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Contemporary old city: Enhancing cultural tourism across the border

Lead Partner: City of Joensuu

Project Partners:

  • Kizhi State Open Air Museum, Russia
  • Petrozavodsk City Administration, Russia
  • University of Eastern Finland, Center for Tourism Studies, Finland
  • Karelia Expert Tourist Service Ltd, Finland
  • City of Joensuu / North Karelia University of Applies Sciences, Finland
  • Institution of the Russian Academy of Science Karelian Research Centre of the RAS (KarRC of RAS), Russia
  • Center of Cultural Initiatives, Russia
  • Karelian Regional Institute of Management, Economy and Law at PetrSU, Russia

Total budget: 602 526 €


The Rep. of Karelia has a rich density of cultural heritage sites and cultural institutions, which offer a much greater potential for international tourism than what we see today. In Petrozavodsk, the old, historical centre is under development and offer increased potential for future tourism activities. In Joensuu, a lot of culturally-related development has recently taken place in the city centre. Among others, Carelicum has been developed as a culture and tourism centre with the emphasis of Karelian cultural heritage and events. Carelicum, physically and virtually, offer a good platform, collaboration network and expertise to be the physical and virtual portal for the interesting locations to visit and events to attend in North Karelia and the rep. of Karelia. About 180 000 – 190 000 people visit Carelicum annually, and over 60 000 tickets are sold there for different events. Joensuu tourist information office run by Karelia Expert Travel Service Ltd (one of the project partners) is located at Carelicum.

Activities of the project are aimed at increasing tourist attractiveness and promotion of historical and cultural centers and activities in Petrozavodsk and Joensuu, and in the respective regions. The inventory of territories’ cultural and historical offers, existing information sources, needs and future potential will be carried out. Thereafter, strategy for tourist development will be elaborated in Petrozavodsk and a programme to intensify culturally-based tourism in Joensuu. This work will be followed by the development of a joined marketing plan related to the culturally and historically -oriented tourism in the whole project area.

A single, easily accessible platform (portal) for the information related to cultural and historical sites relevant for tourism will be formed for the whole project area. The existing -platform will be technically developed to serve this purpose. The contents for the "new layer" related to cultural and historical sites and events will be provided by this project. In addition, an annual update routine for the maintenance in the future will be developed.

The existing offer of cultural and historical sites and events will be complemented during the project with new objects, routes and events. The development of tourist infrastructure in Petrozavodsk will be undertaken by developing and establishing "visual markers" to indicate interesting locations and to guide tourists in the city. In the historical part “Old City”, a concrete plan to transform an Old Smithy House into a tourist attraction is elaborated. Bench-marking information from Joensuu and further from Finland is used to assist this planning. Both in Petrozavodsk and in Joensuu new types of theme-oriented guided city tours for tourists will be developed and implemented. The contents of the tours are based e.g. on historically interesting events, architectural sites, historical persons, art in public spaces and alike. Besides the contents, information technologies and modern mobile guiding systems will be developed and applied for the purpose. The planned guided tour products are cross-tested also for the international use by the project partners and associates.

New marketing material related to the project cope is developed, and some pilot events are used to complement the annual events calendar of the cities and to market the cultural and historical touristic offer of the region. These include old city days in Petrozavodsk, drama-based guided tour and exhibition of Kizhi Museum and Karelian tourism offer in Joensuu. The travel agencies will be involved in the marketing of the events, and to develop further cross-border tours related to culture, history and events. The joined marketing plan elaborated within the project will guide the marketing actions.


Contact: Ms Janna Puumalainen, janna.puumalainen[at]