ENPI international project (European Neighborhood and Partnership Instrument) is a program of cross-border cooperation as a part of European Neighborhood and Partnership Instrument «Karelia» (ENPI «Karelia») which is realized in Finland (Kainuu region, Northern Karelia, Oulu region) and in Russia (Republic of Karelia).
The program is aimed at the development of favorable conditions for the collaborative work in the protected areas by means of cross-border cooperation.
In May 2012 as a part of ENPI «Karelia» the Russian-Finnish project «Quality improvement of tourist services in cross-border protected areas» started.
The project is aimed to support the development and advancement of ecology and cultural tourism in cross-border protected areas in order to increase economic attractiveness and profitability of the Republic of Karelia as well as to strengthen the cooperation and improvement of tourism sustainability via development of the network which includes four cross-border adjoining parks:
1. «Oulanka» national park (Finland) and «Paanajarvi» national park (Russia) 2. «Kalevala» park and «Kaleval’skiy» national park 3. Russian-Finnish nature reserve «Druzhba» («Friendship») — on the Russian side it is represented by «Kostomukshskiy» nature reserve 4. «Koli» national park (Finland) — «Kivach» nature reserve (Russia)
The project strengthens the image of Karelia as destination #1 for nature and cultural tourism and provides the customers with the access to places of interest by: - The development of the expertise in sphere of tourism and customer service functionality - The development of the common marketing strategy and the materials for the international market - The development of environmental education and services for young people
Within the project the following issues will be solved:
1. The most specific nature and cultural values will become widely known; the information about them will be spread by the park staff, businessmen in sphere of tourism and teachers.
2. The development of the conception of cross-border youth ecology camps aimed at the promotion of nature protection, cultural heritage management and cross-border collaboration ideas.
3. Tourism management and knowledge sharing regarding territory provision as well as customer service quality improvement in the protected areas.
4. International certification for sustainable tourism of some parks; analysis and the development of opportunities to operate as high-quality international nature tourism destination.
5. Material issue for joint marketing companies, participation in tourism markets, creation of the new mobile exhibition where it is told about the cross-border protected areas.
6. The creation of the new multilingual web-pages about the protected areas; park and reserve staff development regarding information technologies services.
The project is held under the supervision of the Pohjanmaa natural heritage service Metsähallitus.