The presentation of sports tourism potential of Kymenlaakso region

Vector- Sport project together with its partners from Kymenlaakso region held the sports tourism webinar on presenting the potential of the region for tourists from Russia. This was the second online event in the project program aimed at the creation of cross- border sports tourism cluster between South – East Finland and St. Petersburg, Russia.

Kymenlaakso is a region that breathes Finland’s natural beauty and history. Water is the main natural attraction of Kymenlaakso: there are many lakes, swamps, the Kymijoki river and, of course, the sea. If you dream of the silence of forest lakes, then Kouvola is for you. All lakes in this area relate to the Kymijoki River, which flows into the Gulf of Finland.

In addition to the natural beauty, the region offers many opportunities for outdoor activities and sports. Would you like to fish, ride horses or play golf with friends, and in the evening visit a traditional Finnish sauna? All this and more, you can implement by planning your sports or health tour in the Kymenlaakso region.

The representatives of local travel business of the region provided an extensive overview of possible activities and available travel services that could fit the needs of various clients’ groups. Thus, the local travel offices of Kotka- Hamina and Kouvola described the regions’ tourist advantages.  The nature and water system of the region provide excellent opportunities for sports tourism.  Kymijoki river suggests rafting, kayaking, and fishing.  Also, there is a yachting sport being developed by local yachting club of Kotka city. SAdditionally, there are plenty of possibilities for hiking.  National park Repovesi is famous for hiking, kayaking, canoeing, mountain climbing.  There are also walking paths of different length such as Salpa path (43 km), Valkmusa National part ( 2.5 and 4 km paths),Santalahti path ( 2,5 km).

Cycling tourism is another popular type of activity in the region. There are various routes available for tourists in terms of their length and complexity. 

Golf is a sport that is worth trying in Kymenlaakso region. Kotkan Golf (https://kymengolf.fi/ ) Koski  Golf (https://www.koskigolf.fi/) Iitti Golf (https://www.iittigolf.com/) are professional golf centers available for the tourists around the year.

Finally, well- developed sports infrastructure is available for professional and amateur athletes to organize pre- season preparation camps and competitions.   These include swimming halls, ice arenas, skiing routes, sports halls, and others.

Another presentation was given by Santalahti resort that is the five-star recreation center, located in Kotka, Santalahti, in the beautiful nature by the Gulf of Finland.  It provides the accommodation, rooms for celebrations, meetings, saunas for corporate and individual clients, combining a business event with leisure, also family vacation or business program. Regarding active leisure, the resort has bicycle rental, fat bikes, SUP boards, sea or river fishing with a guide. Nearby golf center and nature trails available for the customers. In winter, there is ski and snowshoe rental. 

For those, who love fishing, Predator Fishing Finland company can arrange the fishing tours around the whole year with certified guides and high -level services. Fishing tours are mainly organized in and around the following places: Kotka, Hamina, Loviisa, Virolahti, Kouvola, Lahti, Lappeenranta. Fishing can be organized on the sea, lake and river. You can also order a guide with a boat to the lake closest to you. He will select the best fishing spots for you. Besides fishing, the company provides sightseeing tours and accommodation services.

Pikkusuokin Talli suggests the horse trekking and nature experiences on Finnish horses for everybody. They have treks that vary from one to four hours in length. You can choose to have coffee or lunch on open fire. Group sizes from two to six persons.  The company offers tailor treks according to wishes of clients. In addition to this organized horse trekking tours, they also offer riding lessons at indoor and outdoor arenas with no earlier experience required.

Mielakka Ski Resort is located only 2 km from the city center of Kouvola. The slopes of Mielakka are perfect for both beginners and experienced skiers.  The resort offers you a renovated rental shop where you can choose your slalom equipment, cross-country skiing, telemarking and snowboarding. Mielakka is a ski resort of a high standard, therefore it can offer all its guests excellent service and well-groomed slopes. It is safe to say that neither professional athletes nor families with children will leave here disappointed. Moreover, for children there are classes in a ski school and a slide for sledding.

Tykkimäen Sauna is public sauna that is open to all, every day around the year. It is located on a shore of clean and peaceful lake and provides authentic Finnish sauna experience. Besides swimming activities, there are plenty more available, such as:  SUP boarding, beach volley, frisbee golf, walking in woods, ice skating, ice fishing, cross-country skiing.

This webinar gave an interesting overview of the sports tourism products and services available in the region of Kymenlaakso. For Russian travel professionals, it has offered many new products suggestions that can be available for sale  after the borders are be open.  This webinar was visited by 193 travel companies from all parts of Russia that would continue their cooperation with Finnish companies on the development of cross- border sports tourism cluster.