Sport tourism in South -East Finland: developing cross- border cooperation and boosting the potential.

Vector-Sport project together with all the partners from Russia and Finland organized the thematic seminar on sport tourism development in South-East Finland.

Sport tourism seminar in Tanhuvaara 1.-4.11.2019

Vector-Sport project together with all the partners from Russia and Finland organized the thematic seminar on sport tourism development in South-East Finland.  The event was aimed at enhancing the collaboration and developing stronger cooperation between sport organizations, businesses, NGOs and governmental authorities of both countries.  Thus, these 2 days seminar gathered the sport managers, CEOs of sport schools, sport decision – makers, NGOs and governmental authorities to discuss the agenda on sport tourism development between Russia and Finland, inspect the existing opportunities that South-East Finland could propose. 

The agenda of the seminar included presentation and discussion part with the involvement of Russian and Finnish experts, as well as sport part where all the participants could experience themselves as being the active sport tourists.  The Finnish experts were the representatives of local sport clubs and societies, tourism development organizations, sport NGOs. Among the presented sport tourism cases were mass sport events on cycling, rowing, skiing, skating. Also, the competition for profession and amateurs’ athletes on wrestling was introduced.

The cycling race of Luonteri pyoraily ( ) is a traditional cycling event for the professional atheltes and amateurs, that is also popular among families. The race distances include 95 km and 42 km that are laid in a beautiful landscape of Eastern Finland.  

Savonia Hiihto ( is an annual one day ski-race event held in Mikkeli.  This skiing marathon gathers popular sportsmen and politicians, kids with their parents and grandparents either to take part in the serious competition or just fun and enjoy the beautiful landscape. 

Kuolimo skating ( another case of mass sport and recreational events in Finland.  This magic ice skating event collects thousands of people around Finland and Europe to skate on Lake Kuolimo in Savitaipale. The routes include 5km and 10km distances what makes it possible skate as many rounds as skaters want. The event program includes fire show on the ice, music and acrobatic performances.  Special part of the performance is a torch path that shows the light to thousands of skaters. Sulkava Rowing ( is usually on the first weekend of July. You can rent the special boat and take part in the competition or row just for fun and stay over the night at the tent on the island. Usually hundreds of rowers from Finland and other countries take part in the event. 

These and other sport and recreational events presented at the seminar for Russian colleagues demonstrated the variety of choices in Finnish sport tourism. The good quality sport events, beautiful nature, comfortable accommodation and other services can make the sport package really attractive for Russian customers.  The open discussions and the received feedback allowed to proceed with further collaboration on the involvement of Russian customers into sport and recreational events in Finland. For example, in Punkaharju there is Holiday Resort Harjun Portti, where you can find accommodation, local food, different sport activities, cultural attractions, ect. (

The sport part of the event was organized by the hosting sport center Tanhuvaara ( that offered various opportunities for playing basketball, floorball, hockey and swimming. The advanced sport and recreation infrastructure of Tanhuvaara impressed Russian participants that could combine active sports with good quality relaxation and recovery procedures.  This place was highly evaluated by all the participants who considered it for the organization of the professional sport camps in different sports. 

Another day of the seminar was devoted to the exploration of the sport and recreation facilities of Savonlinna area. The agenda included the visit to Suur Savon ice hall ( and spa resort Jarvisydan (  From the perspectives of sport tourism, these venues could be considered for the organization of sport events and hosting international sport visitors. Thus, Suur Savo ice hall is a good quality ice hall that offers the services on the organization of hockey and ice skating camps and competitions. 

Järvisyudan is a recreation Center, whose name translates as “Heart of the Lake”, located in the heart of Saimaa, in Rantasalmi, which is about 160 km from the Russian border. The first mention of this place dates back to 1658, and for 10 generations it is in the possession of one family. This resort has beautiful places with magnificent lake landscapes, fantastic rock massifs and virgin forests, excellent cuisine, service in Finnish, English, Russian, German and other languages, cool fishing, excellent baths, many active leisure programs. SPA center offers visitors a variety of unusual saunas and individual wellness treatments in special rooms. Outdoor pools go straight down to the shore, and the most daring visitors will be able to cool off after baths right in the waters of Saimaa, even in winter.

The two days sport tourism seminar in South-East Finland demonstrated wonderful possibilities of this region for doing active sports and relaxation. Russian colleagues saw and tested themselves the available sport infrastructure, got new ideas and new acquaintances for their work and international cooperation.  This seminar was a sport tourism in action that became another good case in the list of Vector-Sport project events.