Kuldiga District Municipality, Latvia

A pioneer in digital data analytics for cultural tourism through the global visitor flow analysis using artificial intelligence.

Region: Kurzeme


Type of organisation leading the larger local innovation ecosystem

Public authority

Kuldīga is one of the most charming and magical destinations in Latvia. It is a place that has preserved its medieval appearance and charm. The Kurzeme Region is the Western Region of Latvia, which is involved in the project represented by the Kuldiga District municipality (public authority of central part of the Region). The Kuldiga Municipality has been a pioneer in digital data analytics for cultural tourism in Latvia regarding the global visitor flow analysis by artificial intelligence. It has received the Sustainable Tourism Innovation award VISTAS in 2014, ITB, Berlin.

Main challenges related to cultural tourism

The main challenge is to boost Circular Cultural Tourism innovations, especially Augmented Reality solutions and tools. The AR tools planned to be developed within the project:

  • AR GUIDE and navigation for Kuldiga city. AR guide app would allow users to scan cultural and historical landmarks, monuments, and geographical points of interest to view instant interactive digital information.
  • AR cultural tourism MAP. Cities often offer touristic maps of the surrounding areas to help guide and inform guests during their visits. Similar hotels could use the actual map to reveal landmarks, famous constructions, and cultural monuments digitally popping out of the map in a realistic or artistic manner.
  • AR art and Museums. Digital artists feature their art throughout the digital museums. Users could scan paintings and outdoor art murals to view, capture, and share the digitally hidden art on social media. It also allows tourists to learn more about the artworks and artists with a simple phone scan that could trigger audio guides, videos, text or a digital version of the artist himself explaining his masterpiece and personal story.
  • Augment existing 3D Art. Cool monument, fountain, or architectural feature in town. The aim is to use Object e Scene AR Tracking technology to have digital augmentations attached to objects, sculptures, or the building structure itself.
  • AR for restaurants and hotel dining. Digital representations of the 3D food menu or entertaining stories about the traditional artisan restaurant or hotel and the area. When visiting the restaurant, guests can point their phone’s viewfinder to enjoy a series of artistic styles digitally layered around cocktails and meals, brought to life through Image Tracking augmented reality technology for sustainable and circular cultural tourism.
Our main goal regarding Circular Cultural Tourism is to boost Circular innovations, especially Augmented Reality solutions and tools. AR will scale cultural experiences. Once it arrives, Augmented Reality will be everywhere.

Current strategic planning

We have updated two separate documents: culture as well as tourism development programs, both by 2021. The main objectives of the Kuldiga Culture Development Program 2021–2028 are:

  • To identify and evaluate the existing creative industries and cultural environments of the municipality resources, including both cultural institute and organizational resources, offering a clear vision and solutions;
  • Targeted planning of actions and investments, incl. the municipal budget for culture development; 
  • To substantiate the attraction of all types of investments to culture and related industries, incl. foreign and domestic investment; 
  • To promote the recognition of the cultural activities of the region in the regional, national and internationally

Ideas and future perspectives

Within Be.CULTOUR project, we wish to co-create and test sustainable human-centred innovations for circular cultural tourism through collaborative innovation networks within the project. We wish to develop some of the five ideas (mentioned before):

  • AR GUIDE and navigation for Kuldiga city.

  • AR cultural tourism MAP.

  • Digital AR art in Museums or outdoor art exhibitions.

  • Augment existing 3D Art. 

  • AR for restaurants and hotel dining.

Cultural heritage asset description


The cooperation between the city residents, house owners, managers and Kuldiga municipality is very important, which has become an integral part of the management of the historical UNESCO centre of Kuldiga oldtown. In 2011, the Kuldīga Oldtown Preservation and Development Plan was approved, comprehensively including various aspects of cultural and historical heritage preservation, integrating them into the sections of economic development, environmental protection, sustainable tourism and cultural development.


Type of cultural heritage


Specific goal related to the selected asset

The top heritage assets and specific territorial challenges are Lack of data (and data-driven policies) and unknown destination. In Latvia, we have been pioneers in digital data analytics regarding the global visitor flow analysis through artificial intelligence in the local climate context. Therefore, we are eager to develop Smart data monitoring and management system for circular cultural tourism in Kuldiga as well as to develop sustainable human-centred innovations for circular cultural tourism to display the heritage asset.

Europeanisation: linkages between local heritage and European history and culture

Kuldiga is an ancient Viking centre from the 9 th Century. This heritage site is focused on the European history, identity and culture expressed in tangible and intangible cultural heritage, cultural landscapes, developing European Cultural Routes and the following European Heritage Labels: Vikings, Hansa, Christianity, Duke Jacob road, UNESCO site, EUROvelo 10 and 13, etc.

European and international Cultural Heritage recognition(s)

Cultural heritage is an integral part of Kuldiga city. The historical centre of Kuldiga received the European Heritage Label in 2008 and was included in the UNESCO World Heritage Latvian List in 2011. In 2007 "Kuldīga Town in the Valley of the River Venta" was awarded with the title of the Best European Destination of Excellence in Latvia. It was awarded with Europa Nostra Award too. Kuldīga District council has been a member of the international organization “Mayors for Peace” since 2015 and from 2020, a member of the European Covenant of Mayors too.

Ongoing projects and best practices

  • Digital data analytics for culture tourism in Latvia regarding the visitor flow analysis by artificial intelligence in the local climate context.
  • Kuldiga International Bauhaus Art Festival 
  • Development of Forest trail In Latvia and Lithuania and expanding the Baltic Coastal Hiking route in Lithuania. 
  • Revival of Industrial heritage for tourism development 
  • The adaptation of the Venta river to tourism in the border areas of Lithuania and Latvia (ViVa), Etc.