|Kuvaus||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.|
|Kehittämistarve||The 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.
|Toimenpiteet||Activities of the project will be implemented through work packages and cross-border cooperation will be implemented in all activities.
Work package 1. Identification and analysis of wellness services consumption in the region. The objective is to produce customer insight and understanding of the opportunities of Karelian wellness concept, in order to support the customer value based service development of the Karelian wellness service offering.
Work package 2. Training on service design and individual pilots. Service design is a service development process where either an existing service will be improved or a new service will be created. Service users needs will be taken care in the process. Understanding of service design thinking is needed to exploit it in the process upon service development. This work package includes a training process aimed to add know-how and implementation of customer based service design in service development. In the process two collaborative workshops with participants from both sides of the border will be organized. Between the workshops individual development tasks for the participants will be given. (Savonia UAS & Karelia UAS)
Work package 3. Cross-border networking and peer-to-peer learning. Networking is focused on the development of wellness service related businesses. The aim of the networking is to help local entrepreneurs to improve quality of wellness services and to learn new working methods from fellow colleagues. Cross-border networking includes two collaborative workshops with participants from both sides of the border and familiarization trip to a Finnish
wellness service company that operates in international markets. The qualitative and quantitative impacts of work package to participated entrepreneurs will be verified by inquiry in the begin and end of the work packages developing process. Cross-border networking brings together not only wellness service enterprises, but also entrepreneurs that produce services, material and ingredients for wellness services, e.g. accommodation and nature
based food or cosmetics. (Savonia UAS & Karelia UAS)
Work package 4. Development of service and marketing skills. This work package includes the development of service skills of service providers. Wellness sector entrepreneurs will be educated to improve their customer based service skills as marketing know-how, knowledge on customer experience and cross-cultural communication skills. It is important to make sure that Karelian wellness service providers are able to come along with local and international customers with various wellness related needs. A high-quality practical oriented education will be
provided by the University of Eastern Finland.
|Tulokset||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.
|Kumppanit||Karelia University of Applied Sciences
University of Eastern Finland
Petrozavodsk State University
Petrozavodsk City Administration
|Rahoittaja||Karelia ENPI CBC programme|