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Call of the Wild North
Funded by Euregio Karelia Neighbourhood Programme 2001-2006

Objective of the project

The intention of the project was to develop a well-functioning and efficient business partnership network to produce nature and wilderness tourism services in the Republic of Karelia. The central parties of the network would be Wild North and its partnership entrepreneurs that operate in North Karelia along with their networks, the Tourism and Sports Committee of the Republic of Karelia, and Russian entrepreneurs and parties.

Main activities

• Organisation of a competitive bidding process for North Karelian companies, • Development of new tourism products: mapping of potential sites, obtaining official permits, building a Russian subcontracting network (guards, guides, accommodations, dining locations, transport services etc.) and creating contracts with Russian counterparts. • Creation of a network consisting of officials, companies and different actors in the tourism industry, • Marketing activities through brochures, adverts in periodicals, and fairs.


Four North Karelian nature tourism companies were included in the project through a competitive bidding process: Kartiisa Oy from Lieksa, Karelia Adventures from Joensuu, Carelian Wild Guys from Tohmajärvi and LK-ERÄ Oy from Kesälahti. All of the companies that took part in the tendering were experienced nature tourism organisers in Russia. The tourism product development work included mapping potential sites, obtaining official permits (hunting, fishing), building a Russian subcontracting network (guards, guides, accommodations, dining locations, transport services etc.) and creating contracts with Russian counterparts. The product descriptions of the developed products were completed by the entrepreneurs in cooperation with Wild North. The product development process also included finished-product trial trips, which were used to make any necessary changes to the products. The tourism product packages developed in the project were: Bear Hunting (Petrozavodsk and Aunus); Snowmobiling (Petrozavodsk and Sortavala); Fishing trips Vaskojoki, Vonga, Pistojoki, Lake Ääninen, Lake Ladoga; the ‘Thrashing of Rapids and the Exotic Eastern Border’ white-water rafting product; Adventure trip in Karelia; and the Adventures Holiday Karelia product. Active sales efforts for the developed tourism products were initiated and the finished products were included in Wild North’s marketing and sales systems. The marketing work was completed for each specific target group by mailing product brochures of hunting and fishing trips in Russia to hunting and fishing companies in Wild North’s business customer registry. The products were also marketed using adverts in periodicals and presenting them at fairs. Some of the developed products were sold on the Wild North website: www.villipohjola.fi. The cooperation companies selected to participate in the project also sold the developed products. Cooperative relationships were created between Wild North and the participating Finnish companies, which enabled cooperation in Russian Karelia and elsewhere. In addition, relationships with Russian officials and 16 Russian travel agencies/tourism service providers and 5 European travel agencies were created, which enabled cooperation in the future.

Basic information


Call of the Wild North


2003-01-01 - 2005-12-31

Total Budget / Programme funding

142 137 € / 99 500 €

Lead partner

Metsähallitus, Villi Pohjola
Lead partner web-site


Tourism and Sports Committee of the Republic of Karelia