Coastal and maritime locations are the biggest attractive factor in European tourism. South Ostrobothnia region is a land locked area, which is within one to two hours driving distance from the coastline. ‘Hospitable South Ostrobothnia’, the tourism development strategy for the region covering 2020-2028, highlights sustainability and responsibility as well as collaboration with stakeholders and neighbouring regions.
The proximity of the coast brings opportunities for tourism SMEs and visit organizations. At the national level, South Ostrobothnia is considered part of the Coast and Archipelago -area based on which the brand is being developed and tourism experiences and services are being marketed for the international visitors. The collaboration brings visibility and new opportunities to internationalize tourism in South Ostrobothnia. Especially the Swedish market is of vital importance thanks to the new environmentally friendly boat connection between Vaasa (FI) and Umeå (SE).
The seed for closer collaboration among higher educational institutions, tourism attractions and SMEs in Satakunta and South Ostrobothnia is laid in the Skills4CMT -project. Networking with different actors is essential for tourism development at the destination and company level. Networking enables joint product development related to round trips, coastal-inland cooperation and the utilisation of products from local producers in tourism companies. Increasing peer support e.g. in applying sustainability labels is essential. Group of enthusiastic tourism developers and SME representatives will visit Merikarvia and Krookan Plassi in Satakunta in August 2021 to learn more about circular economy principles in tourism development and business.
Satakunta and Seinäjoki Universities of Applied Sciences together with their international partners in cold coastal regions are developing specific training modules for Coastal and Maritime Tourism. Tourism entrepreneurs and students will have an opportunity to update their knowledge from 2022 onwards. We encourage all interested parties to follow the web-site for more information.
Text: Anne-Maria Mäkelä, Sanna Jyllilä, Sanna-Mari Renfors
Photo: Sanna-Mari Renfors