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Creating Incentive Travel as a Product for Russian Tourists
Funded by Euregio Karelia Neighbourhood Programme 2001-2006

Objective of the project

The goals of the project were related to the travel cluster of the ‘Framework for Developing the North Karelia Region for 2006’ programme. The starting point of the project was to support growth-oriented rural tourism companies through product development and marketing, with a view to tourism marketing for Russia. The quantitative goals of the project included increasing tourism revenues, increasing the number of Russian overnight stays and lengthening the travel season to accommodate Russian tourists.

Main activities

• Establishment of new tourism products (incentive products) and marketing and sales of existing rural tourism products to Russia • Further development of the rental system for cabins, increasing the quality of cabins to meet the needs and demands of Russian tourists, • Arrangement of sales and marketing training, language and culture training as well as quality training for entrepreneurs.


The project arranged sales and marketing training, language and culture training as well as quality training for entrepreneurs. Four of the 10 companies that participated in the quality training (Pikkukili, Eräpaimen, Korintti and Kestikievari Herranniemi) were later awarded the ‘Best in Region’ title. The cooperative partner network was expanded in Russia: The North Karelia Club network was expanded with three travel agencies from Petrozavodsk, two from Moscow (also with offices in St. Petersburg), and two from St. Petersburg. A video recorded by the director of a Russian travel agency about North Karelia winter activities at Koli, Vuonislahti, Heinävesi and Joensuu was broadcast on television in St. Petersburg, attracting one-and-a-half million viewers. Seven fishing related travel package products suitable for marketing and sales were created during the project. The knowledge of the Russian market obtained earlier was utilised in creating products; fishing was of interest to Russians during all seasons. The product brochures on fishing packages were translated into Russian for the Russian market. The actual effect of the project on turnover growth for rural tourism companies was difficult to measure accurately, as the majority of Russians stayed in cabins, which are not included in official tourism statistics. The project did, however, strengthen the connections between North Karelia and Russian travel agencies, which increased awareness of North Karelia in Russia. Similarly, the project increased the entrepreneurs’ knowledge of Russia and Russians in the North Karelian travel industry, thereby strengthening the competitiveness of the region.

Basic information


Creating Incentive Travel as a Product for Russian Tourists


2001-12-31 - 2004-12-31

Total Budget / Programme funding

425 881 € / 347 679 €

Lead partner

North Karelia Adult Education Centre
Lead partner web-site


Prostor Plus Travel Agency
Baltic Tourist Complex
Karelia Expert
Rural Advisory Centre of North Karelia
North Karelia Municipal Education and Training Consortium
Tourism Network Project of North Karelia