Northern Gateway to Karelia – Internationalisation.. (Northern Gateway to ..)
Northern Gateway to Karelia – Internationalisation of Local Tourism
Date du début: 31 août 2005,
Date de fin: 30 oct. 2007
The background of the project was the Northern Route to Karelia project, which found the demand for nature and culture tourism to be constantly increasing. The growth in demand was particularly evident in Central Europe. A need was therefore seen for developing the international cooperation of Finnish and Russian tourism entrepreneurs and to include foreign – especially Central European – travel agents in planning. The goal of the project was to develop and increase cooperation between Finnish and Russian tourism companies and their shared products as well as develop marketing materials and implement marketing activities. The activities were to include increasing the communication between the numerous tourism development projects in progress in the project area that are being carried out by entrepreneurs and other actors. In addition, good tourism practises were to be promoted on both sides of the border. Product development was to be focused on international products: consequently, Central European travel agents were included in the project to assist in development. The goal of the project was to specifically attract Central European nature and culture travellers and tourists to the Province of Oulu and, using the airports in Kajaani and Kuusamo, to the northern parts of the Republic of Karelia. In addition, a goal of the project was to develop both Finnish and international bus and group visits to the area. Programme services were also to be developed for meeting travellers, for example. Achievements: The companies engaged in product development work during the project primarily as a part of their own development activities. However, some of the products/product packages were produced specifically by activities in the project, while others were produced in association with it. The activities were affected by changes in the operational environment, particularly in Russia, such as the expansion of the border region and changes in legislation for tourism companies. The project produced a DVD presenting the region, called Wildlife in Finland, in cooperation with other projects and ten companies, of which five were partner companies in the project. In addition, a light stand was designed and produced for use at various fair and sales events as marketing material. Participation in European fair and sales events was successful as planned. The project participated in various ways in four separate events in France, Spain, Germany, and England. In addition, the project took part in the international Wild Taiga event in Kuhmo. The project also conducted or was a partner in the implementation of four seminars. Participation at several fairs enabled cooperation with companies and other projects in progress. Four orientation visits for representatives from the international press and foreign travel agencies were organised to the project area. These visits were organised in cooperation with other projects, for example, the Thousand Lakes project. The visits increased awareness of the area, though it was still regarded as limited. The visits resulted in, for example, an article about Karelia being published in the Italian Gulliver magazine. The number of participating international project partners was reached as planned. Three German travel agents participated in project-related functions.
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