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Strengthening regional attractiveness through versatile project activities.
The principal actor of The Gateway to the Land of National Parks Project is Naturpolis Ltd, and the subordinate actors are Ruka-Kuusamo Tourist Association, Metsähallitus, University of Oulu, Kajaani University of Applied Sciences, Syötteen matkailuyhdistys Tourist Association, the Municipality of Suomussalmi, the Municipality of Salla, and the Municipality of Posio. Thereby, the project will bring all the tourist regions served by the Kuusamo Airport together to collaborate on increasing the number of passengers and flights as well as to implement the joint marketing of a wider area. Co-operation of tourist regions will make it possible for a large area to be distinguished from other tourist regions especially by foregrounding the national parks of the area. The project execution period is from 1 May 2019 to 31 December 2021.
The bases and operations of the tourist regions of the project area are very diverse, which is regarded as an asset the project wants to support. The aim is to develop the regions based on their individual starting points and support the growth of each region so that the tourism area reached via Kuusamo Airport can be seen as an entire diverse destination offering international travellers different but still environment-friendly, quality alternatives for holidaymaking. From the point of view of airport improvement, the main focus of the joint measures of the project will be on the development of year-round tourism, as it is the cure for improving employment and reducing labour shortage in tourism. Tourism-area-specific variation within various development targets will be reflected in subordinate-actorspecific work packages, which will support the development of the entire area into a stronger and more attractive entity. Particular attention will be paid to the fact that the area as a whole will develop so that it will be known not only for its national parks, but also for its quality services and sustainable business practices. With the help of digital service paths and the improvement of the findability and online purchasability of tourism services, the area will also be more easily accessible to independent travellers. There is a special focus on the improvement of sustainable tourism in all the project measures.
The project period is 1 May 2019 – 31 December 2021, and the total budget is EUR 3 635 773 €. The contribution of the state and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) granted by the Council of Oulu Region is 70%, the share of the municipalities in the region is 14%, other public funding is 6% and corporate funding is 10%.