The largest inter-territorial cooperation project in Finland for 2014-2020, aims to promote cultural heritage as a vehicle for tourism development.
The St. Olav Ways – otherwise known as “the pilgrim paths to Trondheim” - are a network of routes through Sweden and Norway that are certified by the Council of Europe. A project to extend the network eastwards, from the Atlantic coast through Finland towards the Russian border, has resulted in an inter-territorial LEADER project.
The project activities have included mapping all of the Saint Olav-related historical sites in Finland; organising info events in each participating LEADER area; establishing contacts with Norwegian and Swedish route operators; as well as developing marketing plans and mobile applications.
Hundreds of people from different sectors took part at the eight territorial info events which were organised by the project.
Some good publicity – in the form of television coverage - allowed some project objectives to be implemented earlier than originally scheduled.
For both religious and non-religious visitors, the route offers new opportunities for mindfulness and spiritualism: an emerging trend of global tourism.