Ethno-cultural potential in tourist industry of border territories

Implementation period of the project: December 2018 – November 2019
Leading partner: “The Mill” Foundation of Pryazha district.

The project’s partner from the Finnish side:

Maaseudun Sivistysliiton Joensuun kulttuuriyhdistys ry - Union for Rural Culture and Education, Joensuu culture association. MSL Joensuu culture association provides possibilities for participation in cultural actions and its development; it supports equal possibilities for learning and education and develops local studying activities. Association acts as an agent for cooperation between people and societies which are striving for similar aims, organizes courses, lectures and other informational events which support its aims. Association also organizes different cultural activities for children, youngsters and adults and shares information on adult education fields.

The problem at solving which the project is aimed and how it was defined

At present we are facing a low level of cooperation between tourist firms of border territories. However, the territories of North Karelia of Finland and Republic Karelia have rich touristic potential.
According to the official data, the stream of tourists is increasing each year and new cultural tourist products become more and more attractive; for instance, cultural and educational tourism is leading in the tourism market. One of the main advantages and premises of tourism’s development is the historical and cultural heritage of the region.
Karelian Republic and North Karelia of Finland have rich background. The border territories possess enormous ethno-cultural potential. The main ethno-cultural components are connected with Karelian and Finnish history and culture. There are many actors in tourism market who energetically use the ethno-cultural component as a factor of increasing the attractiveness of products and services.
Cultural potential of the territories and its effective usage in creating business products are actively discussed on different levels. In the strategies of development of the tourism spheres one of the key directions is cultural-historical heritage as a source of tourism potential. At the same time, to introduce the ethno-cultural component into the tourism business, there is a need of a wide partner network of not only touristic firms, but also of cultural organizations and specialists ready to cooperate in creating a qualitative ethno-cultural product.
Many touristic firms, using or planning to use the ethno-cultural product express the need of the analysis of their activity on the behalf of specialists in different branches of culture and of qualified art-technologists and designers. In the frame of their activities the entrepreneurs themselves practically have no time for additional education and development of the ethno-cultural product.

More than that, in general there is an absence of cooperation between the actors, and this brings such problematic situations as the lack of information about new business products, distortion of the cultural product, which is taken as the basis of the touristic one, the absence of new tourist routes, the stop of qualitative development of the product, etc.
Proceeding from the listed, the main problem which the project is aimed to solve is, from our point of view, the lack of information and models of cooperation between touristic firms and cultural organizations of border territories in working out of common cultural-touristic products.



The project’s goal


Identify the conditions and facilities of the firms in working out of common ethno-cultural and touristic products and also of the potential demand of these products in the frontier economical cooperation.


Expected changes as a result of implementation of the project

The main change that we see as the result of our project will be the rise of awareness about the ways of working with ethno-cultural component on the border territory. As a result of the project it will be possible for us to identify the organizations interested in creating cross border tourism products based on cultural-historical heritage in the frame of the project of development.
Drawing upon the data of a sociologic research and case-studies, we will form several models of working with ethno-cultural component in tourism, which will be generalized into Guideline as a base of Regular project.


Target groups and beneficiaries of the project


The main target group of the project includes touristic firms of the region North Karelia (Finland) and several districts of Republic Karelia (Russia).
The beneficiaries of the projects will be:
- the guests of the territories of Republic Karelia and North Karelia of Finland;
- ethno-cultural organizations of the territories;
- state and municipal authorities;
- representatives of the scientific society.


General results of the project


- There will be an increase of the level of awareness of the touristic firms on the frontier territories of Republic Karelia and North Karelia of Finland about the functioning tourism products;
- There will be an increase of the level of awareness of the touristic firms on the frontier territories of Republic Karelia and North Karelia of Finland about the tourists’ demand of tourist programs;
- There will be basic difficulties and obstacles in realization of cross border tourist business projects identified;
- There will appear a worked out partner network of touristic firms, ethno-cultural organizations, authorities and interested actors for implementing the project of development in the following years;
- There will be determined problems and directions of work and aims of development.

- The results of a sociological research, which will cover not less than four regions of Russia and Finland (frontier regions of Karelia, Saint Petersburg, region of North Karelia of Finland, Petrozavodsk);
- The results of the sociological research which will cover not less than 25 tourist firms on the frontier territories of Republic Karelia and North Karelia of Finland;
- There will be a carried out analysis of existing internet platforms, providing availability for the client of tourist products of Republic Karelia and North Karelia of Finland;
- The results of interdisciplinary analysis in the frame of case-studies of not less than 8 touristic firms on the frontier territories of Republic Karelia and North Karelia of Finland;
- There will be a partner network in Republic Karelia and North Karelia of Finland created for working out a project of creation and development of common tourist products. 


Approach of the project, type of the planned activities


Our project is aimed at a complex survey of Karelia’s and Finland’s tourism market for using ethno-cultural components and also at researching of the expectations and predicting the demand for such services among the consumers.

The objectives of the research
1. Studying the demand and expectations of the potential clients for tourist services and products on the frontier territories;
2. Research of existing tourism products and services on the internet and in social networks (,, Турбаза.ru), easy ways of finding, functionality, the most popular internet platforms.
3. Research of the readiness of the firms to cooperate in common culture-touristic projects. Research of the technical-economical conditions for implementing a project of developing in the sphere of creating common cross border cultural- tourism products. Studying the difficulties and obstacles in realization of common cross border projects.
To gain the results we undertake the following actions:
1. Forming an interdisciplinary team of specialists for carrying out the research. The team will include the following specialists: sociologist, marketologist, a representative of a tour-operator, designer, specialist in ethnical culture, manager in the sphere of culture;
2. Organizing and carrying out a sociologic applied research on the subject of the demand for tourism products of the frontier territory;
3. Organizing and carrying out a research about using the ethno-cultural component by touristic firms;
4. Selecting 8 firms of different organizational and legal forms and period of working in the sphere of tourism in Karelia and Finland, who are using (or launching) the ethno-cultural component in their business;
5. Carrying out case-studies based on the firms’ data aiming to work out recommendations and criteria of the quality of provided services;

6. Generalizing the recommendations of the specialists and the results of the research into the road map.
The research component is integral in this project. The main purpose of the research is identification of the basic tendencies and prognosis of using the ethno-cultural practices in tourism business