Call of the Wild North
Start date: Dec 31, 2002,
End date: Dec 30, 2005
The intention of the project was to develop a well-functioning and effi cient business partnership network to produce nature and wilderness tourism services in Russian Karelia. Th e central parties of the network would be Wild North and its partnership entrepreneurs that operate in North Karelia along with their networks, the Tourism and Sports Committee of the Republic of Karelia, and Russian entrepreneurs and parties. Th e intention was to develop the network’s expertise in marketing and sales and to develop fi nished tourism product entities for use in all marketing and sales channels. Th e goal was to create and standardise cooperation with 20 Russian tourism companies and fi ve European travel agents. Th e results of the project were to be utilised in a wider scope in other Interreg projects which develop nature and wilderness tourism directed at the Republic of Karelia area. Achievements: Four North Karelian nature tourism companies were included in the project through a competitive bidding process: Kartiisa Oy from Lieksa, Karelia Adventures from Joensuu, Carelian Wild Guys from Tohmajrvi and LK-ER„ Oy from Keslahti. All of the companies that took part were already experienced nature tourism organisers in Russia. The companies built tourism product entities during the project. The tourism product development work included mapping potential sites, obtaining official permits (hunting, fi shing), building a Russian subcontracting network (guards, guides, accommodations, dining locations, transport services etc.) and creating contracts with Russian counterparts. The product descriptions of the developed products were completed by the entrepreneurs in cooperation with Wild North. The product development process also included finished-product trial trips, which were used to make any necessary changes to the products. The tourism product packages developed in the project were: Bear Hunting (Petrozavodsk and Olonets); Snowmobiling (Petrozavodsk and Sortavala); Fishing trips Vaskojoki, Vonga, Pistojoki, LakeAninen, Lake Ladoga; the The rashing of Rapids and the Exotic Eastern Border white-water rafting product; Adventure trip in Karelia; and the Adventures Holiday Karelia product. Active sales eff orts for the developed tourism products were initiated and the finished products were included in Wild Norths marketing and sales systems. The marketing work was completed for each specific target group by mailing product brochures regarding hunting and fi shing trips in Russia to hunting and fi shing companies in Wild Norths business customer registry. The products were also marketed using adverts in periodicals. In addition, they were presented at many fairs. Some of the developed products were sold on the Wild North website: www.villipohjola.fi . The cooperation companies selected to participate in the project also sold the developed products. Cooperative relationships were created between Wild North and the participating Finnish companies, which enabled cooperation in Russian Karelia and elsewhere. In addition, relationships with Russian officials and 16 Russian travel agencies/tourism service providers and five European travel agencies were created, which enabled cooperation in the future.
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