Project overall objectives: to promote and support rural tourism companies to enter Japanese tourism market by strengthening their capacity and cooperation in the three Baltic Sea countries: Latvia, Estonia, and Finland.

Specific objectives:

  1. Explore the Japanese tourism market and the requirements for rural tourism in the Baltic Sea countries.
  2. Develop a guide for rural tourism service providers about Japanese tourists’ expectations and desires.
  3. Organize training seminars for the rural tourism product providers about tourism product development opportunities aimed at Japanese tourism target market.
  4. Promote rural tourism products for Japanese tourists:
    1. participate in tourism fairs;
    2. elaborate and disseminate promotion materials and brochures;
    3. create a landing page and digital map with rural tourism products and services;
    4. attract social media and bloggers thus introducing Japanese tourism operators and media to rural tourism opportunities in Latvia, Estonia and Finland;
    5. develop a product brochures and a manual for travellers and agents
  5. Organize decision makers’ forums to identify existing problems that hinder, hamper and restrict Japanese tourists’ wish to travel around Latvia, Estonia and Finland, as well as to find solutions to these problems.

Expected results:

  1. Improved cooperation between small and micro rural tourism enterprises, tour operators and travel agencies nationally and internationally
  2. Reduction and prevention of risks and potential barriers impacting on Japanese tourists’ visits
  3. Adaptations to rural tourism products to improve their attractiveness to Japanese tourists and increase the numbers of tourists from Japan.

Project partners:

  1. Estonian University of Life Sciences (lead partner);
  2. Latvia University of Agriculture, Faculty of Economics and Social Development;
  3. Laurea University of Applied Sciences;
  4. University of Helsinki, Ruralia Institute;
  5. Latvian Country Tourism Association “Lauku celotajs”;
  6. Estonian Rural Tourism Association;
  7. Regional Tourism Association in Southern Finland “Visit South Coast Finland”.

Associate partners:

  1. Association of Latvian Travel Agents and Operators;
  2. Estonian Travel and Tourism Association;
  3. Society Zemgale Tourism Association.

The total budget of the project is 1 412 734.71 EUR, of which 1 141 858.10 EUR is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund.

Project leader:

  • Lea Sudakova
  • Lecturer of the Estonian University of Life Sciences,
  • Chairman of the board of Estonian Tourism Education Association
  • +372 5204112

More information at: