RDP project database
Promoting Theme-based Village Tourism – a National Coordination Project 2009-2011
A village tourism programme was implemented within the framework of the nationwide coordination project ‘Tourism in Rural Villages’. The project period was 2009-2011, and it was financed by the RDP for Mainland Finland.
In late 2008, 12 pilot villages from 48 candidates were selected for the promotion of village tourism. Four new villages were included in the project in September 2010. The project was carried out in close cooperation with Lomalaidun ry's member organisations, the Finnish Rural Policy Committee working group for tourism, the Finnish Tourist Board, the Rural Women’s Advisory Organisation, the Village Action Association of Finland and organisations involved in tourism sales and marketing. Practical development work in villages was carried out by means of regional and local projects.
The main objectives of the project was to identify and apply best practices and create profitable business. Other objectives included improving the conditions for rural entrepreneurship while finding ways of involving the third sector in village tourism promotion; using the pilot villages to build a model of continuous development; enhancing cooperation between villages and creating a network of Finnish tourist villages to be included in a European village tourism network.
The project is based on 12 pilot villages from ten provinces. It involved collecting information from existing materials and on study trips made to destinations in Finland and abroad; creating development models applicable to theme-based village tourism; conducting surveys; analysing data. Concrete products for tourism were created in the villages. Villages worked together with national and regional organisations to identify suitable distribution channels for the products.
Results & Benefits
Villages built an internal network, created a consistent operating model, and prepared an action plan in line with local resources. Also, various tools were created to keep track of product development and tourist volumes. Tourism led to increased interest in the village, development of regional theme-related projects, growth of international cooperation. Village tourism and villages have become more widely known, and new events and products have emerged.
There is a growing interest in rural tourism both in Finland and abroad in Finland's key markets: the French, German and Russian. To respond to this, villages must make long-term plans to promote tourism; focus on tours designed for various customer groups that would link villages together. Also, tourism brings new challenges related to nature, health, safety, culture, etc. This requires competence, new cooperation networks, guidance to the implementation of concrete quality criteria.
Project location and other information
Total project cost (€)
EAFRD contribution (€)
National contribution (€)
+358 44 330 3336
Languages for contact
English, Finnish, Swedish
At a glance
Final beneficiary type
€100 000 - €500 000
Theme / Measure:
Rural Quality of Life & Economic Diversification
Rural economic diversification
313. Encouragement of tourism activities
Rural heritage, Rural tourism, Cooperation, Development planning, Village facilities