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Training and Development Project – Northern Route to Karelia
Funded by Euregio Karelia Neighbourhood Programme 2001-2006

Objective of the project

The goal of the Northern Route to Karelia project was to develop tourism between the Province of Oulu and the northern parts of the Republic of Karelia on a route that was to start in Oulu and pass via Kainuu, Kostomuksha, Kalevala and the Kemi regions to the Solovetski Islands and back. In particular, culture and nature tourism were to be emphasised.

Main activities

• Creating a description of the route, its preconditions and requirements for the service providers, • Developing the educational system and assessing of training requirements, clarifying necessary expertise levels, • Building the cooperation network between actors, creating contacts with international travel agents • Producing a route description in English for the use of travelers, • Producing an assessment of the opportunities of village, culture, and nature tourism.


The cooperation network was built between actors during the project, and contacts were created with international travel agents willing and able to refine the route experiences acquired during the project, together with companies in the region. All of the core actors were successfully included in the project, though assembling the projects to be implemented in the Republic of Karelia for cooperation did not take place as expected. The results of the travel agent assessment confirmed a positive outlook toward the opportunities of local tourism via Finland to Russia. Both Finnish and international travel agents were interested in working with the travel programmes in the future as well as organising trips to the area. A route description in English provides basic information to travel agents and independent travellers regarding areas that were not previously well known. An assessment of the village, culture, and nature tourism opportunities continued independently by various actors after the project. The research demonstrated the development of infrastructure but also identified new potential development areas such as the level of services and better utilization of public transport. As a result of the training need research, the tourism training field and training needs were clarified particularly in Russian Karelia. An increase in training was concluded to result in a better ability to improve the quality of tourism. In addition, new tourism training, student exchange, and work placement system in Russia was started during the project. The work placement of employees of Russian companies related to adult education in Finland was to be started in the future, once the system was operational and funding had been arranged. The Kajaani University of Applied Sciences also implemented a follow-up project ‘Nordic Gateway to Karelia’.

Basic information