This project will create a new cultural route "St Olav Waterway" from Finland (Turku) via the Archipelago to Åland Islands and to Hudiksvall in Sweden, combining this route with other St Olav routes in Sweden and Norway. This new route will be unique: it is the only Pilgrims Route which also will use the possibility to move on the water. The project will increase the attractiveness of the region, especially off-season, and generate visitors, a platform for new services and jobs and a better earning capacity for local entrepreneurs.
In Europe over 200,000 of Christian pilgrims and many others set out each year from their front doorsteps or from popular starting points across Europe, to make their way to Santiago de Compostela.
Many take up this route as a form of spiritual path or retreat for their spiritual growth. The popularity of the routes in Norway and Sweden is also increasing: 20 % more people every year!
"St Olav Waterway" route is planned to be a unique possibility for them who are interested in having new experiences in the huge archipelago between Finland and Sweden, especially in spring and autumn. Digital solutions will be used as often as possible instead of paper and signs/posters (=sustainable tourism). Most travelers are nowadays online. Delivering market-ready products increases the potential for sustainability, which is very important especially in this region.
Discussions about applying for inclusion into the network "European Cultural Route of St Olavs Ways" have already started. Application 2017.
Other organisations will start projects creating a St Olav Way from Turku to the east. These new routes, connected to each other, have in this case both a possibility to be parts of "Route of Saint Olav Ways" within some years. Maybe it´s possible to have a St Olav route all the way from Novgorod to Nidaros/Trondheim as 1000 years ago.
Expected Results (EN):
R2.1. More sustainable joint natural and cultural heritage based tourist attractions
Expected Outputs (EN):
The main result is a new certified route "St Olav Waterway" and more visitors off-season giving new job opportunities and new services in the area. Entrepreneurs in the whole region will after the project have much more international contacts and are offered new networks in the Nordic countries and in Europe.
Along the route there will be created some entirely new tourist attractions conserning the time 1000 years ago and the medieval period. But many attractions are there already, and this project make them more visible (ancient monuments, medieval churches, stories, visual art). Also in english, which is important for the visitors from abroad.
One result is that the project will strengthen the sustainable tourism in the region.