The main goal of the VisitKarelia Destination project is to develop high-level international tourism productions to North Karelia area from abroad. In addition, the project also enables tourism enterprises to enter foreign markets (eg China) as part of the renewed Lakeland cooperation. Through the project the number of international tourists will increase and that will affect also on area´s economic life, including air traffic.
The VisitKarelia Destination project is based on the models and results of the North Karelia Tourism Growth Program 2015-2017. In January-June 2017, registered overnight stays of international tourists increased by more than 30% in North Karelia.
New investments have also been made in the province, the largest one is PKO's investment (€6,000 000) for Bomba Holiday Resort. A message from the tourism companies in the province is clear: they are ready to invest on tourism facilities and international tourism.
In VisitKarelia Destination Project there are two new key destinations: China and Japan. In order to increase tourism production especially from those target markets, the larger co-operation (for example within Lakeland area and with VisitFinland) is needed. In Finland, growth numbers for international tourism have been positive for many years. In North Karelia the amount of international visitors is slowly increasing but the number of Asian tourists is still small, under 1000 registered nights annually. In recent years North Karelia has got new international
partners and the destination has found also operating models that have
been successful in the light of current growth figures.
Based on these
experiences, the objectives and measures of the Visitkarelia Destination
project are as follows:
1) Find new and high-level international tourism productions to North Karelia from abroad
2) International growth of North Karelian tourism companies
3) Increasing international attractiveness and awareness of the region
as a tourist destination (tourism area) especially in digital channels.
As, a result of the Visitkarelia Destination project, the overnight stays grow from abroad (target + 5% per year) and the region receives two new significant international partnerships. The companies involved in the project will receive a total of at least 20 new co-operation agreements on the international market and at least 30 new regional tourism articles will be published in international media.
The long-term goal is to significantly increase international travel and tourism revenues, especially from China. The partner who is applying the project is Karelia Expert Matkailupalvelu Oy, a municipality-funded and non-profit company. The results of the project are directed to the entire area of North Karelia.
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