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Ethno-cultural potential in tourist industry of border territories (KA1030)
Funded by Karelia CBC 2014-2020

Objective of the project

Identifying the conditions, opportunities and readiness of companies in the development of common ethnic, cultural and tourism products in cross-border economic cooperation.

Main activities

• Organizing and carrying out a sociologic applied research on the subject of the demand for tourism products of the frontier territory. • Formation of an analytical report on the study of the potential demand for ethnic and cultural tourism product of frontier territories. • Organizing and carrying out a sociological research of tourist firms of Karelia and North Karelia on the subject of the using ethno-cultural products as business products and research of the technical-economical conditions for creating common cross border cultural-tourism products. • Formation of an analytical report on the study of the prevalence of the ethno-cultural product in the tourism business and the conditions necessary for the creation of joint cross-border business products. • Organizing and carrying out case-studies based on the firms’ data aiming to work out recommendations and criteria of the quality of provided services. • Generalizing the recommendations of the specialists and the results of the researches into the concept (guideline document) • Holding a joint meeting-presentation of the project results for tourist enterprises of the border area. Identify potential members of the partner network.


The goal of the project is fully achieved. It was possible to understand how tourists and the tourism business are interested in getting to know and presenting the local cultural heritage as a business product, how they are ready to create a cross-border product, and by what vectors this cooperation can be developed.The study covered more than 800 tourists and 49 tourist enterprises of the territory of Northern Karelia of Finland and the Republic of Karelia. The results of the survey of the visitors show a high interest in ethnocultural tourism programs. The most popular products are products of natural, ecological, historical, cultural and ethnocultural types of tourism. Visitors to Karelia and North Karelia in Finland primarily focus on privacy, closeness to nature and the history of these places that, in its turn, is a mix of the local cultures of peoples living there. They are ready and eager to find out about traditional forms of living through various elements of the ethnocultural heritage: literature, legends and folklore of peoples, traditional cuisine, festivals, handicrafts and crafts. A significant difference in the supply of tourism products is worth noting. In Northern Finland there is no emphasis on the people, while in the republic of Karelia it is the ethnocultural practices of the peoples that are much represented. Finns offer to get acquainted with the history of a family that is closely related to the ethnic identity (Finns, Karelians). The history of the place comes to the fore through the history of a particular family without being directly related to the ethnos. Despite the difference in the development of activities, the majority of tourism enterprises in Karelia and Finland are ready for cooperation and the creation of joint tourism products. In general, the project was implemented successfully and achieved all the targets. But most importantly, that the project laid the foundation for further work in this direction.

Basic information




2018-12-03 - 2019-11-30

Total Budget / Programme funding

46 311 € / 41 677 €

Lead partner

The Mill Foundation
Lead partner web-site


Institute of Economics of the Karelian Research Centre of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Union for Rural Culture and Education, Joensuu culture association