duct Creation for Marketing Valkeatie Tourism (Product Creation for..)
duct Creation for Marketing Valkeatie Tourism
(Product Creation for Marketing Valkeatie Tourism)
Date du début: 30 juin 2005,
Date de fin: 29 juin 2007
For several years already, one of the basic ideas of developing the tourism industry in Northeastern Finland and in the northern regions of the Republic of Karelia has been based on development activities on the historic Valkeatie trade route and its nearby areas; however, Valkeatie has not been well known outside of North Ostrobothnia as a brand associated with tourism. Tourism industry entrepreneurs have been creating their own products independently for years. Teamwork and cooperation has been minimal, and cross-border cooperation between Finnish and Russian companies has been practically non-existent. The goal of the project was to market and increase the promotion of Valkeatie as a concept and a tourism brand internationally as well. Several types of tourism activities were to be created around the brand both in Finland and in the Republic of Karelia. Following the internationalisation of the Kuusamo–Suoperä border crossing point, travelling across the border was expected to create additional value for the marketing efforts of tourism in Koillismaa by giving foreign travellers the opportunity to see the exotic Republic of Karelia and the attractions it offers. Development of the project began during 2005 based on the Tourism Development Corridor Between Northeast Finland and Northwest Russia project. The beneficial impacts on the municipal sector were seen as being socioeconomic, bringing well-being and jobs to the region and, therefore, providing an opportunity to reduce the number of residents moving out of the area. Additional value was seen as being created in the business sector through an increase in business activities, which could create more jobs for the residents in the region. Achievements: The awareness of the Valkeatie road was increased as planned, by participating in several different fairs and by presenting the project to, for example, the domestic media, the Finnish Tourist Board and the European Parliament Committee on Budgets when they visited Kuusamo. The project also arranged trial trips for companies and familiarisation trips for reporters, which were used to create 15 new tourism products during the project. New tourism products were still under development upon conclusion of the project. The project has had a positive impact on employment – four new jobs were created through the project. In addition, investments related to tourism were made in the Louhi region during the project. According to the participating companies, awareness of the region increased considerably during the project; in particular, interest in the northern areas of the Republic of Karelia has been strengthened significantly. The project has contributed to creating an increased focus on the Valkeatie tourism area in the field of tourism in Northern Finland. During the project, a significant change in attitudes toward local tourism has occurred and trust in the cooperation between counterparts in the two countries has increased. Interest in cooperation was generated in new entities on both sides of the border and a perception that local tourism is a growing business activity was established. In addition, the attitudes of officials towards local tourism are more positive than before.
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