The goal of the project was to revitalise nature tourism in the Lieksajoki area. The foundation for the project was the
utilisation of the cross-border history in nature tourism, information services and teaching in Lieksa and Mujejärvi.
The history of the area was to be gathered and put into suitable formats for travel service providers, school camps and
schools on both sides of the border to use. Th e Ruuna Visitor Centre exhibition and brochures about the area would
be renewed and a travel and nature guide for the area was to be produced. The exhibition, travel guide and brochures
would present the entire Lieksanjoki region as a whole, from both the Finnish and Russian sides. The goal was also to
develop and market new tourism products. The project also aimed to improve the local knowledge of the youth in the
area on both sides of the border. The great Lieksanjoki river that connects the areas would be learned about and life
in the neighbouring county would become more familiar through partnership school activity. The partnership school
participants would take part in developing the region’s school camp material. Business skills and cultural issues would
be learned about through job-exchange internships between Lieksa and Mujejärvi.
The history of the Lieksanjoki region was collated using Finnish resources; similarly, stories were also gathered during trips to the Mujejrvi region. History was used as the foundation for the regionâs travel and nature guide published by the project and for the educational material produced in cooperation with the virtual school of Lieksa as well as in the Finnish-Russian partnership school cooperation. New products (winter products, products for the Ruunaa Nature Reserve, school camp packages, a total of five customisable product packages) were designed and tested together with the entrepreneurs of the region. Final branding and marketing was handled by the entrepreneurs themselves. A new exhibition was designed for the Ruunaa Visitor Centre. The new exhibition, like the travel guide and brochures, contained lots of information from the regions on the Russian side of the border as well. The Visitor Centre exhibition continued at the renovated forest ranger centre. A nature-themed classroom was created in the building, which has space for the nature education materials tested in the project and an exhibition about the partnership school activities. The Employment and Economic Development Centre completed a simultaneous project that repaired structures, paths, nature-trail duckboards, and roads in the region. The travel guide, new brochures, new exhibition at the Visitor Centre and new types of nature travel products will all contribute to the appeal of Lieksanjoki as a tourist destination and will attract more new and returning visitors; therefore, the opportunities for nature travelling in the area will be increased.