International project activities in the development of regional tourism: Karelian practice

 
PIIS221979310009583-4-1
DOI10.37490/S221979310009583-4
Publication type Article
Status Published
Authors
Occupation: Researcher
Affiliation: Institute of Economics of the Karelian Research Centre of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Address: Russian Federation, Petrozavodsk
Journal namePskov Journal of Regional Studies
EditionIssue 3 (43)
Pages107-116
Abstract

The article describes an approach to the consideration of international project activities of tourism orientation in the Republic of Karelia as a significant tool for the development of regional tourism. 80 international tourism projects for the period 1990-2020 were analyzed, supported by various Programs: TACIS, INTERREG, ENPI CBC Karelia, ENI CBC Karelia, as well as other Programs (for example, Nordic Council, World Wide Fund for Nature, etc.). The research made it possible to identify the main (enlarged) areas of project activity in the field of tourism in the region from 1990 to 2020: eco-tourism, promotion of tourism and cultural tourism. The results of international projects implementation during the study period in the selected enlarged areas are analyzed. The high significance of international project activities in the development of regional tourism in the Republic of Karelia is proved. Significant results of international projects in the Republic of Karelia for the development of regional tourism are highlighted, such as development of strategic documents for the tourism sector, creation of new tourist infrastructure (tourist display facilities, tourist information centers, visitor centers, accommodation infrastructure, etc.), creation of new tourist products and services, marketing promotion of the territory, training and retraining of specialists, development of a network of contacts.

Keywordsinternational project, Republic of Karelia, tourism, ENPI CBC Karelia, ENI CBC Karelia, TACIS, INTERREG
AcknowledgmentThe paper was prepared within the implementation of State Order № АААА-А19-119010990088-8 of 19.01.2019 “Methodology of system research and management development of the economic, social and cultural space of the northern and border areas of Russia in the context of national security”.
Received19.05.2021
Publication date19.05.2021
Number of characters19760
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1 Introduction. Nowadays tourism is one of the advanced and priority areas of direction of socio-economical development of the Republic of Karelia. Considering that tourism as an area of economic activity of the new business and industry area began to develop just in 1990’s [2; 3], its successful development needed new competences about its operation and management both at regional and municipal levels, as well as at the level of a single enterprise. The possibility to implement tourism orientated international projects in border Republic of Karelia, allowed from one side to raise necessary financial resources to implement available know how and ideas, and from the other side to gain an experience of the best foreign practices from abroad in area of tourism development by implementing common transboundary projects.
2 The goal of the research is defining the importance of international project activities in border Republic of Karelia in development of regional tourism. To achieve that goal the following tasks were addressed: 1) the main (integrated) directions of the project activities in the area of tourism development during 1990-2020 were defined; 2) the results of implementation of international projects in the Republic of Karelia for the regional tourism development in the defined directions were summarized.
3 Information base and level of prior studies of the problem. Scientific society gained a considerable theoretical and practical capacity on the problems of international project activities in the area of tourism in border-zone.
4 Due to specifity of the state development in historical retrospective, the research of the Russian scientists, dealing with different aspects of the problem started to appear only in beginning of 2000’s. Rather in-depth analysis of issues on transboundary cooperation in the area of tourism was presented by the scientists by Baltic Federal University named after I. Kant (Kaliningrad) within the Program of border cooperation in Russian-Polish border zone [1; 9; 10].
5 Talking about Karelian border zone, one of the first works presenting international projects in the area of tourism in the Republic of Karelia was the publication by State committee on physical education, sport and tourism [7]. It needs to be mentioned that the existing practices of the issues under investigation mainly described some aspects of implementation and/or summarized the results of international projects in the area of tourism in the Republic of Karelia [4; 8; 11; 14; 15]. However, we need to mention the studies, which analyzed transboundary cooperation, Program of border cooperation of Karelia as a border-zone region [5; 6; 12; 13].
6 Methodology and novelty of the research. The study summarizes the results of implementation of 80 international projects in the Republic of Karelia in the area of tourism during the period of 1999-2020, supported by different programs (TACIS, INTERREG, ENPI CBC Karelia and ENI CBC Karelia, as well as some others like for example, Nordic Council, World Wide Fund for Nature, etc. The study is based upon open Internet sources of the Program of border cooperation of the Republic of Karelia, official sites of the international projects, implemented in Karelia, as well as scientific developments of Russian scientists on the issue of research. During the study the methods of generalization, comparison and analogue method were applied. The study did not count supported international projects in the area of tourism by ENI CBC Karelia to be implemented in 2020-2022.
7

Distribution of international projects in the area of tourism in the Republic of Karelia during 1990-2020 by integrated directions. The largest share of international projects in the area of tourism implemented under various Programs (TACIS, INTERREG, ENPI CBC Karelia and ENI CBC Karelia) during the period of 1990-2020 in the Republic of Karelia were dealing with a support of regional tourism development (pic.). It is important to notice that in this case the method of generalization was applied, which means the integration of the data and referring the project to the main and most important direction if there are several.

8
08_Kondratyeva_Ris_angl

Pic. Distribution of international projects in the area of tourism in the Republic of Karelia by the integrated directions during the period of 1990–2020, %

9 It needs to be mentioned that during the researched period there was a change of priorities in the implementation of the project activities in the tourism from eco-tourism in 1990-2006 to the support of cultural tourism in 2007-2020 (table).
10 Table Distribution of international projects in the area of tourism in the Republic of Karelia on periods, %
No Integrated directions of the project activities 1990–2006 2007–2020
1 Eco-tourism 47 13
2 Support of the tourism development 41 48
3 Cultural tourism 12 39
11 Direction of “eco-tourism” includes international projects, dealing with development of eco-tourism both at the territories of protected areas of the region and in separated municipalities of the Republic of Karelia, including other projects of environmental direction (water tourism, fishing tourism, event tourism etc.). The direction of “cultural tourism” includes some projects focusing on development of cultural and educational tourism in the region, as well as the projects dealing with the that issue (e.g. focusing on traditional cuisine and traditions, museum expositions etc.). The share of those projects in the framework of the Program of cross-border cooperation Karelia increased considerably comparing with the first period (1990-2006). The group of projects supporting of tourism included the projects in which that direction was the main goal of the implementation and the rest of the projects that were not included in the two above-mentioned groups (e.g. on development of agricultural tourism, staff training, development of tourism in specific municipalities of the region based on cultural and nature heritages etc.).

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