The project “UPSIDE-DOWN HOUSE IN SMĀRDE PARISH” has created a new and unique tourism attraction in Latvia. What is an upside-down house? It can be considered a two-story family house with a kitchen, living room, bedroom, children’s room, bathroom, and toilet, and even an attic. From the outside, the house appears as if it has turned upside down, resting on its roof, creating the illusion that the floors are suspended in the air while all the usual items inside the rooms are in their normal positions. Not only is all the furniture inside the house upside down, but the construction includes a slight slope, which creates unprecedented sensations and challenges the sense of balance. The project has created a new and exciting tourist attraction but also contributed to the development of local entrepreneurship and generated three full-time job positions.
The project was developed at “Guntiņas” in Smārde Parish, Tukums County…
As a result of the project, a unique tourism service was created in Latvia, which is available all year round. In order to attract more customers and supplement the offered range of services, in addition to this newly created service, other offers have been created – mirror maze, tornado vortex, mini golf, in 2024 an upside-down garage with a car and various tools will be created.
As a result of the project, 3 new jobs have been created for local residents, including local youth are also employed in the summer. In 2023, the income from the facility will exceed 150,000 euros.
Emblematic character of the project
Priority – Innovations in the diversification of tourism services, reduction of seasonality
Within the framework of the strategy, the partnership especially supports projects that result in a new product or service that has never existed before. As a result of this project, a new service has been created on the scale of Latvia, because this type of tourism offer has never existed in our country. In addition to innovation, this project solves the main problem of the Latvian tourism industry – seasonality. The newly created service is not seasonal in nature – it is available and equally well enjoyed throughout the year. This is very important, because seasonality in tourism in Latvia is the main problem and it is a big challenge for entrepreneurs to create services that are not seasonal in nature.
Of course, in the summer, when it is vacation time and the number of tourists is higher, the number of visitors to the Upturned House is also higher, but when autumn comes, the Upturned House is visited by groups of students, work teams and other individual travelers. In order to attract visitors, the entrepreneur also organizes various thematic events for Halloween, Christmas, Easter, and also includes rooms for private events – birthday celebrations, seminars, etc.
Needs and challenges – creation of new jobs for local residents, promotion of the local area and promotion of recognition, creation of all-season tourism services,
The project has significantly contributed to the development and recognition of the local area, because:
1) The object popularizes the local area and promotes its recognition, because tourists from Latvia and abroad come to the area because of this unique object,
2) Tourists, in addition to this object, visit neighboring tourist objects, cafes, shops, accommodation in the area, thus other entrepreneurs also benefit,
3) The service is open all year round, it is not seasonal in nature, there is no similar service in the territory of Latvia;
4) The entrepreneur cooperates with other entrepreneurs by offering an expanded service offer and promoting the growth of local businesses (cooperation with the “Classic Car & Motorcycle Garage” museum, SIA “Šlokenbekas pils” and SIA “Apsīte” for catering service),
5) Providing local residents with 3 jobs,
6) The entrepreneur is actively involved in the activities of the local community, supports the local government within the framework of various events organized by the municipality – for example Smārde festival, Tukuma Rose festival.
7) The entrepreneur works in an environmentally friendly manner and cooperates with the Nature Protection Board, as the object is located in a specially protected natural area – Ķemeri National Park.
This project is a wonderful example of how a small amount of funding (65,000 EUR EDFLA) can have a big effect and solve important problems and challenges of the local area.
The experience is both about “catching” an idea (the businessman got the idea while visiting a similar house in Estonia and decided that he could create something like that on his small piece of land in the countryside), about cooperation with other entrepreneurs, about service development, change and creation of new offers for tourists it would always be interesting and the service would also be in demand in autumn, winter and spring.
Very good cooperation has also been established between the entrepreneur and the LAG, the municipality.
Thanks to the fact that this is a new (innovative) tourism service in Latvia, the entrepreneur did not need to spend a lot of money on marketing, because the media and tourism agencies themselves sought out the entrepreneur and wanted to tell the public about him and advertise.
The ability to see and transform what you see into your idea. Teaches how to realize an idea, ask for help if needed, be open and use opportunities!
Partnership for Rural and the Sea