Training and Development Project – Northern Route .. (Training and Develop..)
Training and Development Project – Northern Route to Karelia
Start date: Jul 31, 2002,
End date: Jan 30, 2005
1990s. The need became apparent in the autumn of 2001 to develop the tourism routes between Finland and the Republic of Karelia in a holistic manner. The goal of the Northern Route to Karelia project was to develop tourism between the Province of Oulu and the northern parts of the Republic of Karelia. The route was to begin in Oulu and travel via Kainuu, Kostomuksha, Kalevala and the Kemi regions to the Solovetski Islands and back. In particular, culture and nature tourism was to be emphasised. First, a route description was to be created for the route, along with all of the preconditions and requirements it would create for service providers. This information would be used to get an understanding of the training needs of the companies as well as plan and provide short- and long-term training accordingly. Precision training would be provided if necessary. The goals of the project also included developing the educational system and assessing training requirements, clarifying necessary expertise levels, increasing cooperation between officials and uniting the project activities of various actors where the target group themes are shared in addition to increasing and standardising interest with international travel agents. Achievements: The cooperation network was built between actors during the project, and contacts were created with international travel agents willing and able to refi ne the route experiences acquired during the project, together with companies in the region. All of the core actors were successfully included in the project, though assembling the projects to be implemented in the Republic of Karelia for cooperation did not take place as expected. The results of the travel agent assessment confirmed a positive outlook toward the opportunities presented by local tourism via Finland to Russia. Both Finnish and international travel agents were interested in working with the travel programmes in the future as well as organising trips to the area. A route description was produced in English during the project, which provides basic information to travel agents and independent travellers regarding areas that previously were not well known. An assessment of the opportunities presented by village, culture, and nature tourism was started by the project and was continued independently by various actors after the project. The research demonstrated the development of infrastructure. However, it also identified some development areas, including increasing the level of services and providing better capabilities to utilise public transport. The training need research was completed together with central actors. As a result, the tourism training field and training needs were clarified particularly in Russian Karelia. The increase in training in the area was concluded to result in a better ability to improve the quality of tourism. In addition, new tourism training, student exchange, and work placement in Russia was started during the project. The work placement of employees of Russian companies related to adult education in Finland was to be started in the future, once the system was operational and funding had been arranged. The Kajaani University of Applied Sciences also implemented a follow-up project Nordic Gateway to Karelia.
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