but have naturally only limited skills and capacities with these regards.

5. Innovative approaches for consolidating and further developing the marina network in the southern Baltic rim

5. Innovative approaches for consolidating and further developing the marina network in the southern Baltic rim

In the fifth component innovative approaches for developing and operating new marinas are explored and transferred. The strategic focus is to further densify the network in the southern Baltic rim and to close last gaps. This requires alternative forms of financing, planning, designing and operating marinas: Investment and operating costs for marinas at “vacant” places are high in absolute (e.g. at outer shores) and / or relative terms (e.g. complementary harbours with low revenue potentials). At the same time, EU funding is decreasing within infrastructure programmes, which were the main driving forces so far. Even a “public funding break” is to be feared at the shift of EU programming periods 2013 / 14. Completing the network in near future, therefore, requires private capital and / or lowering development and operating costs for new marinas.

A respective cross-border exchange and learning processes gathers successful practices and promising ideas through baseline studies, exchange workshops and study trips. Pilots test new approaches or introduce adapted approaches to new countries. It concentrates on three fields that are partly connected:

  • PPPs (public-private-partnerships): Broader use for marina development and operation requires decent profits for investors and confidence of political decision makers, both of which are often difficult to achieve. Yet, PPP are widely applied for operating marinas in Germany, but only few develop new marinas. Hence an international state-of-the art report reappraises how public and private partners can best divide costs, revenues and responsibilities throughout the development and operation process. It reviews example marinas in Germany and PPP experiences from other countries and contexts. On this basis, new PPP model concepts for developing and operating marinas are elaborated in Germany (Zingst, Heringsdorf), Poland (Petla Zulawska network) and Lithuania (Sventoji, Klaipeda).
  • “Island marinas”: They can be less costly alternatives at outer shores locations. The pier marina in Sopot / Poland that opens in summer 2011 is a first example in the southern Baltic rim. Concept and first operating experiences are used as reference for planning new outer shore marinas in Heringsdorf and Zingst / Germany.
  • Complementary guest-only boater stops: The German concept of “Wasserwanderrastplatze” shows that they can complete networks at low costs and short notice, but may also be critical in other aspects (e.g. competition with full-service marinas, maintenance problems). A new concept for guest-only boater stops for Szczecin Bay takes up these lessons and further advances the approach.

A “marina network consolidation toolbox” compiles all lessons and documents for potential “followers”. Results are also disseminated via specific trainings modules and materials in Component 4. As the key target group are local decision makers, Component 5 foresees translations and interpretation into national languages where necessary for exchange and dissemination.