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Launching of the Activities of the Large Carnivore Visitor Centre
Funded by Euregio Karelia Neighbourhood Programme 2001-2006

Objective of the project

The goal was to create the most extensive and dependable information source regarding large carnivores in Finland. The project was to increase the appeal of the whole area as a tourism destination and to make the large carnivore information centre into a unique tourism product.

Main activities

• Renewal of the exhibition at the Petola Visitor Centre in Kainuu both technically and regarding its content, • Renewal of the Petola Visitor Centre, • Publication of the renewed website www.suupedot.fi.


The exhibition at the Visitor Centre was renewed both technically and regarding its content. The old exhibition area was now available for general use, and the actual inspirational large carnivore exhibition was constructed in the new facility. A sixty seat auditorium, teamwork facility and nature classroom are now available in the Petola Visitor Centre. The renewed Visitor Centre offers facilities also for café and restaurant services provided by an external entrepreneur. In addition, the www.suupedot.fi website was renewed in the project. The visitor volume at the renewed Petola Visitor Centre was doubled compared to that of the previous Kainuu Nature Centre. The average annual visitor volume was 18,000 visitors. The Visitor Centre's support to tourism is to be continued in the future as well through planned cooperation between actors. Petola has good cooperation relationships with the City of Kuhmo, tourism and nature tourism companies of the area, and actors in culture. Educational cooperation has also been started and Petola has attracted school groups not only from Kainuu, but also from various parts of Finland and abroad, Russia in particular. The border region cooperation was increased through the project, particularly with the Kostamuksha Nature Reserve. In addition, preconditions for developing nature tourism for the Republic of Karelia were established. Petola is also building relationships with nature centres in other countries. The future of large carnivore communication is the responsibility of the Large Carnivore Steering Group, which consists of several contributors. The task for handling the national large carnivore communication was not assigned to any entity during the project. However, when the decision is made to establish a communication centre, Petola has the best capacity to accept the offered task.

Basic information


Launching of the Activities of the Large Carnivore Visitor Centre


2003-03-17 - 2005-12-31

Total Budget / Programme funding

695 800 € / 478 393 €

Lead partner

Town of Kuhmo
Lead partner web-site


Kostomuksha Nature Reserve
Metsähallitus / Ostrobothnia-Kainuu Natural Heritage Services
Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Games and Fisheries Research
Kainuu Game Management District
Kainuu Nature Conservation Association