14 / 06 / 2023

First start-up meeting with destination marketing organisations

The Bothnian Coastal Route project, including northern Finnish and Swedish destinations, aims to increase awareness of the coastal route around the Bothnian Bay and over the Kvarken strait as an attractive travel route for both foreign visitors and the local population. In March 2023 the project team arranged a startup meeting in Haparanda with destination marketing organisations from all around the project area. The aim was to gather the whole project area, to define the content of the project all together, to create a sense of togetherness, establish networks and a common strategy for the working process forward.

This was the very first external event organised by the project within the framework of work package 1, Inventory (you’ll find more information about the project and its work packages here). This event had a good turnout and was very much appreciated by those who participated.

– The workshop served as an inspiring kick-off to show the advantages of working cross-border. Our keynote speaker, Jan Badur, Managing Director at Nordic Marketing, raised many important thoughts on the topic of working together. For instance, that the sea is attractive, as well as the archipelago – and things to do in those surroundings are of importance and should be lifted. Tour operators want examples where two countries and separate regions are combined offering genuine local culture and experiences. Central Europeans travel to find uncrowded spots with landscapes and nature experiences, tells Marianne Sjöström, Project Manager from the Kvarken Council.

The participants consisted of 13 destinations all over the project area, including Destination Management Organisations, cities, and municipalities as well as tourism organisations along the route representing their hospitality industry in their own destinations. In the workshop at the end of the day several themed travel packages were created in record time by keen and enthusiastic participants.

–There is plenty of common history, culture and traditions, and a very fascinating way of living to be shared with the visitor. Tourism co-operation is at its best when working in large areas, just like the travel patterns the visitors often prefer.

– It’s so important to meet and brainstorm with colleagues frequently. This project event in Haparanda, that was aimed for destination management organisations, was a perfect opportunity to get to know the other destinations better, tells Teea Pietilä, Managing Director at Visit Kokkola.

– Overall, we managed to create a very inspiring day by bringing all destinations together and by framing the Bothnian Coastal Route, adds Marianne Sjöström, Project Manager from the Kvarken Council.

This Interreg Aurora financed project started January 1st, 2023. Read more here.




The participants were seated in the order in which they appear along the route. Here the neighbors from Luleå, Haparanda, Tornio and Oulu.

Teea Pietilä, Managing Director at Visit Kokkola, presenting unique selling points in the Kokkola region.

Marianne Sjöström, Project Manager from the lead partner Kvarken Council presenting the project aims.