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An innovative tool for improving the competitiveness of community based tourism (Comcot)
Start date: Oct 31, 2010, End date: Sep 30, 2013 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Tourism is seen as a main income source in many rural areas with strategies stressing new sustainable, high quality market orientated products linked locally, regionally & internationally. Few SMEs can provide all that is demanded in the markets thus necessitating cooperation & joint marketing with other SMEs & actors in their area. However, tourism development initiatives mostly target SMEs, leading to entrepreneurship not accepted by the local communities especially concerning utilisation of local resources/changes in the landscape. Nevertheless, social sustainability is a key SME success factor in rural areas & due to the fragmented landownership in FIN&EE, to provide attractive environments & landscapes for tourism, esp. concerning coast lines, acceptance & support by communities is essential. This creates the need for community based tourism development. Local people, who are at the centre of development processes in community based tourism, are often not aware of tourists’ needs There is a need to improve competitiveness, innovation & product development in community tourism, improve integration with related sectors, awareness of client expectations & tourism’s environmental impact. The need for stronger co-operation related to competitiveness & the innovation environments of rural areas & enhancing entrepreneurship at the local level (esp for women & in schools) has been also addressed & relates to the INTERREG IVA Programme & the EU BSR strategy (Pillars 2 & 3). The project will expand the opportunities for local level actors to develop competitive tourism by combining cross-border cooperation networks with joint community work at the local level; delivering measures (TNAs, training & mentoring) aimed at improving key employee & management knowledge & skills & raising awareness of new product possibilities thru 3D Landscape Theatre & strategic & action plan presentations at local community levels The project objectives are to: develop the innovative & sustainable community based tourism with high local ownership; develop the skills & cross-border networks of the grass-root level activators in order to guarantee the sustainability of the development work; bring an innovative tourism development tool (combining tourism area based audit & visualization(3D) tools, to the use of the developers & provide objective information of the community based tourism potential in the project region to help decision making at different levels. The project will be implemented in the coastal & lakeland areas of southern FIN & EE & it includes 3 types of activities: practical development work via pilots, capacity building & communicating the results. These are designed in 4 interacting WPs. As a result of the project a new innovative development tool is created. Also the quality & amount of community based tourism in the pilot areas, networks & skills of activators are increased. Achievements: The Comcot project developed innovative and sustainable community-based tourism with high local ownership. The project expanded opportunities for local-level actors to develop competitive tourism by combining cross-border cooperation networks with joint community work at local level. By creating new strategic thinking and innovative planning by communities and by improving business skills, the project developed more competitive businesses and targeted products and services to existing and new clients. The project also supported entrepreneurs to improve their effectiveness in developing new innovative products.

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  • 80.8%   584 202,00
  • 2007 - 2013 Central Baltic (FI-SE-EE-LA)
  • Project on KEEP Platform
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