Retkeilijät Oulangalla, kuva Harri Tarvainen

Rethinking North – Year-Round Tourism as a Key to Success

Focusing on sustainable tourism and developing accessibility

The share of international tourists in the impact area of Kuusamo Airport is mostly still low, particularly during snow-free months. International tourism has been actively developed through cooperation with tour operators, especially by leveraging the appeal of the area's national parks.

The project aims to develop the project area as a year-round tourist destination, to increase demand during low occupancy months, to raise international awareness of the area, and to create new products for potential international tourist target groups. The project's key themes are extending the length of stay and, relatedly, the development of quieter periods, data-driven management, and a transition to a smoother digital service environment. Year-round operations will also be developed by focusing on better accessibility and smoother travel chains.

Through the project's activities, sustainable and responsible tourism will be promoted, which are vital for the area's long-term attractiveness and growth. The project will be implemented in three regions: Northern Ostrobothnia (Kuusamo, Taivalkoski, and Pudasjärvi), Kainuu (Suomussalmi), and Lapland (Salla).

The project will run from June 1, 2023, to May 31, 2026. The project’s lead implementer is Naturpolis Oy (Kuusamo and Taivalkoski), and co-implementers are Ruka-Kuusamo Tourist Association, Pudasjärvi Development Ltd, as well as the municipalities of Salla and Suomussalmi. Naturpolis Oy’s share of the project budget is €836,399, with €669,120 (80%) sought from Northern Ostrobothnia EAKR funding.

For more information: Anna-Riitta Sulander, Project Manager/Naturpolis Oy, +358 40 727 4222

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