The project is co-financed by the Governments of Czechia, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia through Visegrad Grants from International Visegrad Fund. The mission of the fund is to advance ideas for sustainable regional cooperation in Central Europe.
The aim of the project is to identify changes in the provision of services in cross-border tourism caused by the pandemic and to propose a solution that will be presented to service providers via TRJH.
Using primary research, it will be possible to compare the offer of services before and after the pandemic. The comparison will cover changes in the offer of service providers according to marketing tools, specifically in the area of product offerings, price changes, place of service provision, method of promotion, number of employees, offer of packages, number of employees and service delivery processes.
Part of the research will be to find out whether providers want to implement these changes in their offer in the long run or only in period after the pandemic, whether the changes are technological (virtual tours) or non-technological (price change). This information will be statistically evaluated and interpreted. The research and the obtained data are the content part of the project, which will involve two universities, whose faculties deal with tourism and are located in the CZ-PL border area. This content should reach four groups: students and educators, service providers, the government supporting tourism and visitors to the region. The project team will try to get the information obtained to these groups through a streamed conference, an online collection of papers published on the project website and TRJH website. The project will be further publicized through regional chambers of commerce, regional authorities, information centres, newspaper articles and radio spot.
If the project is supported, it will have a long-term positive impact primarily on providers of tourism services in the Jizera Mountains and thus a positive impact on the economy of both participating regions. This is not only a positive impact on companies, but also a positive impact on the jobs of employees in services that are at risk. The research will provide information on which changes in services in the region have been successful and which have failed depending on the field of accommodation, catering and transport services. The information obtained will also be interesting for people from the state administration engaged in the support of tourism in the region and will be distributed to them. Ultimately, the improvement of services will also have a positive impact for visitors to the region. Although the project is designed for the Jizera Mountains, it is beneficial for all V4 countries. Borders are often formed by mountains, such as the Czech Republic vs. Poland, Czech Republic vs. Slovakia, Slovakia vs. Poland, which are centres for tourism, and the results obtained will be applicable to most mountainous border regions. In addition, the government restrictions were applied nationwide and affected the entire territory not only of individual states, but also globally the entire territory of the V4. Likewise, the methodology of the project with planned outputs can be used for all border regions, because all service providers had very similar problems to those on the Czech-Polish border.
The implementation of the project has two positive effects. The first is for tourism service providers on both sides of the border. Differences between the offer of services in the period before the pandemic and the offer of services after the pandemic will be explicitly identified. The research will focus on the number of individual types of services and the structure of the offer. Data collection will be carried out by a combination of personal and electronic surveys and subsequently evaluated by descriptive statistics and the method of testing statistical hypotheses. The hypotheses will concern the existence of differences between the fields of basic services: accommodation, catering and transport. The results of the research will be provided via TRJH to both partners and members of the interest group and all other entities offering services in the region through IC. The second positive is the interconnection of two educational institutions and especially students of both universities. Both partners (students of tourism departments) will participate in all outputs together, which will lead to an exchange of experiences with university studies, to a knowledge of socio-cultural differences between the partners and to their understanding. The project will help physically present the border area of a neighbouring country to students, which is something students often do not know, even though they live and study at the border. The mutual contacts can be used by both teachers and students to deepen mutual relations and to implement other projects.
Once the project has been assigned, a project website. At the same time, a group will be set up on Instagram, where current information from the project will be communicated. All project outputs are online, due to participation in the zero-waste program. The website will provide information on the type of project, sources of funding, participants, objectives, progress of the research and the results of the project. The website will keep a record of the following project outputs:
Other communication channels will be used to provide information about the project: