In August, Finnish and Swedish actors on both sides of the Kvarken Strait embarked on a new project to improve the Kvarken region’s attraction and towards for tour operators and tourists. This cooperation builds on past experience but now the project partners include more destinations and the perspective is more international than ever before. The contrasts that the region can offer and the signals from the tour operators act as driving factors.
– Our cooperation benefits from lessons learnt in past cross-border projects, for instance, that a wider geographical area, including two countries during the same journey, makes the destination more attractive for tour operators and end customers, says Ms Erja Back at Visit Umeå.
One Journey, Two Countries – Treasures Presented at Matka Nordic Travel Fair
Erja Back, Visit Umeå
On the eve of the biggest travel fair in Northern Europe, Matka 2019 in Helsinki, the partners carried out the first measures visible for the tour operators and tourists.
– Together with the region’s seven Destination Management Organisations, we selected the companies to highlight as the reasons for going on a trip. Sooner we will combine them in packages which will fulfil the wishes of different types of tourists. We provide everything from stunning views and nature in the World Natural Heritage site to history, cities, breathtaking activities, delicacies in fine-dining restaurants as well as family attractions – in two countries during the same journey, Ms Back continues.
Peter Källberg, Vasaregionen utveckling Ab VASEK
– The driving force in this cooperation is the untapped potential which tour operators have shown special interest in, namely that tourists from far away prefer to visit two countries while in the Nordic region. We have, for instance, a region with big topographical contrasts within a short distance in our two countries. The two sides are joined by the shortest ferry connection between mainland Finland and Sweden. It gives more time for new discoveries and adventures. In addition, we have good traffic connections to and from our respective capitals, explains Mr Peter Källberg at Vaasa Region Development Company VASEK.
COME AND MEET US!
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.
Financiers: The European Regional Development Fund via the Botnia-Atlantica INTERREG programme, Regional Council of Ostrobothnia, Västerbotten County Council, Västernorrland County Council, Umeå municipality, Kvarken Council, Vaasa Region Development Company (VASEK), Hanken School of Economics, County Administrative Board of Västernorrland, Höga Kusten Destinationsutveckling AB, City of Vaasa/Vaasa Region Tourism Ltd. Visit Vaasa, NLC Ferry Ab Oy, South Ostrobothnia Tourist Service Ltd., Kokkola Tourism Ltd., Jakobstad Region Development Company Concordia Ltd., Kristinestads Näringslivscentral Ab