The 4th bilateral study visit of the INSiGHTS project took place from 25 to 27 April 2018 in Komárno (SK), Komárom (HU) and Tata (HU). The Pons Danubii EGTC (Slovakia) hosted three participants from Harghita County Council (Romania) and a mentor from the Ökologischer Tourismus in Europa (Ö.T.E.) e.V. (Germany).

The first evening partners met in Komárno in the hotel they were accommodated to attend a presentation on good practices (including a smart card system) related to the Integrated Tourism management schemes in Komárom-Esztergom County by Gábor Magyarics, the director of Duna-Gerecse regional DMO.  After this, Zoltán Bara, the director of Pons Danubii EGTC introduced the Pons Danubii region to the partners.

The next day partners enjoyed the peaceful beauties of nature during a guided tour on the Fényes natural trail in Tata (HU). Walking along the study path partners were not only able to taste the flora and fauna of the Fényes springs but also historic references, legends, the water’s energy and the old Tata bath time, as well as they could get familiar with today’s nature protection efforts and the tasks due to climate change. 

Following this, partners took a Segway guided tour in Tata. While moving on two wheels around the Old and Cseke lakes and in the English park partners visited the main sights of the town, the Castle, the Pötörke water mill and artificial ruins just to name a few.

After lunch partners and local stakeholders were welcomed by József Michl, the mayor of Tata to kick off the afternoon session of the visit in the New Kayak House Ecotourism Centre in Tata. Michael Meyer, the mentor of the pilot partners, talked about the ways and good practices of creating tourism packages, which was followed by an interactive session where stakeholders and partners shared their thoughts on creating tourism packages in the Pons Danubii region. Peter Klučka, the national cyclo-coordinator of Slovakia, originally attending the meeting as a participant, was happy to share his experiences while showing some amazing photos from his bicycle trip from the Atlantic Ocean to the Black Sea proving that the green ways of tourism are the way to go.

The participants had a chance to get an insight into the integrated regional tourism management schemes in Komárom-Esztergom County presented by Nikolett Vidáné-Aradi, the manager of Duna-Gerecse regional DMO. After that Szentesi Tamás, the director of Komárom local DMO gave a presentation about the integrated local tourism management schemes: example of Komárom. Finally, Lilla Varga, the office manager of OOCR Podunajsko - Dunamente regional DMO, talked about the integrated tourism management schemes along the Danube in Slovakia. The session was finished with a very productive discussion about the topics.

The partners travelled back to Komárno, where they finished the day with a dinner in the restaurant Kortina located in the fortification system of the town.

The last day of the visit partners met on the Klapka square in the centre of Komárno (SK) to collect their tandem bicycles to cycle to Komárom (HU) and then to the Fort Monostor. The tandem cycle ride proved a very memorable experience full of joy and a great way of team building, while also being an excellent example of green tourism. After arriving at Fort Monostor, partners took a guided tour in the fort, which is the largest early modern-era fortification in Central Europe and also a candidate for the UNESCO World Heritage List. After having lunch in the nearby Vámház restaurant, partners cycled back to the Slovak side of the river Danube to Komárno.

To sum up, the 4th bilateral Study Visit contributed very positively to the work within the INSiGHTS project. The discussions and the input of the mentor during the visit contributed greatly to the planned pilot action.