Strategic Guidelines for tourism in Karelia

In the framework of the Project “PROZVET - Promoting Sustainable Development in Zabaikal and Karelia", strategic guidelines for tourism have been drafted, through the use of ILS LEDA's RESCO participatory methodology.

PROZVET is a project co-financed by the European Commission, which seeks to reinforce competitiveness, sustainability, and inclusiveness of the tourism value chain in five selected districts of the Republic of Karelia, and in two selected districts of the Zabaikal kray (See news 28/12/202119/03/202126/05/2020; 29/11/2019).

The project is run through a partnership between the Karealian NGOs Resource Center, the Zabaikal Union of Women, the NGO Zvezda Nadezhdy, the Italian associations FELCOS-Umbria (Project leader), ILS LEDA, and LEF-Italia.

With respect to the Republic of Karelia, the tourism strategic guidelines have targeted five districts, namely: Medvezhegorsk, Suojarvi, Sortavala, Pitkyaranta and Pryazha.

These strategic guidelines were drafted through involving 42 people in a Focus Group: 6 representatives of hotels and other organisations providing accommodation services; 4 representatives of tour operators and agencies; 2 representatives of museums and other cultural institutions; 3 representatives of craftsmen; 6 representatives of municipal governments; 7 representatives of public institutions; 9 representatives of the regional authority; and 5 representatives of civil society organisations. Furthermore, complementary inputs for the guidelines have been obtained from official statistics and secondary literature reviews.

The strategic guidelines have highlighted that Karelia has a variety of touristic attractions with competitive advantage, mainly due to its geographic position, natural attractions (lakes and rivers and, in general the water resources, thermal waters, natural reserves), cultural heritage, and archaeological and historical patrimony, including 26 appealing sites; moreover, the region can also rely on intangible attractions (such as ethnic heritage, cuisine, arts&crafts, music and dance), local events (with a great variety of offer, and at least 3 outstanding ones), peculiar entertainment for tourists, tourist services (tourist excursions, accommodations, welcoming atmosphere).

These competitive advantages may be used for improving the Republic of Karelia tourism market at federal and international (Europe, China) level.

Bearing in mind all the potentiality of the territory, Karelia’s touristic assets should be empowered with regard to gender equality gaps, environmental sustainability (in terms of green and circular economy), governance, services and capacities, so that long term, competitive, inclusive, and sustainable tourism development can be pursued.

In order to achieve the aforementioned goals, the outlined strategic guidelines included the following components:

  • Valorising competitive assets
  • Supporting job opportunities
  • Enhancing collective management of the value chain
  • Enahncing territorial marketing
  • Reducing the gender equality gap
  • Improving services
  • Building capacities
  • Enhancing sustainability

 For more details, check the Strategic Giudelines SUMMARY

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