"Eco efficient tourism" project moves to social networks

16 january 2013
Joensuu hosted the coordination meeting of "Eco efficient tourism" project partners that took place January 14, 2013. The meeting was attended by the project leader Igor Shevchuk, project manager Elena Cherniakevich and KarRC RAS specialist Nadezhda Mikhailova - from the Russian side, and Timo Hokkanen, Raimo Heikkila and Daisy Silvennoinen presented Finnish partners.
The partners has summarized the results of implemented activities like gathering of information and assessment of the current situation in the pilot and reference areas, or study of the Finnish experience and best practices in management of recreational areas. The implementation of upcoming activities such as publication and circulation of the guidebook on the tourist infrastructure along the “Blue Highway” and brochures on regional specificity information has also been discussed. But most of the time was devoted to the discussion of project Communication and visibility plan. Finnish partners have presented the project networking scheme.
First of all, North Karelian Biosphere Reserve reported about launching the page of "Eco efficient tourism" project on their official web-site. It not only provides basic information about the project, but also contains direct links to the official project site.
Secondly, the project has also got its Facebook page. This network can have a great long-term result in terms of creating a community of people interested in the project's topic, engaging stakeholders and identification of the cross-border needs and actors (A15), attracting tourists and development of transboundary grass-root level actions (A16). The number of "likes" and reposts can be a good indicator of achievements. Moreover, Facebook pages are found by search engines (Google, Yahoo, MSN Bing, etc.) faster that other web-pages including the official web-site of the project.
Thirdly, "Eco efficient tourism" project will also be presented in FLICKR. This is an image hosting and video hosting website. In addition to being a popular website for users to share and embed personal photographs, the service is widely used by bloggers to host images that they embed in blogs and social media. Yahoo reported in June 2011 that Flickr had a total of 51 million registered members and 80 million unique visitors. This resource is believed to give a good visibility of the project and contribute to tourism development on project pilot sites, attracting attention of both companies interested in eco-efficient tourism concept and local people using eco-efficient infrastructure.
Moreover, probably, our own network of specialists interested in both tourism and eco-efficiency concept development will be created in LinkedIn - social networking website for professional networking. As of January 2013, LinkedIn reports more than 200 million registered users in more than 200 countries and territories.
After all, Finnish partners made a commitment to update Communication and visibility plan in accordance with discussed changes and hold several of on-line (skype) conferences for the discussion of current issues in February and March.