"The promotion of tourism across national borders will strengthen human contacts and mutually benefial economic development with positive effects for employment and business activities."
Kirkenes Declaration 1993
The Barents Euro-Arctic Region is characterized by its diversity and extensive territory. The region consists of 13 municipalitiess located in the northernmost parts of Sweden, Norway, Finland and Northwest Russia. Around five and a half million people live in this area. The arctic climate, exotic midnight sun, dark polar nights, northern lights, cold winters, vast natural resources and diverse of cultural heritage offer both a fertile but also a challenging ground for tourism development. The Barents Region is nowadays considered one of Europe's largest regions for interregional cooperation.
Barents Tourism Action Plan has been created to promote interregional tourism cooperation in the Barents Region. Interregional tourism cooperation will help strengthen the attractiveness and accessibility and promote public awareness of different destinations situated in the Barents Region. This Action Plan is based on extensive research, backround material and expert consultations. Interviews were conducted among small- and medium-sized Barents tourism enterprises which located in Finnish Lapland, Swedish Lapland, Northern Norway, Arkhangelsk and Murmansk. Interviews provided critical information on the needs and expectations of tourism enterprises regarding tourism developlent in the Barents Region.
This Action Plan focuses on five key areas: cooperation, education and knowledge, accessibility and transportation infrastructure, product development and place identity. These five key action areas have been identified as vital to promoting interregional tourism develoment in the Barents Region.
Barents Tourism Action Plan has been has been produced as a part of Barents tourism development project BART - Public-Private Partnership in Barents Tourism funded by European Union Kolarctic ENPI CBC program. The Barents Tourism Action Plan was done in cooperation with Barents Euro-Arctic Joint Working Group on Tourism (JWGT).