Case Study

Hiking boom and the necessity to be present

Contact name

Laura Spundere

Institution name

Latgale Region Tourism Association

Region & country



A couple of years ago, our Latvian colleagues from the association “Latvijas lauku ceļotājs/Baltic Country Holidays” realized much-needed projects, which resulted in the creation of two long-distance hiking routes named “Jūrtaka” (near Baltic Sea) and “Mežtaka” (across forests). Even before the pandemic, it was clear that venturing into nature and long-distance hiking would become increasingly popular. Therefore, both projects largely provided publicly accessible and user-friendly tourism products.
In 2020, the Latgale Tourism Association also began working on the creation of long-distance hiking routes in the Latgale region “Lake Trail/Ezertaka”.

Latgale Hiking Days 2023

Background of the project

Before creating the long-distance hiking trail in the Latgale region, the longest marked trail was approximately 16 kilometers. Other marked trails in the region did not exceed 5 kilometers in length. The Latgale region is rich in various water bodies, so the trail is named “Lake Trail,” and the trail within the possibilities goes along various types of water bodies. Across the route, there are several nature reserves, including the “Natura 2000” site – Rāznas Lake National Park.

* In the region, there is a lot of untouched nature, yet there were practically no routes.
* One of the challenges of regional tourism is to prolong the visitors’ stay. The long-distance hiking route is a publicly accessible product that can also be used for multi-day adventures.
* The region lacked products that create a cohesive image of the tourism destination.

Solution and actions taken

* The visual identity of the long-distance hiking route has been created according to the brand book recommendations of the region, and the logo has been designed in a similar style to other long-distance hiking routes in Latvia, thus creating an already mentioned cohesive image of the tourism destination.

In other parts of Latvia, long-distance hiking routes have been established thanks to large-scale projects. The route in the Latgale region has been created solely with the help of the association’s annual funding, which is why our route lacks more ambitious marketing activities. Despite the lack of funding, we are very proud that our trail is fully marked, and this year we plan to mark two more small sections, which will serve as optional hikes.

Other institutions or parties involved

Latvian State Forestry, National Nature Conservation Agency, and Latvian State roads – the route before marking was reconciled with all of the official state bodies. Regional Tourism centers helped during the marking of the trail and currently is involved in preserving and developing the product.


The long-distance hiking route in Latgale has gained considerable popularity and is becoming increasingly sought after every year. For the second year in a row, the Latgale Tourism Association has organized “Latgale Hiking Days” – a free public hiking series in various locations across the Latgale region. Last year, 11 hikes were organized, attracting approximately 900 hikers, which is significant for the region. This year, 10 different hikes are planned.


* Bureaucracy in the reconciliation of the route
* Convincing residents that this trail is not a hindrance but a benefit
* Lack of financial resources.

Lessons learned

Even long after the pandemic, long-distance hiking and being in nature have not lost their relevance. We anticipate that this popularity will continue to grow.
It is increasingly important to continue working on public and accessible outdoor events because the demand is there, but the supply in the region is currently insufficient.

Contact name

Laura Spundere

Institution name

Latgale Region Tourism Association


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