The sauna tradition is thought to originate somewhere in northern Europe around 2,000 BC and has remained an important part of cultural life to this day in many countries including Estonia, Latvia, and Finland. The locals indeed like to debate who now has the best saunas, but the truth is that their building techniques and traditions have evolved mostly in parallel for the past few thousand years, which is why saunas are a way of life and in many ways, the history of sauna is really a history of us. In addition to the sauna traditions the countryside provides a varied ambience of heritage – numerous national parks, contrasting coastlines, historic sites, varied landscapes, rich wildlife, charming small towns full of history and peaceful milieu.
Visiting all three countries in one trip is very easy – relatively short travelling distances between and within the countries due to their small size, no border formalities since all are in EU, the same time zone, the same currency and similar climate.
This handbook aims to increase the capability of rural tourism companies to enter the Japanese tourism market and includes knowledge gathered from surveys of Japanese visitors, tourism agencies and travel intermediaries and analysis of Japanese tourists’ expectations and interests compared with the products and services offered by rural tourism enterprises. Following customer journey decision-makers’ interviews and forums, transport gaps were identified and potential solutions proposed. There is also the possibility to replace sectorial thinking with holistic or system thinking and actions, which could be seen as the basis for innovations.
The content of Handook includes:
The potential of rural tourism in Finland, Estonia and Latvia
Japan as a target market for rural tourism service providers
Marketing of rural tourism products to Japanese customers
Defining problems, listing of gaps in customer journey in Finland, Estonia, Latvia
Project CAITo welcomes the ambassadors from Latvia, Estonia and Finland in Japan in the seminar dedicated to the rural tourism on 22th of November at Latvian Embassy in Tokyo.
Project CAITO team prepared two excellent materials – Products manual 2020 and Sauna brochure. New Products Manual 2020 introducing the experiences in Rural area such as farm or manor house stay, Sauna/Spa, and Organic gastronomy was presented. Sauna brochure is newly published, which includes Sauna culture and products in each country
There are many products already introduced in the Japanese market and rural products are recognized as an important category in the European market where rural tourism is seen as a tool for overcoming excessive tourism and to ensure the sustainability of tourism. The representatives from each country visited Japan for this seminar and made presentations on the charm of rural area and the products.
Project CAITO team invites you to joint conference “JAPAN – THE GATE TO ASIAN TOURISM MARKET” which will be held on 26-27th of November at Tallinn.
Conference will bring together tourism entrepreneurs, intermediaries and associations, tourism development and destination management specialists, tourism and transport related decision makers, embassies, Central Baltic programme representatives, CAITO project coordination and steering group members and partner´s institutions, all interested in the Japanese tourism market development.
Conference will address issues regarding the joint marketing for Japanese tourism market, integrated and combined transport strategy and intermediary between customers and Japanese. Invites speakerswill discuss how CAITO project built bridge between Estonia-Latvia-Finland rural areas and Japan and how to welcome Japanese guests. project team will present customer journey study findings and reflect of CAITO familiarisation trips for Japanese tour operators and media. We will have a panel discussions on customer journey, tourism transport, product development and marketing questions.
From June 20-22, a group of 10 journalists from Japan visited Latvia to familiarise themselves with the Latvian rural tourism. The tour organizators in Latvia were the Latvian Rural Tourism Association “Lauku Celotajs” under the project CAITO.
Cultural spaces are special places where traditions passed down from generation to generation are concentrated in an environment that relates to the origins of such traditions. In Latvia and Estonia, multiple cultural spaces can be found which are promoted by UNESCO granting international recognition.
Would it be “sklandrausis“, a traditional pie baked with love alongside Suiti women, or a moment of admiration observing Līvi men carrying out the catch of the day in the wind- swept shores of the Livonian landscape, the humbleness and wisdom sounded out in the polyphonic singing of Seto people, or the inspiration found in the cheerful colours of crafts developed by Kihnu island people; every single one of these experiences is an expression of tradition concentrated in time and space, which we can receive in an extraordinary tourism product that helps us travel meaningfully and to become more aware, skillful and inspired.
Routes to rural destinations for Japanese independent tourists in South-west Finland – Estonia – Latvia were pilot tested using “volunteer travellers” within the CAITO project. The main goal of the pilots was to identify gaps and difficulties in the route or customer’s journey.