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Other research product . 2022

Kalevala kartalle – developing a culture travel concept for Japanese travelers

Sukanen, Mimosa;
Open Access
Published: 01 Jan 2022
Country: Finland

The goal of the thesis study was to create a culture travel concept based on the Finnish-Karelian mythology and the national epic Kalevala. The Kalevala kartalle -project was a pilot to evaluate and demonstrate the concept for Japanese tourists during 01/2020-12/2021. The Stefan Moritz ́s service design model was utilized as the methodology to conduct the product-oriented thesis. Cultural heritage raises emotions and opinions how to utilize it. Although the mutual opinion is, that traditions and immaterial heritage are everyone ́s right and at everyone ́s responsibility, the praxis seems more complicated than that. The tourism industry has developed travel and leisure experiences inspired by cultural elements, stories, and myths. Nevertheless, the Finnish folklore is not widely known among international tourists. Stories are an impactful means to engage, educate and immerse the audience during the travel. Cultural routes demonstrate a journey through time and space; the heritage of a country and its culture contributes to a living and shared cultural heritage. The concept of the travel route was developed in co-operation with stakeholders from the public and private sector and other relevant organizations. Two pilot groups were created: one in the capital region of Finland and the other one in the region of Kainuu. These destinations created the touch points of the route, from Helsinki ending to Kuhmo city. The outcome of the pilot project was the concept of the Kalevala kartalle -culture travel route, digitally and on-site. Two seminars were organized with Visit Finland, a digital trip was produced and piloted for Japanese travellers and the concept launch was organized for the Finnish audience. The Kalevala kartalle -project gained a lot of attention in the media and was raised to the public discussion in March 2021. The IPR conflict with Kalevala Koru Oy underlines the importance and relevancy of mutual understanding of the use of cultural heritage in a commercial context. The development of new services with an ecosystem of stakeholders requires continuous work and financing. The conclusion of the pilot project is that the Japanese market has an interest in travel experiences combining the learning aspect of local culture and nature activities.


Experience Economy and Designing Services, fi=Liiketalous, hallinto ja markkinointi|sv=Företagsekonomi, förvaltning och marknadsföring|en=Business Management, Administration and Marketing|, tourism, culture, Finland, cultural heritage, tourists and travellers, Japan, service design, product development, services, experience tourism, Degree Programme in Leading Business Transformation

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Digital Humanities and Cultural Heritage
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