The involvement of the region into integration processes: tourism projects (case of the Republic of Karelia)

 
PIIS221979310013150-8-1
DOI10.37490/S221979310013150-8
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 1 (45)
Pages62-76
Abstract

International project activity is one of the tools for establishment of stable networks of interaction between countries, for integration of the territories of neighboring states. The article aims to determine the involvement of the region into integration processes on the basis of international tourism-oriented project activities in the municipal context. The research information base includes a vast array of information on the practice of international project activities of the Republic of Karelia in the field of tourism for the period 1990-2020 (about 90 projects under five Programs) in the context of 18 municipalities of the region. The work calculated median indicators. The study used the analysis of statistical and analytical information, content analysis of strategic documents, methods of generalization, comparison and analogies.<strong >.The author proposed an approach that allows to recognize a comprehensive vision of the level of involvement of the region in the integration processes in the municipal context as well as to formulate ecommendations for enhancing this sphere of activity. Two main periods of development of international project activities in the field of tourism in the region are defined. The typology of involvement of municipalities of the Republic of Karelia in integration processes based on aggregate indicators of project activity is proposed. The strengthening of the involvement of the Republic of Karelia as a whole and individual municipalities in the integration processes in the field of tourism is substantiated. The results of this study can be used by regional authorities when making managerial decisions in tourism area. The outcomes of the research have scientific and practical significance for scholars who research the issues of the development of regional tourism as well as for representatives of tourism business.

Keywordsinternational projects, the Republic of Karelia, involvement in integration processes, municipality, tourism
AcknowledgmentThe study was carried out within the framework of the budget assignment of the Institute of Economics of the Karelian Scientific Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences № AAAA-A19-11901099008
Received19.05.2021
Publication date19.05.2021
Number of characters31214
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1 Introduction. International project activities seem to be one of the tools for establishing stable networks of interaction between countries, integrating the territories of neighboring states. The problem of international cooperation in the field of tourism (especially in the borderlands) is one of the topical areas of scientific research.
2 The purpose of the article is to determine the involvement of the region in the integration processes on the basis of international tourism-oriented project activities in the municipal context.
3 Literature review. In modern conditions, with the growing importance of cross-border cooperation, international project activities seem to be one of the tools for establishing sustainable networks of interaction between countries, spatial development and integration of border territories of neighboring states. The implementation of projects in the field of tourism is one of the directions for the development of cross-border cooperation between regions on different sides of the state border.
4 The transformation of the socio-economic space of Russia and its inclusion in integration processes since the end of the 20th century, a change in attitudes towards tourism at the level of government - business - society, as well as the possibility of developing economic activities in the borderlands (including tourism and recreation) served as a prerequisite for the implementation of international projects in the sphere of tourism in the border regions of the state.
5 Since the 1990’s to the present time, the problem of international cooperation in the field of tourism (especially in the borderlands) is one of the topical areas of scientific research. To date, the scientific community has accumulated a significant theoretical and practical groundwork that reveals the possibilities and prospects, general trends, as well as the specifics of the implementation of international projects in the field of tourism in the borderlands. The works of Russian scientists on this topic began to appear only at the beginning of the 21st century, which is due to geopolitical, socio-economic and other factors of the development of the state in historical retrospect.
6 Thus, the work of the researcher C.-M. Bâtea (Babes-Bolai University, Romania) proves the link between the establishment of cross-border relations and the development of tourism based on the analysis of ten implemented tourism projects within the framework of the Hungary-Romania cross-border cooperation program for the period 2007–2013. [7]. An assessment of the implementation of cross-border projects implemented with the support of the INTERREG VA Program “Poland - Slovakia 2014–2020” is presented in the collective work of Brazilian and Polish scientists [18]. Much attention is paid to the problem of creating cross-border tourist areas in the Baltic Sea region. As an example, we can cite the works: researchers of Lund University (Sweden) on the development of cross-border tourism within the framework of the INTERREG III Program [16], scientists of the Polish Academy of Sciences on the possibilities of tourism in cross-border integration [23]. It is necessary to emphasize the deep study of the issues of cross-border interaction within the framework of the programs of cross-border cooperation in the field of tourism in the Russian-Polish-Lithuanian border area by scientists of the Baltic Federal University named after I. Kant (Kaliningrad) [10; eleven; 25]. Special attention should be paid to the focus on the problems of cross-border cooperation and the activities of Euroregions in the North-West of Russia in the field of tourism [1; 17; 22], the development of cross-border tourist and recreational regions [14].
7 One of the topical areas of research is the design and development of cross-border tourist routes in the framework of the implementation of international projects. These routes are considered as one of the directions of diversification of the tourist product and the integration of border regions of neighboring states, stages on the way of the formation of cross-border tourist territories [21]. It should be noted a joint study of scientists from Finland and the UK, revealing the problem of transfer of knowledge and innovations in the Russian-Finnish borderland within the framework of the implementation of international projects in the field of tourism [13].
8 Turning to the research of international cooperation in the field of tourism in the Karelian section of the Russian-Finnish borderland (between the Republic of Karelia and Finland), it should be noted that the existing work largely reflects the generalization of the results of one or several international projects, including tourist routes [3; 15; 19]. Other studies focus on the analysis of opportunities for the development of certain types of tourism on the territory of the Republic of Karelia based on the implementation of international projects [8; nine; 12; 23]. Special attention should be paid to the work of NM Mezhevich [1], which focuses on the problems of cross-border cooperation and the activities of Euroregions in the North-West of Russia [1], which reveals the practice of individual projects in the tourism sector in the Russian-Finnish border area.

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