Starting from August 2018, the Kvarken Council will run a three-year project, together with four project partners and fifteen co-financiers, in order to improve the visibility and attract more visitors to the Kvarken region through cross-border cooperation. The project is called Destination Kvarken and it is financed by Interreg Botnia-Atlantica programme.
– The project aims at reinforcing and increasing cooperation between small and medium-sized companies in the region, focusing at the tourism industry, so that we in our region can offer cross-border product packages, unique to our area. The companies, ready for exports, in the entire region will work together in concrete terms with the destination companies in joint product development. The project enables to present the product packages in a wider context in international and national travel fairs, workshops and also digitally, explains Ms Marianne Sjöström, the project leader at Kvarken Council.
The main target is to increase the amount of domestic and foreign tour operators who include the Kvarken region in their supply, by developing a concept for shared and intensified marketing activities. Destination Kvarken aims at increasing the amount of visitors in an area covering some attractions within the domains of the following destination companies: Visit Vaasa, Visit Umeå, High Coast Destination Development, South Ostrobothnia Tourist Service, Visit Kokkola, Visit Jakobstad Region and Visit Kristinestad. Further, the project aims at arousing media interest in order to gain more visibility, both in the eyes of tour operators but also end customers in some prioritised markets. Sustainability and equality are important values in the project.
– Destination Kvarken benefits from lessons learnt in prior cross-border projects, for instance, that a wider geographical area, including two countries in one tour, makes the destination more attractive for tour operators and end customers, Ms Sjöström continues
– Communications and the Wasaline ferry across the Kvarken Strait, in particular, provide a good foundation for competitiveness internationally and nationally. We have unused potential in the Kvarken region; tour operators regard our region as particularly interesting because guests from far away like to see more than one country when they stay in the Nordic countries, adds Mr Mathias Lindström, director of the Kvarken Council.
The project shall promote growth, not just through internationalisation but also through a conscious focus on digitalisation, research and development, and the opportunities this offers for improving the competitiveness of the tourism industry in this region. Hanken School of Economics will provide this competence in the project.
Improved visibility and more visitors to the Kvarken regiothrough cross-border cooperation in the new Botnia-Atlantica tourism project
Photos: Anna Sand
Further information provided by:
Marianne Sjöström, Project leader, Kvarken Council, +358 40 678 8375
Mathias Lindström, Director, Kvarken Council, +358 50 918 6462
Project duration: 1.8.2018 – 31.7.2021
Partners: Kvarken Council (Lead Part) | Vaasa Region Development Company VASEK | Hanken School of Economics | Umeå Municipality| High Coast Destination Development Inc.
Financiers: Interreg Botnia-Atlantica | Kvarken Council (FI) | Vaasa Region Development Company VASEK (FI) | Hanken School of Economics (FI) | Umeå Municipality (SE) | High Coast Destination Development Inc. (SE) | Regional Council of Ostrobothnia (FI) | Region Västerbotten (SE) | Region Västernorrland (SE) | Provincial Government Västernorrland (SE) | City of Vaasa/Visit Vasa (FI) | South Ostrobothnia Tourist Service Ltd (Seinäjoki) (FI) | Kokkola Tourism Ltd (FI) | Jakobstad Region Development Company Concordia Ltd (FI) | Visit Kristinestad (FI) | NLC Ferry (FI)