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Tourism Development Gateway between Northeast Finland and Northwest Russia
Funded by Euregio Karelia Neighbourhood Programme 2001-2006

Objective of the project

The goal of the project was to develop business activities related to tourism from Northwest Finland to Russia and to combine the tourism strategies of the regions and use them as a foundation for a mutual tourism development strategy. An additional goal was to initiate development processes between the different counterparts related to tourism so that they could create a foundation for travel business that could be implemented on both sides of the border.

Main activities

• Elaboration of a local tourism strategy between the regions of Koillismaa and Louhi, • Organising of a tourism seminar at Pyaozersky. • Organising of shared and company-specific language, culture and regional knowledge training sessions, • Safety training, elaboration of a safety plan for operations in Karelia, • Organising of trial trips.


A local tourism strategy was created between Koillismaa and Louhe region in the project to be utilised in the shared tourism development functions of the regions. A tourism seminar was held at Pääjärvi and expertise was improved by organising shared and company-specific language, culture and regional knowledge training. Russian cooperative counterparts participated to the extent possible within the regulatory framework. The significance of the Russian language for operations across the border and for serving Russian tourists was emphasised. In addition, safety training was provided in order to create shared operational procedures. This type of training was relatively unknown in Russia. A safety plan, which addresses operations in Karelia, particularly in the Louhi region, was also created together with the companies. Awareness of the region was actively increased and the tourism image of the area improved. Numerous new counterparts were connected with tourism functions throughout the project. Based on the experiences of the companies, the project had a positive financial effect on operations. The visitor volumes to the local area grew during the project, although the number of visitors remained limited upon conclusion of the project. Tourists from third countries were later expected to be a new distinct target group for the region’s tourism. Tourism services in the Louhi region were successfully strengthened and diversified within the framework of the project, and tourism in the region was substantially developed. The feedback received from the trial trips implemented during the project was mainly positive. Similarly, cooperation and teamwork between Finnish and Karelian programme service companies has increased in practice. Utilising and implementing the local tourism strategy in practice as a basic travel industry tool between the regions was continued in the ‘Product Creation for Marketing Valkeatie Tourism’ project.

Basic information


Tourism Development Gateway between Northeast Finland and Northwest Russia


2002-05-01 - 2005-04-30

Total Budget / Programme funding

301 480 € / 211 036 €

Lead partner

Koillismaa Development Centre
Lead partner web-site


Louhi region
Town of Kuusamo
Taivalkoski Municipality
Salla Municipality
Koillismaa tourism companies