In the framework o f the RUNAT project (KA300) we have organized two training seminars on tourism product development in the regions of Olonets, Petrozavodsk and Medvezhegorsk. The training program consists of the basics of product development, quality factors, security factors, standards for services, creation of cooperation and marketing networks and an analysis of existing tourism products. According to the feedback of the entrepreneurs and representatives of local administrations the training has been very useful and practical. They have got information and tools for improving existing services and developing new ones.
In addition to the training seminars the participants took part in the benchmarking trip in North Karelia and North Savo in March. During the five days the participants got acquainted with the services of several rural and nature tourism enterprises, e.g. accommodation, catering, nature activities, adventures and experiences, wildlife observation and photography and presentation of cultural heritage. Also Karelia Expert Tourist Services, Kuopio Region Tourist Services and Tahko Region Tourist Services introduced their regional cooperation and marketing actions.
During the benchmarking the discussions between the Finnish and Russian entrepreneurs were profitable. They discussed the possibilities to develop tourism business and the best practices of product development. The Russian entrepreneurs got a chance to test services and analyze security and quality factors of the services, marketing actions and benefits of the networks between local entrepreneurs. They got not only answers to their questions about tourism business but also new ideas to create tourism products.
In April the Russian participants started to create new tourism products together. The trainers will comment on their plans and the participants will test ideas in practice during the summer. In autumn the trainers will consult in the areas and test new products. Also the participants are willing to consult each other. May the inspiration and creativity flow!
Satu Karhapää-Puhakka, Project Manager
Aducate, Centre for Training and Development
University of Eastern Finland