On March 18th “Contemporary Old City: Enhancing cultural tourism across the border “ project organized international conference on development of cultural tourism “Maps, Apps and Other Tools” in Joensuu, Finland. Conference brought together all in all 80 participants – regional authorities, tourism entrepreneurs, tourism students personnel from education and research organizations, culture organizations and other tourism and culture operators. Also the Republic of Karelian was represented in the audience.
Pentti Hyttinen, Region Mayor from Regional Council of North Karelia, opened the conference with welcoming words.
Morning’s theme was growth in regional economy from culture tourism.
Project Manager Susanna Markkola from Finnish Tourism Board presentation was about Finnish culture tourism program “Culture Finland”. Program’s aim is to create new experiences for tourists and to offer new business opportunities for culture and tourism operators.
Janna Puumalainen, Director of city of Joensuu, spoke about culture tourism in Joensuu and North Karelia. She highlighted several examples about culture and event tourism in Joensuu region.
Developing of Petrozavodsk tourism strategy was presented by Junior Researcher Anastasia Vasilieva from Institute of Economy of Karelian Research Centre. She mentioned the research which had shown that especially developing culture and event tourism will be worthwhile in Petrozavodsk.
The Deputy of the Kizhi State Open-Air Museum Irina Pavlova presented museum’s activity, tourism products and services and also future’s development plans.
After the lunch break, afternoon’s theme was sharing good practices from us and elsewhere.
Tuuli Elstrok’s (Product Development Coordinator from Estonian Tourist Board) presentation seemed to be especially interesting based on the audience’s feedback. Presentation covered many projects, experiments and campaigns connecting to culture tourism and it showed how diverse electrical solutions and social media were used.
Project Manager Dagnija Udre from Vidzeme Planning Region, Latvia, presented “Via Hanseatica” project, which develops tourism route from Russia, through Estonia to Latvia.
Borderless VisitKarelia platform was presented by Project Designer Jouni Tolvanen from Karelia Expert Tourist Service Ltd. VisitKarelia.fi offers tourism information about North Karelian and VisitKarelia.ru is about Russian Karelian tourism offerings.
Joensuu Culture mobile application was presented by Project Manager Timo Rui and Project Planning Officer Anu Karreinen from Karelia University of Applied Sciences. Application covers information about cultural sites in Joensuu.
After the conference day, participants had an opportunity to visit the exhibition “World of Kizhi”, which opening ceremony was held on previous evening.