RDI projects


Project Information
NameKarelian Wellness
ContactJorma Korhonen
DescriptionThe problem the project aims is to solve is that even though the various wellness services have the potential to flourish and offer unexploited business opportunities in the target areas, wellness service culture and the service selection do not match with wellness service customers motivation or hedonistic and aesthetic needs. There is a need for a new approach to wellness tourism service development, design and services.

Lifestyle of health and sustainability (LOHAS) is a growing global lifestyle trend. Demand for wellness tourism has been booming during the last two decades in Europe and USA. Finlands tourism strategy for 2015-2025 is underlining the importance of wellbeing services. Also in Russia, the term curative and wellness tourism is widely used and the formation and development of values of healthy lifestyles is one of the strategic priorities of state policy. Today it is common for Finns travel to Estonia for a wellness holiday: several tour operators from Eastern Finland make bus trips to e.g. Pärnu spa hotels. Although there are similar type of facilities also on Petrozavodsk region, they are not known in Finland.

In North Karelia, North Savo, Kainuu and Republic of Karelia there are several enterprises offering wellness services such as horse and forest therapy and nature based cure, which could be developed as internationally competitive wellness tourism resort. In Finland, many of the establishments are former rehabilitation centers for war veterans that would benefit from service update. In Russia, the traditional way of service production in the form of medical tourism could be developed to include more holistic approach to health and wellbeing.

The objective of the project is the increased business and interaction in wellness service sector across the Karelian border. The element the project is linked to is increasing the capacity of enterprises to start cross-border economic cooperation. The specific objective of the project is that enterprises in the wellness service sector offer customer-oriented services in cross-border cooperation. The important steps to the target objective are the improved service culture, customer based service and marketing skills and service selection supply on the both sides of the border in the context of wellness service, as well as developed networks between Russian and Finnish actors on the questioned field.

The overall benefits of the project will be high level of service quality, instruments for creating new products and services, cross-border networking of wellness service companies, increased consciousness on service design, and new effective marketing instruments used by entrepreneurs of wellness services.

Effective networking methods and cooperation between Finnish and Russian entrepreneurs will increase the opportunities to develop best cross-border practices together, and marketing will be improved, increasing cross-border customer flow. In addition to cross-border cooperation, the project diversifies the synergy possibilities between wellness service enterprises and entrepreneurs producing goods that wellness enterprises can tap on production of services.

The project implementation will increase cross-border interaction and trade. Enterprises working with wellness services take part to activities that increase the capacity of enterprises to start economic cooperation. The project will increase the profits of enterprises; grow tax revenues and general welfare of the particular region.

Activities of the project will be implemented through work packages and cross-border cooperation will be implemented in all activities.
PartnersKarelia University of Applied Sciences
University of Eastern Finland
Petrozavodsk State University
Petrozavodsk City Administration
Funded byKarelia ENPI CBC programme